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What Is Vital to Know While Traveling In A Heat Wave?

How to handle a heat wave this summer in Europe
How to handle a heat wave [Image by Rosy from Pixabay]
Once the pandemic was over and every country was open for travel business, people couldn’t wait to visit their bucket list. However, if Europe was on that list, summer 2023 has seen extreme heat waves, coming one after another. Many travelers who normally live in cooler, rainier climes are not used to the effects of heat waves, which can impact your vacation. Read on to find out what you need to know to handle heat wave temperatures on your much-longed for vacation.

Take extra precautions when traveling in a heat wave

Traveling in a heatwave
42 degrees Celsius is 108 degrees Fahrenheit [Image by Viorel Vașadi from Pixabay]
According to health experts, travelers need to know how to protect their health during extreme heat wave temperatures. Some countries in Europe, particularly Spain, are setting records this summer. In fact, Spain is currently heading into its fourth heat wave with almost no break in between.

Navin Khosla, a pharmacist at Telehealth and online pharmacy company Now Patient told Huffpost:

Enjoying the sun is all part of going on vacation, especially if you live in a country where good weather is a rare occurrence, but the temperatures some popular tourist destinations are experiencing are extremely dangerous, and many people won’t have dealt with temperatures like this before.

So, how do you handle the heat while on vacation?

Hydrate yourself

Drink water
Drink water [Image by Rita-und-mit from Pixabay]
Melissa Yeager, senior news editor at Lonely Planet, explained the importance of hydrating yourself.

“Remember to drink a lot of water,” she said. “Start your day with a glass of water. Bring a bottle with you. Try to avoid dehydrating beverages like alcohol. If you do have poolside cocktails, make sure you’re also drinking more water to compensate. If you are doing outdoor activities – whether it is walking, hiking, or biking –  plot out places to refill water along the way.”

Extra hydration boosters and electrolytes

Powerade to boost electrolytes
Powerade [Image by Anna from Pixabay]
Besides drinking plenty of water, it is also important to avoid dehydrating drinks like coffee and alcohol. In fact, you should also invest in extra hydration boosters and electrolytes.

Justin Chapman of the tour company Go2Africa explained:

Water alone might not be enough when facing the extreme temperatures of a heat wave – you also need to replace the electrolytes that you’re losing. Without minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium that deliver hydration to your cells, your body can’t absorb the proper hydration that it needs. The electrolytes can regulate muscle and nerve function, which is why dehydration can lead to muscle weakness, as well as exhaustion and headaches.

Enjoy indoor activities in the hottest part of the heat wave day

Cool down in a museum during a heatwave
Cool off in a museum or art gallery [Image @museoreinasofia/Instagram]
Many travelers feel they have to be outside while on vacation. However, in a heat wave, it is recommended to spend some hours of the day indoors or in the shade. From 12 noon to late afternoon tends to be the hottest, so travelers should avoid outdoor activities during that time. Instead, visit a museum, take in a movie, or head back to the hotel for a nap.

For instance, if visiting Spain’s capital, Madrid, the city has some of the finest art galleries and museums in the world. For example, spend time in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía during the hottest part of the day exploring some of Picasso’s finest work.

Should you feel hot and exhausted from hiking up to the ruins of the Acropolis in Athens, spend time cooling off at the nearby Acropolis Museum. The museum hosts many important artifacts and offers more insight into the historic site.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen in a heat wave

Apply sunscreen regularly
Use sunscreen [Image by Marijana from Pixabay]
It doesn’t matter if you normally spend a lot of time in the sun, these days the UV rate is pretty high. This means it is important to apply sunscreen, not only when you first start out in the morning, as you need to top it up as much as possible during the day.

It is recommended to choose a high-SPF sunscreen and reapply it around every two hours. With your sweat washing it off, it doesn’t take much time for your skin to burn. In fact, you can get sunburned even when it is cloudy or windy.

Take care on your vacation in Europe this summer – have fun in the sun, but also take precautions against heat exhaustion and sunburn.



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