Parents and children agree that staying cool during summer travel makes everyone’s experience a much happier one. Here’s how we recommend you go about it!
There are many things that can cause meltdowns when taking a family trip… meltdowns from both the kids and the parents! We’re all familiar with the crankiness caused by hunger, fatigue, jetlag and a change in routine but it’s easy to forget about heat issues that may become problems when traveling with kids.
It’s best to remember that vacationing during the dog days of summer is nothing like spending the hottest days of school break at home. When we’re in our own area, we are surrounded by cooler environments to escape to when the heat becomes too much. We can simply go home for some fun in the sprinkler, jump in the car and turn on the A/C, divert to a friend’s house or take a quick shower to refresh. Here are some ideas that will help you stay cool during summer travel with kids.
- Plan Your Summer Travel Wisely – Unless you’ve got an incredibly adaptable and easy going crew, choosing a destination for family travel isn’t as simple as planning a trip in the pre-child days was… especially when it comes to hot, summer travel. Unless you’re from an area that also has high temperature and humidity, it may be best to avoid intense tropical regions during their hottest months. Check the estimated weather reports for the weeks you’ll be traveling on all the destinations you’re considering. Use that information as a determining factor as excessive heat can ruin a trip. Keep in mind that half of the globe has winter when you have summer… how fun would it be for your kids to snowboard or build a snowman in July?!
- Plan Your Accommodations Wisely – If you do decide to head into the heat, make sure you reserve accommodations that have A/C, fans, and possibly, a swimming pool. This may seem like common sense but features that are always offered in American hotels may not be standard when traveling abroad. Many sites, like AirBnB, let you choose features before you complete a search so don’t forget to click the A/C button!
Plan Daily Events Wisely – Research what times of the day are the hottest at your chosen destination and plan tours or activities around the heat. Depending on your family, there are several ways to plan through the hottest time of the day. You could enjoy an indoor activity or take off or a simple visit to the beach or pool. Other options for keeping cool in the heat include shopping, cultural activities, or air conditioned driving tours.
- Shop Ahead and Pack Wisely – Clothing that is cool, lightweight, loose, and in light colors is the best to pack when you’re trying to stay cool during summer travel. Avoid synthetic materials and go for gauzy cottons and other loose weaves. Even if leggings and skinny jeans are still in, try to talk your teenagers into a more comfortable option for summer travel!
- Take a Midday Break – Everyone in your family will benefit from a midday break. Reinstate naptimes for the youngsters and enforce a quiet cooldown time for everyone. This small respite from the heat and chaos will help your family enjoy fun evenings!
- Protect Against the Sun – This should go without saying but don’t forget hats, sunglasses, rash suits for swimming, sunblock, and all other sun blocking tools at your disposal. Safari style hats are better than ball caps, as they protect the sensitive little ears, neck and some shoulder, instead of just the face.
- Don’t Forget the H2O – If you’re like many other families and often forget to stay hydrated, consider setting regular timers on your phone that will remind you to take water breaks. This will be especially helpful for littler kids who are more likely to be affected by heat stress issues. Also, hydrating during the day instead of in the evening will avoid any bed wetting issues that may still be lurking around.
- Eat Light, Healthy Meals – Heavy foods on hot days… almost nothing will weigh the family down more. Light, hydrating foods like salads, veggies and fruits will keep everyone’s spirit up! Eat often to combat the weariness that summer heat can bring.
- Know Your Family’s Signs – You know your family better than anyone so keep an eye out for cranky signs before they start. Use those signs to take that midday break, hydrate or get a light snack!
- Search Out the Shade and Water – No matter where you plan to have your fun or take your break, always look for a shaded area to use as your headquarters for that stop. A water pad, beach, pool, or lake is much more fun when you can rest in a cool shade while taking breaks from the water.
Summer travel can be a blast as long as the worst of the heat related issues are avoided. By taking a few extra precautions, you can easily make the best out of your summer travel plans!
To read our last blog about some cool, refreshing ideas for summer travel, click here!
How to you beat the heat with your summer travel? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!