Summer is here and it’s HOT! The holiday season has definitely taking on a whole new level of heat recently all across the UK, northern Europe and Russia. Cities like Moscow are baking in the latest heat wave and cities across Europe are experiencing temperatures 5-10 degrees warmer than usual. We welcome the summer heat as long as we have ways to stay cool and still enjoy our travel destinations to the fullest!
- Hit the outdoor sights before 11:00, then head to the air-conditioned museums until late-afternoon.
A golden rule in Greece for a long time standing, locals in Athens know that visiting the Acropolis at 14:00 is a “no-no” especially on a clear and sweltering day. Arrive early, as soon as it opens in the morning, and enjoy the outdoor sights before the day’s heat hits its peak. Plan to hop from museum to museum for the afternoons, keeping in mind to drink lots of water and wear a hat when walking out and about.
- Botanical gardens and city parks are perfect retreats any time of the day.
Spend the day in Central Park if you are planning a holiday in New York City, green spaces are havens during the heat since trees provide great shade and are actually considered as natural air conditioners. Plan a picnic, bring a good book to read and just relax, enjoy the outdoors while still keeping cool. Don’t forget, water, water, water!
Famous City Parks around the world:
- Hyde Park, London
- Stanley Park, Vancouver
- Ueno Park, Tokyo
- Parc Guell, Barcelona
- Ibirapuera Park, Sao Paulo
Dress in light, breathable clothing made from cotton or linen.
Follow the locals where you are and dress accordingly. When it comes to the heat in the Mediterranean, South America or elsewhere, it’s usually the locals that know how to dress for it. If you plan to be outdoors, dress in light colours while if you plan to be in the shade most of the day or indoors, dark colours are better. Boys, get your hair cut short and ladies, throw yours up! You’ll be much more comfortable.
Eat light, eat late and embrace the siesta.
Spain has long enjoyed the custom of an afternoon siesta, taking a much needed break in the middle of the day to sleep and rest. Enjoy your main meal of the day during the afternoon, taking a short rest afterwards while the heat passes. It’s not being lazy, its embracing local culture, an essential part of holidays in Spain! Instead of touring the city by day, see it at night! Take to the streets when night falls and bring a small tripod to take stunning night time photographs.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine beverages.
We all know that both of these dehydrate us, as much as we need our daily java in the morning. Drink it early in the morning, followed by some water, and resist the temptation to drink several cups during the day. Steer clear of beer and cocktails, as enticing as they may be. Locals in Morocco drink mint tea, hot or cold, all year round because the herb is known for its refreshing properties and cooling effects. Try it!
Who doesn’t need an excuse to head to the spa while on holidays? Istanbul and Budapest are famous for their bath houses with both cold and hot thermal rooms. A day of pampering and bathing will relax your body, bringing down its internal temperature leaving you calm and ready to take on the next day of sight-seeing and touring.
Think cool thoughts.
It’s a known fact that mind is powerful and that just thinking about winter and cool thoughts can actually lower the body’s temperature. In the same way that screen-savers of tropical islands help us get through the winter, photographs and thoughts of Antarctica and some cute penguins can help us get through the heat of the summer.
How do you beat the heat? Share some of your ideas and favourite summer holiday destinations!
Img: ianduffy / flickr cc