May 25, 2018 / By Shyla Esko Bare
Do your upcoming travel plans include a hot destination? If yes, don’t sweat it. You can keep your cool overseas by following these six tips.
#1 – Check the Temp
In the Before You Go Abroad Handbook, I recommend using the World Reviewer Holiday Weather Guide. This website shows temperatures for every country, month by month. Set the minimum and maximum temperatures you enjoy when on holiday, and the color-coded map will show you where to travel and where to avoid. For instance, parts of India have an average May temperature of 105 f. That is too hot for me. November through February is when I can go to India and not melt.
#2 – Dress Cool
Material matters when it comes to traveling in hot climates. Pack items that are loose fitting, light-weight, and light colored. My favorite travel clothes come from Eddie Bauer (look for their Travex line) and Exofficio. I also often pack sports tops and cool max running socks. These whisk away sweat.
Many people think less is best in the heat. This is not the case. Flowing long-sleeved shirts and trousers or skirts can actually be better. They keep the sun off your skin while looking appropriate around the world. In many countries, locals frown upon foreigners wearing tank tops and short shorts. Avoid insulting locals and instead dress as people living in the heat due. The key is super light-weight material. When we lived in Thailand, Dan and I were amazed how thin the jeans and t-shirts were. They were perfect for hot humid weather.
#3 – Accessorize
In the movie Steel Magnolias, Clairee Belcher said: “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” She has a point. However, animals have inherent ways of dealing with the heat that we do not. That is why I urge travelers to accessorize when in hot climates. Don’t leave home without sunglasses, a brimmed hat, and a cool-downz neck scarf.
If you don’t know what a cool-downz neck scarf is, watch this YouTube video: Travel Tip Tuesday #6 – CoolDownz. I did not travel with one until I was in Austria with my mom. The bus we were on broke down, and we had to stand in a cornfield for hours. The region was experiencing a heat wave. My mom had a cool-downz keeping her body temperature down. I did not have one, and by the time we got to the hotel, I had symptoms of heat exhaustion. I missed out on a full day of sight-seeing in Vienna. Never wanting to miss out again, I started wearing a cool-downz scarf and now would not travel without one. Cool-downz in a variety of colors are available from the Wild Spirit Travel travel product store.
#4 – Find Natural Relief
Even in the hottest of destinations, you can often find natural relief. Find shade. Go to the shore. Catch a breeze. Get high up. Swim in a river. Splash in the ocean. I find the hotter it is, the more I rely on mother nature to provide cooling options. I have also learned not to sight-see in the heat of the day. There is a reason why many cultures siesta at mid-day.
#5 – Skip the Ice
On my first trip to Australia, a woman I was staying with in tropical Cairns, offered me tea. I assumed she meant iced-tea and eagerly said yes. I was shocked when she brought me a steaming cup of hot tea. I turned it away as she handed it to me. But she insisted, explaining that drinking something hot when it is hot outside is the smart thing to do. I thought she was crazy but I drank it and actually felt cooler.
Turns out, my Aussie host was right. A 2012 study done by the Thermal Ergonomics Lab, proved that a hot drink can cool you down. However, this only works if the sweat created from drinking a hot liquid can evaporate. The article “A Hot Drink on a Hot Day Can Cool You Down” by Joseph Stromberg, Smithsonian.com, July 10, 2012, concludes “…on a hot day in the desert, a cup of hot tea might actually be the trick to help cool you down.” So, skip the ice and drink hot tea.
#6 – Catch a Movie
On our first trip around-the-world, Dan and I spent a week at Christmas in Tanzania. While in Dar es Salaam the days were hot, over 95 f. Since our hotel had no air-conditioning, we quickly discovered places in town that did – the shopping mall, a grocery store, and a couple restaurants. However, all of these were to be closed on Christmas day itself. Not wanting to melt that day, we tried to think of someplace to go to cool down. We decided to check to see if the movie theater would be open. It was AND it had air-conditioning. Since then, we have gone to movie theaters around the world to chill out. Many countries show movies with their original soundtrack, so we usually get to see shows in English.
Do you have a way to cool down when overseas? Share it with the Wild Spirit Travelers Facebook Group. Or tweet it and use the hashtag #TravelSmartStrategies.
By Shyla Esko Bare, 25-May-18 ©www.WildSpiritTravel.com
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