It has been reported that this summer’s temperature in parts of Europe could rise to over 48C, breaking the record for the hottest day in Europe, set in Athens near the end of the 20th century, with Alvega in Portugal recording at 46.8C earlier in August. Weather warnings have been issued across most of Spain and wildfires have raged in Greece.
For summer holiday makers, this may come as something of a concern, as many jet off to these destinations often with young ones in tow. At Spire Travel, we care about our customers and want to make sure their entire trip is a pleasant one. So, with this is mind, we have put together a list of ways to keep cool this summer, especially when headed abroad.
The three main risks when it comes to hot weather, according to the NHS, are dehydration, heat exhaustion (or heat stroke) and overheating. Therefore, it is vitally important to keep an eye on how everyone is coping in the heat, making suitable preparation and planning in advance. Below are some top tips to make sure everyone stays cool and comfortable on holiday.
This is one of the most obvious pieces of advice, but it is so important to remember, especially as dehydration in hot weather can be extremely dangerous. Make sure you pack plenty of water to take with you if you are heading to the beach or out for the day. Bottled water is best as in some areas drinking water may not be completely safe. And, while I’m sure this isn’t something many will want to hear before they head off on holiday, but try to steer clear of drinking excess alcohol, as this can make you more dehydrated.
We all love a hotel buffet and the opportunity to indulge at mealtimes. However, experts recommend that when temperatures are soaring, rather than gorge at dinnertime, you eat smaller amounts throughout the day. This is because your body requires less metabolic energy to digest smaller amounts of food, saving you energy. Your waistline will thank you, too.
Also, apparently spicy food can help cool us down by increasing our circulation and causing us to sweat more. So load up on some spicy food, if you dare!
Counterintuitive, we know. Holidays are made for lie ins. However, the coolest parts of the day are early in the morning and in the evening. It is recommended that you stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, the hottest point of the day and avoid strenuous activities. By getting a early morning, you can go out and do some of the activities you want to do without having to suffer under the merciless midday heat. Take a stroll through town or along the beach, go on a bike ride or simply sit out on the balcony enjoying the milder temperatures. Use those midday hours for reading, napping or visiting some indoor sights, preferably those with air conditioning! That way, you’ll have energy to do what you want in the mornings and evenings, while conserving it at the hottest part of the day. Enjoy a siesta and stay cool in the heat.
Before bed, consider taking a cool or lukewarm (not cold) shower to help lower your body temperature and help you sleep better in the stifling heat. Running cold taps on pressure points such as wrists can also help lower body temperature temporarily.
Buy or DIY a mister water bottle so you can spray cool water on your face and body to help keep cool outside.
Choose wisely when it comes to outfits. Wearing light, loose clothing and breathable materials like cotton or linen will help keep you cooler than polyester or wool. Consider comfort if you plan on walking around and wear sensible shoes or sandals. Wear hats to protect your head from the sun and sunglasses. Keep shoulders covered with a light, removable shawl or short sleeves to protect shoulders from sunburn. Remember that some places will require a more modest dress code. If you plan on visiting certain sights such as cathedrals or temples, you may need to make sure shoulders are covered and any dresses or skirts come below the knee. Do your research in advance to check what is appropriate and to ensure you will be allowed in.
STAR TIP: For an extra way to cool down, bring a small cool bag filled with ice cubes and some paper towels out and about with you. Wrap an ice cube in a paper towel and hold it against your neck or wrists for instant cooling on the go.
Find shady spots wherever you go, be in on the balcony, under an umbrella or tree. Staying in the shade, especially during the hottest part of the day is a must. Also, to keep your room cool, keep the curtains or shades closed during the day to prevent the sun warming the room.
If a member of your family or group appears to be struggling in the heat, showing signs of breathlessness, fatigue, confusion or dizziness, you should take action immediately. Find them somewhere cool to lie down inside and give them water to sip regularly. If they show no signs of improvement, seek help.
Follow these tips to help you stay cool in the heat abroad and make your holiday more enjoyable for everyone. Happy travels!
About the Author
Spire Travel provides luxury and executive airport transfers to most major UK airports from Winchester, Salisbury and Andover. With over 10 years of experience and friendly service, choose Spire Travel for your next journey, whether you’re travelling from Andover to Gatwick or Winchester to Heathrow, with Spire your holiday starts here.
Jack McGivern Works with Spire Travel as a marketing specialist.