Beat the Heat: Stay Cool During Hot Summer Vacations
It’s that time of year again when the whole family packs up and heads out on vacation. Whether you’re basking in the waves at the beach or riding roller coasters for the fifth time in a row, it’s important to practice heat safety to ensure nothing gets in the way of the fun. Don’t sweat it. Here are ten ways to keep your cool and enjoy your vacation without suffering the negative side effects of heat exhaustion.
#1 Pack the right clothes
Wear loose, light clothing if you’re planning to spend a long time outdoors. Light colors don’t absorb heat as much as dark colors, so make sure to pack plenty of whites. The material of your clothing is also important. Lightweight cotton or linen will be more breathable and this can make a difference on a hot day in a busy theme park, for example. You might also consider wearing sweat-wicking leggings or shorts. These products are designed to keep you cool and dry. And don’t forget about your shoes. Comfy, breathable tennis shoes or sandals are definitely a better choice than boots or something that is more constricting.
#2 Make a splash
It may seem obvious but jumping in the water is a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day. When you’re planning a summer vacation with activities like golf or other sports, try to book a hotel with a pool or near the beach. Just getting wet helps. If you’re not going anywhere, look for a public pool at your local recreational center or consider getting a day-pass to a nearby hotel to hang out by their pool. You can also get handy and install an above-ground pool that can be easily installed in your backyard.
#3 When in doubt, stay inside
Balance is the key to success. If your vacation plans are filled with fun in the sun, try to pepper in the occasional indoor activity like a museum or going to the movies. Give yourself a break from the heat to lower the risks of any heat-related illness or problems. And, while you’re out and about, keep the blinds or curtains closed in your hotel room or home to maintain a nice cool temperature and prevent it from overheating.
#4 Grab a cooling towel
For long days of kayaking through a national park or walking through a theme park, make sure to carry the right cooling accessories with you on your trip. Cooling towels are easy and don’t take up much space in your bag. Just wet it, wring it, then snap it into action. The cooling starts instantly and lasts up to two hours. Re-wet and re-snap when the cooling effect wears off as often as you like to stay cool. You’ll be glad to feel the cooling relief on a busy summer day.
#5 Water, water, and more water
When you’re out having fun in the hot sun, you sweat. Sweating leads to dehydration, and dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Drink cold water to cool your body and to keep yourself hydrated. Always carry a water bottle with you on your travels. Drink it fully, refill it often. You’ll be happy you did.
#6 Get an early start on the day
Plan wisely. There are parts of the day when the sun is simply hotter. Those times are usually between 10 am and 2 pm. Avoid your most strenuous activities during this time. Plan early morning hikes or evening strolls. Try to spend those hot hours indoors, in the shade, or in the pool. And, of course, keep an eye on the weather report so you know what kind of temperatures are in store.
#7 Think before you eat
Avoid big feasts on hot days. Digesting a big meal warms the body up, so eating smaller portions is another way to ensure you don’t overheat. Another delicious way to cool off is to indulge in cold snacks like ice cream or popsicles. Some fruits like melons and berries also have hydrating benefits so be sure to bring some along on your next adventure.
#8 Find shade or make your own
When you’re out at the beach or hiking the trails, try to find a shady spot to cool off. This can make a big difference in preventing heat exhaustion. If there is no shade in sight, make your own by setting up an umbrella or canopy tent. Or, hang out under a tree. You should also definitely get yourself a hat that can protect you from the sun while also cooling you down.
#9 Cool your body off
If you’re feeling hot and need a quick way to cool down, try rinsing your wrists with cold water. Keeping your feet cool can help keep the rest of you cool, too. You can dip your feet into cold water or an ice bucket to help bring down your body temperature, especially if you start to feel the symptoms of overheating. These specific parts of your body contain pulse points that can help quickly cool you and bring instant relief.
#10 Pace yourself
The best way to avoid heat stroke is to take it easy on yourself. Don’t push yourself to go the extra mile during the hottest time of the year. Take your time getting around. Take plenty of breaks. Have fun but be safe while you’re at it.