A few weeks ago, I explained why I don’t travel to Europe in the summer months. I also don’t recommend it to my clients. But, I also understand that there are some people who have no choice but to travel in July and August, especially those with kids.
One of the biggest obstacles to summer travel is the weather. Strong sun and high temperatures in all of Italy and most of the South of France can make travel downright uncomfortable.
Here are a few tips for how to beat that summer heat.
1. Stay hydrated. It seems like the most obvious thing to hydrate, but still people forget or just ignore the good advice. Never be without a bottle of water. Some cities have fountains with potable spring water, so you can fill up along the way.
2. Don’t forget the sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. The summer sun is very strong and nothing makes a trip more miserable than looking like a lobster by day two. Get in the habit of applying your sunscreen all over, right when you hop out of the shower or when you start your day. Don’t forget tips of ears, in between toes and the backs of ankles. Reapply often. It’s best to get a waterproof or sweatproof formula as you’ll likely work up a sweat sightseeing. The hat and glasses serve as extra protection for scalp and eyes.
3. Be mentally prepared. Start with the understanding that you won’t accomplish as much in the heat as you would if the climate was temperate. Scale back on your activities, don’t overload your itinerary and come up with a good balance between indoor and outdoor activities and relaxation time.
4. Give yourself a break. Sometimes you need permission to strike things off the planned itinerary if you’re hot, tired or just not feeling it. I’m giving you permission! Rest and relax when needed and don’t push yourself. It’s better to enjoy your time on vacation, rather than have heat stroke because you just had to persevere and check every activity off the list! Resting in a hospital bed surely won’t be as much fun as relaxing at a cafe.
5. Head for the shade. This can be easily accomplished in parks, gardens or rural areas, but a bit harder in the city. One thing I’ve noticed in the city is that you can use tall buildings and the sun’s position to your advantage. Sometimes just walking on the opposite side of the street or taking a different route can provide some much-needed relief.
6. Do like the locals do. Get an early start on any outdoor sightseeing so that you hit those activities during the coolest part of the day. When the hottest part of the day arrives, head indoors. Hit a museum, eat a leisurely sit-down meal inside or outside under the shade of umbrellas. Head back to your France design hotel, close the blinds, take a nap and perhaps a quick shower to cool off. Then once the sun starts going down, head back out to continue exploring.
7. Dress for success. Wear light, comfortable clothing. Lose the denim and opt for fabrics like linen and cotton. Maybe even moisture wicking clothing or undergarments will go along way to help keeping you cool as well. And if you want to blend in, remember to leave the shorts and logo t-shirts home. Italy and France are a bit more fashion concious, so consider that as you’re packing.
Did you find these tips helpful? Click here to find out how spending an hour with me can be helpful for your next trip!