How to Beat the Heat on Vacation

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For many people, summer is the preferred time of year to travel, but it can mean tangling with a particularly nasty adversary in the form of heat. On top of making you uncomfortable and interfering with activities ranging from sightseeing to sleeping, hot weather can impact your health. So when you travel to a hot location, keep the following things in mind to mitigate the temperature’s impact on your vacation:

– Drink a lot of water. There’s a reason this advice features prominently on many lists. Water helps keep your body cool, and when it’s hot out, you need more of it. If you’re going to be outside for long periods of time or exercising, you may also want to alternate plain water with an electrolyte beverage to keep your body in balance.

– Plan around air conditioning. Make sure your accommodations have air conditioning, and check your daytime itinerary to see which places will be climate-controlled. In many parts of the world, air conditioning isn’t a given, even in major tourist attractions, so checking before you go can pay dividends.

– Make good use of mornings and evenings. If you can get in some early sightseeing before the day heats up, you’ll also likely have the benefit of smaller crowds. Some attractions also feature evening discounts, allowing you to save a little money while dodging the hottest part of the day.

– Avoid long periods of travel between attractions. Even if you’re visiting air-conditioned sites, sometimes the worst part of your day will be getting from place to place. Try to visit attractions close to one another to minimize your time on foot in the sun or crammed into sweaty public transportation.

– Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Cotton, linen, and other lightweight natural fabrics are ideal; avoid synthetics, which don’t breathe as well.

– Carry an umbrella or wear a hat, and always wear sunscreen. Keeping the sun off your head can help you feel more comfortable, and avoiding sunburn will make the time you spend outside much more bearable.

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