Jetting off on holiday and arriving to blazing hot sun and gorgeous heat is undoubtedly one of the best feelings in the world! But in the excitement of your getaway, it can be easy to neglect an appropriate sun-protection regime. It may sound boring, but the vital steps to protection can ensure a stress and pain-free break for the whole travel party.
In the heat, you’re at risk of suffering sun burn, exhaustion or even heat stroke, just hours into your trip. So whether you’re on a fun-filled family break or romantic retreat for two, it’s really important you and your travel companions stay safe in the sun.
Check out our top 10 tips for a safe holiday in the sun – and count down until your next sun-kissed escape; worry and burn-free!
1) Embrace the sun cream
It may seem painfully obvious but ensure you’ve stocked up on sun cream! Check the expiry date of any sun cream you’re reusing from a previous holiday – most expire after two/three years and won’t work as well to shield you from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Check the sun cream is right for you – if you have sensitive skin or tend to burn quickly, choose a lotion with SPF 15 or higher for UBV protection. Children should use kid-friendly sun cream, which has different chemicals less likely to irritate their skin. Aim high – the higher the SPF, the higher the protection!
2) Look out for each other
Help each other to apply sun cream and make sure someone’s keeping an eye on how often it’s being reapplied. Make sure the sun cream isn’t being applied too thinly – this decreases your protection and can cause you to burn without realising until it’s too late.
It’s recommended you apply sun cream liberally 30 minutes before going out into the sun and again moments before being exposed, for the best chance of protection. Set a daily and hourly reminder on your phone to ensure no one ever leaves without being fully protected!
3) Be water aware
On your holiday, it’s likely you’ll want to enjoy swimming and having fun in a villa pool or the sea to escape from the heat. It’s important to remember water doesn’t hide you from the sun – it actually dangerously reflects UV rays and increases your exposure and chance of burning.
Don’t forget to reapply sun cream once you’ve left the waters and towelled yourself dry – even if it’s a water resistant lotion, It’s better to be safe than sorry!
4) Fashion vs safety!
Don’t purely rely on sun cream to protect yourself from the sun. Ensure you’re wearing appropriate clothing if you’re exposing yourself to its rays for a long time. Light-coloured and loosely-woven fabrics aren’t great for protection. Test out your wardrobe by holding a piece of clothing to the sun; if you can see through it, UV rays will be able to get through to your skin easily!
5) Wear a hat
A wide-brimmed hat covers places where it’s more difficult to apply sun cream (such as your scalp) or where people tend to forget to apply lotion (such as your ears). It’s an easy way to stay safe on your break, helping to protect your eyes from the sun too.
6) Get those sunnies on!
It’s recommended you always wear good-quality sunglasses in the sun to protect yourself from sun-related health problems, such as cataracts or even skin cancer around your eyes. Make sure your glasses have a label saying that they block UV rays – this is what protects you. Don’t choose fashion over protection!
Wearing glasses reduces the risk of a headache of migraine caused by exposure to bright sunlight on your holiday. They also protect your eyes from sand, dust and wind – they’re a powerful form of all-round protection on your escape.
7) Check for symptoms
While it’s best not to fret about the chances of illness or injury on your holiday, it’s a good idea to be prepared, just in case. Ensure you’re sorted your travel insurance well in advance of departure.
Be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke so you can act fast if someone in your group begins to suffer. If untreated, these are potentially serious conditions and can develop quickly. Signs include: tiredness, weakness, a headache, muscle cramps, heavy sweating and a false pulse. If someone appears to be suffering, take them to a cool place to lie down, cool their skin and give them a cold drink. If the condition is severe, call for an ambulance. While these are extreme and rare circumstances, having a basis understanding before you fly could result in a faster remedy!
8) Stay hydrated
While we’re all aware that drinking water is really important on a hot, sunny holiday, most of us still neglect to stay completely hydrated and become unwell as a result. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty – have a constant supply of water available.
If you’re consuming alcohol, it’s recommended you stay out of the sun (and water) as alcohol puts you at risk of being unaware of the symptoms of dehydration or heat stroke. Take bottles of water on your beach days – many cafes offer free tap water to fill up.
9) Check prime time
If you’re planning on going to the beach or visiting a local attraction, check the prime time of when the heat will strike. If possible, avoid exposing yourself for hours at the peak of the day – go early or wait until it’s cooler to avoid burning or becoming unwell from too much exposure.
10) Have fun & be prepared
Sometimes, even if you’ve tried your best to protect yourself and your family from the sun, someone will still unfortunately fall victim to it on holiday, whether it be sun burn or feeling unwell with sun exhaustion or heat stroke.
Be prepared for the worst case scenario by bringing after-sun lotion and medication for headaches/migraines and ensure you have a good water supply at all times.
It’s not too late to book your last-minute summer holiday with Travelopo! Browse our plethora of holiday villas, apartments and homes for a dream getaway this year: www.travelopo.com