8 Mistakes People Make When Traveling During A Heat Wave

by | Jul 21, 2023 | Travel

Imgorthand via Getty ImagesTraveling during a heat wave requires extra caution and preparation.Record-setting heatwaves have been making headlines this summer and are likely to continue in the coming weeks. That means those with upcoming travel plans should be extra sure to pay attention and take proper precautions.“Enjoying the sun is all part of going on vacation, especially if you live in a country where good weather is a rare occurrence, but the temperatures some popular tourist destinations are experiencing are extremely dangerous, and many people won’t have dealt with temperatures like this before,” said Navin Khosla, a pharmacist at telehealth and online pharmacy company Now Patient.Advertisement

Indeed, extreme temperatures pose serious health risks, so it’s always best to prepare for and plan your itinerary around the heat.“As someone who lives year-round in Phoenix, the biggest mistake people make is underestimating the power of the sun,” said Melissa Yeager, the senior news editor at Lonely Planet. “You may step outside and think, ‘Oh, this isn’t so bad.’ But, the heat can really creep up on you, especially if you are spending a lot of time outdoors and you haven’t prepared.”HuffPost asked experts to share the biggest mistakes people make when traveling during a heat wave and their advice for staying safe, healthy and happy on vacation. Hydrating Incorrectly“Remember to drink a lot of water,” Yeager said. “Start your day with a glass of water. Bring a bottle with you. Try to avoid dehydrating beverages like alcohol. If you do have poolside cocktails, make sure you’re also drinking more water to compensate. If you are doing outdoor activities ― whether it is walking, hiking or biking ― plot out places to refill water along the way.”Advertisement

Her rule of thumb is to refill once you get halfway through your water. And if there’s no water available on the trail, turn back once you’re halfway through your water supply to ensure you don’t run out. In addition to drinking lots of water and avoiding dehydrating beverages like alcohol and coffee, you might want to consider extra hydration boosters and electrolytes.“Water alone might not be enough when facing the extreme temperatures of a heat wave ― you also need to replace the electrolytes that you’re losing,” said Justin Chapman, a travel expert at the tour company Go2Africa. “Without minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium that deliver hydration to your cells, your body can’t absorb the proper hydration that it needs. The electrolytes can regulate muscle and nerve function, which is why dehydration can lead to muscle weakness, as well as exhaustion and headaches.” Eschewing Indoor Activities“There’s a tendency to feel as though you have to be outside when you’re on holiday, but during a heatwave, it’s important to spend a few hours of the day indoors or, failing that, in the shade,” said Huw Owen, co-founder of the vacation-planning marketplace TravelLocal.Check the weather forecast and advisories and plan your day around that information.“Midday to late afternoon is usually the hottest, so keep outdoor activities to a minimum during those hours,” Yeager said. “Instead, opt for activities like museums, movies, eating indoors or perhaps even taking a nap.”Advertisement

Owen recommended using the heat as an opportunity to immerse yourself in cultural activities, like explo …

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