Europe is experiencing one of the biggest heatwaves in history. An unprecedented heatwave has recently hit the continent, breaking monthly and all-time temperature records in Germany, France, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
If you plan on spending your summer vacation in Europe, you need to know how to stay safe and fully enjoy the sunny days. Here are the most essential tips to follow to survive your summer vacation in Europe this year.
Book Accommodation with AC
Booking a room with air conditioning is absolutely vital during the heatwave in Europe. Even if your chosen hotel has AC, check to see if your room has it too. If it doesn’t, upgrade the room, because that’s definitely not something you should be stingy about.
If you simply can’t get a room with AC, make sure you keep the windows and drapes closed during the day, and opened once the outside temperature drops.
Drink Plenty of Water
Keeping your body hydrated during hot summer days is paramount. However, be wary of tap water, because your body may not respond well to it. Even if it’s super clean, your body simply may not be used to the local water at your travel destination.
So, drink bottled water, just in case, and drink plenty of it. Don’t even think about going on long walks without a few bottles of water on your person. You can also stay refreshed with lemonade and other fresh juices and, of course, ice cream.
Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen
Apart from keeping your body hydrated, make sure you hydrate your skin. You don’t want to deal with painful burns, so use a cooling moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30.
Put on your sunscreen before you even set foot outside, and don’t forget an after-sun lotion, which is perfect for cooling off your skin after a day of exploring the city.
Cool Off During the Day
Don’t shy away from splashing a little water on your face, arms, and legs while sightseeing at your European destination. Look around and you’ll see that almost everyone is doing the same thing. The temperature is simply too high, and you don’t want to become exhausted and faint.
If you can’t go to a waterpark, or any other similar attraction, look for a water fountain or water sprinklers where you can really cool off. It can actually be quite fun, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
Wear Loose, Light-Colored Clothing
You probably won’t be wearing tight jeans and tight tops with long sleeves when vacationing in Europe this summer, will you? But don’t go taking off almost all of your clothes either, because you should seriously take care of your skin.
There’s sun-protective clothing, but you don’t need to go to such lengths to cool down. Simply choose loose, light-colored clothing pieces that will help your skin breathe. Avoid synthetics at all costs, because they’ll make you sweat a lot and feel uncomfortable.
Don’t forget a hat – the bigger, the better. Not only will it protect your face from the sun, but it will also keep your shoulders in a nice shade.
Spend the Hottest Hours of Day Indoors
Avoid going outside when the sun shines the brightest, as you won’t be able to fully enjoy your day. You may experience heat exhaustion, which is precisely why health organizations advise spending the hottest hours of day indoors.
Now, it all depends on where you are. Some cities have the highest temperatures between 11 am and 3 pm, while other cities have even higher temperatures after 5 pm. Make sure you check the weather online before heading anywhere so that you can perfectly plan your daily adventures.
You don’t need to stay at your hotel during the hottest time of day or spend those hours exploring a single attraction. You can visit various museums and churches, as they stay pretty cool even during the biggest heatwaves.
Get Away from the Concrete Jungle
There are lots of wonderful sights to see inside the concrete jungle, and you should definitely visit them. However, there are also plenty of parks where you can relax and get some much-needed shade.
Look for some greenery, such as parks and botanical gardens, and see if your chosen destination has an artificial beach. For instance, Amsterdam and Paris each have one, but lots of other cities certainly do.
Every city also offers a lot of outdoor activities to engage in. Most of them are usually offered somewhere off the beaten track, away from the hot concrete.
Get Skip-the-Line Tickets
There’s rarely anything more frustrating than waiting in line, especially when it’s unbearably hot outside. This isn’t something that you can always avoid, as popular tourist attractions equal standing in line, sometimes even for hours.
Luckily, you can skip the line if you purchase a skip-the-line ticket. Almost every museum and popular tourist attraction in Europe sells skip-the-line tickets online, so make sure you book yours in advance. They’re only a couple of Euros, but you definitely can’t measure their worth when traveling during a heatwave.
Northern Europe Perhaps?
If you still haven’t made set-in-stone plans for your summer vacation in Europe, you might want to consider heading to Northern Europe this summer. The temperatures are lower there than in other parts of the continent, so you can really have the time of your life without worrying about the heatwave.
The heatwave has hit Northern Europe as well, but it’s significantly cooler than everywhere else. Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland are definitely the coolest destinations to choose from right now. Nevertheless, if you head there for the summer, all the aforementioned tips definitely still apply.
Are you ready for your summer vacation in Europe? Don’t let the heatwave stand in your way of having the best adventure of your life. Follow these survival tips, and stay cool and healthy in Europe!