If you’re heading to Europe for business or a vacation in the next few days, here is how you can prepare for the current heatwave.
Europe is currently in the throes of a record-breaking heatwave that will send temperatures over the 40-degree mark.
Spain will be the first country to be hit by this intense heat but Paris, Prague, Zurich and Munich can also expect to experience at least 41 degrees Celsius over the coming days. The heatwave is the result of a storm over the Atlantic Ocean, which is pulling extremely hot air in from Africa and northward across Europe.
According to Accuweather, the heatwave may last until the beginning of July, which means locals and travelers need to be prepared.
Tips for Handling a Heatwave as a Traveler
Here are a few ways that you can cope with the heat that’s currently sweeping over Europe:
- Stay Hydrated
The last thing you want on your vacation is heatstroke so make sure that you are as hydrated as possible throughout the day. You should never feel thirsty – if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrating, so stock up on bottled water to keep your body and mind hydrated and healthy. Placing your water bottles in the fridge before you head out will also help you to stay cool.
- Time Your Activities
As you can imagine, you don’t want to be outside when the sun is directly above you as this is the hottest time of the day. Plan your activities for the morning or late-afternoon and use the hotter parts of the day to take a nap or do something indoors. Since the sun also sets much later in summer, it’s easier to plan your activities for the early evening. Before you leave your accommodation for the day, close the curtains and open the windows to allow cool air to circulate while you’re out.
- Plan Your Transportation
Planning how you’re going to get around is another way to combat the heat. Buses should be avoided if you can as you may need to stand and wait in the heat. A taxi or Uber is a much better option, as are trains and monorails if they have air conditioning. There are certain stations where there is no air conditioning though, so this wait will also be close to unbearable. Choose your train trips and stations carefully when the temperatures are this high.
- Carefully Plan Your Clothing
By regulating your core temperature, it’s easier to cope when temperatures are exceptionally hot. Opt for light colors as well as lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. This will allow the air to circulate against your skin, keeping your body cool. You can wear long pants and shirts if you want to protect your skin from the sun, just make sure they are loose-fitting and that the fabrics are light. Don’t forget to bring a hat, a good pair of sunglasses and sunscreen with you too.
- Cold Showers Actually Aren’t a Good Idea
Believe it or not, a cold shower isn’t a good idea during a heatwave. The cold water is definitely going to cool your skin but it won’t do anything to alter your core temperature. By jumping in a cold shower during a heatwave, your mind will think your body is feeling cooler but the reality is that the cold water has shocked your skin. This will cause your body to overproduce heat later on to counteract this sudden change in temperature.
While high temperatures can be dangerous, there are still ways to embrace it and enjoy your vacation anyway. If you do need to see a doctor as a result of the heat, simply hop onto the Air Doctor app.