Travelling In Hot Countries – How To Cope In The Heat

We all love the warm weather, but when you’re travelling you often don’t get chance to just lounge around a pool for days on end, enjoying the sun. Travelling means you want to be out and about, seeing all there is to see. Heat can make this difficult, and can be bad for your health! Being too hot can cause a range of issues and even spoil your trip. However there are little changes you can easily make to help yourself cope with the heat. This can be making sure you pack the right things or making little changes in your behaviour. Here are some tips to help you when you’re travelling in hot countries.

Packing

Don’t forget, you can always buy some stuff when you arrive at your destination! But the gear that you need can be determined by the weather you expect!

Clothing

The main thing you need to think with the clothing you take is the material. Lightweight, natural materials are best, as these allow evaporation, which is important when you’re sweating in the heat! Good lightweight, natural materials include:

  • Cotton – Absorbent and soft, great for warm weather;
  • Linen – A sturdy material that dries quickly and doesn’t cling to the body;
  • Silk – Soft, breathable and durable, although not great for constant wear.

Also, make sure you choose long, flowing clothes. This will protect your skin from the sun’s rays and allow cool air to circulate around your body, helping you to stay cool. Choose light colours too, as this reflects the sun, whereas dark colours absorb the heat.

Accessories

A few accessories can go a long way in protecting you from the heat and strong sun.

  • Sun Hat – This will help to keep your head cool and shade your eyes from the sun;
  • Sunglasses – Vital for protecting your eyes. Go for polarised as this protects your eyes from UVA and UVB;
  • Buff/Bandana – Always useful! Use it to cover your neck/forehead from the sun’s rays. You can also use as a headband, to keep sweaty hair from your eyes. Soak it in cool water and then wear for instant relief from the heat.

Miscellaneous

A few extra items that you made need to buy to help you cope with the heat:

  • Sun Cream – Use a high factor and ensure it is broad spectrum, so that it protects your skin from UVA and UVB. Make sure it is sweat/water resistance and reapply regularly!
  • Insect Repellent – Heat means insects. Depending on the destination you may want insect repellent and maybe more to keep mosquitoes at bay! Some sun creams include insect repellent.

Thing You Can Do

Small changes in behaviour can make a big difference in keeping cool and making the most of your time in hot countries.

  • Keep Hydrated – In hot countries you sweat more, this water needs replenishing, so it’s important to drink plenty of water. And I meant water, not tea, not coffee, not juice, not squash, just pure water. Keep a bottle of water on you and keep sipping and refilling where you can. You can also use the water to cool down by wetting your wrists (or pouring some water on your buff/bandana);
  • Eat Light – Eating big, heavy meals in hot weather slows you down. If you’ve got sightseeing to do, you don’t want to be slowed down! So go for light, small meals and snacks;
  • Keep To The Shade – Avoid being stuck in the sun’s rays. Stick to the shady side of the street and try not to queue in the sun;
  • Don’t Overload On Icy Drinks – If you’re already hot, having too many icy drinks can cause a blood pressure imbalance.So stick to your water where possible. If you have an icy drink, sip it slowly, so it doesn’t give your system a shock;
  • Timing – Be like the locals. Be active in the cooler parts of the day and rest in the hot parts. “Only mad dogs and Englishmen are active in the heat of the day”;
  • Listen To Your Body – Obvious, but it’s amazing how quickly you dismiss your body trying to tell you something! I know I do it. So listen to your body and act on what it is telling you. If you’re overheating, find some shade, sit down and sip some water.

Just small changes and ideas to help you cope with the heat when travelling in hot countries. You don’t want to overheat so you miss the sights. You want to enjoy your travels and heat can stop you. Follow the above and you should be able to cope much better with the heat!

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