The sun can be a major reason for choosing to travel, and plenty of people base their holiday plans on finding somewhere warm and sunny to relax in. However, the sun is also extremely powerful and, especially if you come from a colder country, you could find that it puts a damper on your plans if you don’t look after yourself. From sunburn to heatstroke, there are a number of potential dangers that can result from staying out in the sun too long without adequate protection, so it’s really important to make sure you look after your health if you want to enjoy your holiday and avoid any lasting damage.
Hot weather will leave you dehydrated so it’s crucial that you up your water intake when you are travelling. The tricky thing about dehydration is that one of the first symptoms is that you stop feeling thirsty, so don’t listen to your body if you’re somewhere very hot – make sure you continue to drink steadily throughout the day. While you need to keep your water intake up, hot drinks such as tea can also make you feel cooler when in a hot climate as your body doesn’t need to work hard to absorb then, unlike cold drinks, which will demand more form your metabolism.
A hat is your other best friend in hot climates. Make sure you keep your head cool to lower your chances of feeling ill, a parasol can also help as can sunglasses. If you’re wearing a baseball cap and you’re really suffering from the heat, dip it in some water and you have an instant cold pack to keep your temperature down as you walk. Running your wrists under a cold tap is another good way to quickly lower your body temperature.
In very hot countries, you may be well advised to keep out of the sun completely during the hottest part of the day, which typically ranges between ten until four in the afternoon, with between 12 and two the peak. If you do want to be out and about during this time then don’t forget the sunscreen, and make sure you use a higher factor than you do at home. Factor 30 is good for hot countries and should be worn for the first few days, before switching to a lower factor, even if you’re hoping to tan on your break.
It’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms of heat exhaustion or stroke when travelling in hot climates, so be vigilant for headaches, drowsiness, fast or weak pulses and vomiting and don’t be shy about having a health assessment if you’re struggling with the heat.