Travel Essentials for a Heatwave

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The UK is currently experiencing one of the 10 hottest summers on record, with temperatures regularly and consistently exceeding the 30 degree mark. But it’s not only the UK that’s taking a beating from the sun; the heatwave in Japan is being declared as a ‘natural disaster’ and wildfires are running rampant in Greece, killing and injuring over a hundred people. Even Sweden is experiencing wildfires due to unusually hot weather. These are my travel essentials for dealing with a heatwave, whether you’re travelling to work or travelling abroad. 

1.WET WIPES – Honestly, if you take away one thing from this article, it’s got to be the wet wipes. There’s a reason why mums carry them everywhere, they are life savers. When your skin is so sticky and sweaty and dare I say it, moist, from the hot weather; a simple swipe of a wet wipe will have you feeling clean, cool and refreshed… for like 10 seconds. (Environmentally friendly option? A flannel or cloth that you can dampen over and over when it dries out with cold water – equally as refreshing).

Credit: Gary Bembridge [CC By 2.0], via Flickr
2. WATER – *cue the eye rolls* Yes we all know hydration is key and you should always carry a bottle of water with you to prevent excruciating dehydration headaches and heat stroke/heat exhaustion, but is there anything worse than warm water? To ensure your water stays cool all day, fill up a bottle of water and stick it in the freezer overnight or for a good few hours. As the day goes on, the ice will melt and give you refreshing ice water.  Even better, invest in a stainless steel or glass bottle which will keep cold water cold all day.

3. SUN PROTECTION – Whether you’re lucky enough to be in the Love Island villa or just a horrendously hot window seat on the bus, remember to lay it on factor 50 thick (okay, maybe 20/30 will be enough). Don’t underestimate the power of the sun’s UV rays, no matter where you are in the world. 30 degrees in UK is the same 30 degrees in Spain, and needs the same precautions, no matter what anyone says! Bad sun burn not only hurts short-term but can have serious long term consequences. No-one wants to look like a drumstick lolly.

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4. FANS –  Hand held flamboyant ones, high tech battery powered ones or even ones that squirt water at you at the same time (yes they exist), if you want that extra bit of ventilation whilst on the go, a portable fan is the way to go. Everyone on the train will be so jealous.

Credit: By SuperFantastic from San Francisco (Day 102) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

5. LOOSE AND LIGHT CLOTHING – To stop your body overheating and developing heat rash, wear loose and light coloured clothing if you’re able to. If you’re lucky enough to be by a pool or on the beach, it’s your excuse to wear as little as possible! But you don’t need to expose lots of skin to keep cool if you don’t want to, just make sure that the clothes you wear are not tight fitting or causing chafing, darker colours also absorb and retain heat so opt for lighter colours if you can. If you are a sufferer of the infamous chub rub (who isn’t?!) talcum powder and/or a pair of cycling shorts under a skirt or dress will bring you the relief you have been craving.

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Features Editor 2017/18, Sub-Editor 2018/2019, BA English Student.

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