This blog post was updated on May 10, 2022.

Ah, summer vacation. Everyone loves traveling in the summertime, from soaking up the sun on the beach and touring exotic locales, to spending extra time with friends and family. The only downside is, of course, the soaring temperatures. If the thought of melting in the August sun makes you want to dive headfirst into your freezer, you’re in good company! As we all know, there are some serious side effects to not taking care of your body properly in the hot summer sun. Heat exhaustion and dehydration can make your summer vacay very uncomfortable if not downright dangerous. With that said, you shouldn’t let the hot weather stop you from traveling to your favorite destinations! As long as you’re properly prepared, you’ll be well-equipped to beat the heat.

Check Ahead

Extreme weather, especially heat, can cause delays and disruptions in air travel. It’s a good idea to check ahead with your airline to make sure your cheap flights in June or August are going to be on time. If you can, you’ll also want to check and make sure that your hotel will have proper air-conditioning. While it’s common for most establishments in the U.S. to have working AC, this may not be the case in other countries. And even if your hotel does have AC, you don’t want to be unprepared if it breaks in the middle of the night. If this happens, hang a wet sheet or towel in front of an open window if you can. The breeze blowing in will quickly bring down your hotel room’s temperature and have you feeling cool as a cucumber during those hot summer nights.

Give Heavier Clothes the Cold Shoulder!

Female hands packing traveler case on bed, closeup

As you’re attempting to stuff your third favorite pair of flip-flops and that cute new bathing suit you just bought into your (let’s face it) already-full suitcase, don’t forget to also pack lightweight and lightly-colored clothing, especially for daytime. Dark clothing absorbs the heat of the sun and can make you feel even hotter, so when you do your summer shopping, lighter colors are the way to go. Also, make sure you pack up fabrics like cotton or linen that are light and breezy and won’t cling to you and add extra heat. Leave the heavy fabrics like polyester and satin at home. It sounds counterintuitive, but health experts recommend exposing less skin and wearing light, loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts to circulate air against your skin – especially if you’re traveling to desert-like climates. For a fashion statement, you could also use a cute umbrella to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.

You may also like: Is Your Sunscreen Safe for the Ocean? Here’s Everything to Know Before Applying

The Early Bird Gets the Worm!

If you’re planning on hiking, sightseeing, or doing anything outdoors, getting up and at ‘em is the right way to go. It may be difficult to get moving first thing in the morning — especially on vacation — but it’s better than melting in the afternoon when the sun is at its peak. If you rise and shine during the wee hours of the morning, you’ll be in a nice air-conditioned restaurant enjoying your lunch before most people are even out of bed yet. Another option is to wait until the sun sets for any outdoor activities, and you’ll also avoid those crazy crowds!

Get That Ice Cream Fix (Seriously!)

Here’s a fun one – grab some ice cream, ices, and/or a smoothie! Eating frozen foods will cool down your core body temperature and, uh, they’re also delicious! ‘Nuff said. Additionally, fruits and vegetables (we know, not as fun) will also help to keep you hydrated. Just make sure that while you’re gulping down your ices, you don’t forget to drink some good old H2O!

Drink Up!

Okay, we know what you’re thinking, duh! But staying hydrated involves more than just chugging your basic eight glasses of water a day. If you’re going to be roughing it outdoors — especially doing something active like hiking, swimming, or even just taking an afternoon stroll — make sure to take constant sips of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. In the heat,  your body is burning off tons of electrolytes, which your body needs to keep you hydrated. Too much caffeine and/or alcohol can also exacerbate dehydration symptoms. So swap that third cup of Joe/round of shots for some Gatorade or oral rehydration salts (ORS), a fruit-flavored powder you can mix into your water. Delish!

Listen to Your Body

Paying attention to the warning signs your body gives you is key if you want to beat the heat. This may sound like a given, but too often, we get distracted or ignore symptoms like nausea, dry mouth, or fatigue. If this happens, that’s a sign for you to slow down and cool off before you continue on with your day – and don’t be afraid to visit a doctor! If needed, they can help you rehydrate with an IV. If you’re on the go and you need a super-quick cooldown sesh, put something ice cold on your pulse points like your wrists, elbows, neck, and behind your knees. With these tips in mind, you’ll be chilling out in no time!

Got any more tips on how to stay cool this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

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About The Author

Gabby Teaman is a content writer who loves writing (of course!), editing, food, and the Oxford comma. When she’s not writing for Fareportal, she can be found Snapchatting videos of her puppy, blasting show tunes, or watching Netflix, all while trying to read everything in sight.