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5 Tips How to Travel in Style in Hot Weather: I have prowled through the Amazon rain forest and northern India during the monsoons. I quickly saw how hard it can be to pack light and be in style in real heat and humidity. Add to the mix if you are on adventure travel. If you are not off to a spa but to trek the bush, you have to dress to dodge briers, insects and hornets’ nests.
Parasol from Beijing
The farther you travel the greater the challenge! It’s a real test of ingenuity to look fresh after a 12+ hour flight. Add jet lag and long lines, and it gets harder. You end your trip by dragging a roller bag. Don’t forget your one “personal item” that holds all your overweight items! Then you get to the hotel where you room is not ready!
Here are our five tips to make it work on hot weather travel.
5 Tips How to Travel in Style in Hot Weather-Tip One:
Plan to win the battle with hat-head so you don’t have to duck out of selfies!
You may not wear headgear at home. However, with searing heat and hours of sightseeing or trekking, you may need to avoid sunburns or heat stroke. What can you do?
The first rule is: Commit. When you start the day, combine a visor or hat with you hair style. If you keep taking the hat on and off, it will just get worse.
-For museum crawling and city treks-This is tough. Visors look like you are on the way to the tennis courts, and few people wear hats. A baseball cap may be sporty but not chic. I have tried buying a visor in many colors to match my outfit. That means you have to overload your suitcase and drag more items around the globe. A better thought? Stick with just one to two high end visors. Better yet, choose one from a great trip. I have one from a ski trip to Sun Valley and a foray to Dubai and the Mideast. They are good ice breakers.
-For boating: Know that hats can be very fickle. In a slight breeze, they can be off on their own trip! Try to buy one that is adjustable.
If you try to tie on a sunhat, you can look like Katherine Hepburn in African Queen. Cowboy hats often have draw strings and have broad brims. To avoid the (witty?) query “Where’s your horse?”, look for a modified, urban version.
-In the Amazon, I found that riding in canoes, the sun reflected from the water still caused a real burn. Even with sunblock and a hat, it was hard. A light scarf was suggested. They flap in the breeze, and don’t work well. What did work? I had a light weight cotton neck warmer worn for spring skiing. It covered my neck and lower face. Once out of the elements, the bright print looked more chic than survivalist!
A “Mini” Summer Cowboy Hat Fit for a Tiger!
5 Tips How to Travel in Style in Hot Weather-Tip Two:
Get ready to cover up even when only “mad dogs and Englishmen” are about?!
- If you get too much sun, your trip may be ruined. I found this out on a trip to Hawaii. I now have sworn off overdoing “catching a few rays”. Here is a tip I found from surfers. Get the brightly colored shirts they wear. They are known as “rash”guards! Many come in colors that work well over a Speedo. If you are snorkeling or floating near the surface, this can help you save your shoulders. One problem? They can be too hot for day time street wear.
- Whether it’s the lunch spread or happy hour, too much air conditioning can send you ducking under the table cloth for refuge.
- Local customs may require it. As I found in Thailand, this can apply to men as well. In SE Asia, to go in Buddhist temples and some royal palaces, shoulders and knees must be covered. On one visit, my guide said that even mid-calf Capri pants would not work for our trip to a royal palace. I quickly changed into pants that hit the ankle. They were just right. (More on that below.)
- In a malaria zone, bare skin will provide a choice feast for mosquitoes.
Pashmina or a colorful silk scarf
5 Tips How to Travel in Style in Hot Weather-Tip Three:
Don’t just weigh your bag, “Weigh” how heavy each item of clothing is before you pop them in your bag!
Look at the fabrics are that you plan to pack.
This is not so key at home. However, in India in the monsoons, I saw how impractical jeans can be. After a day’s climb to a “fort too far” in Jaipur, I saw the main problem. With each step, my knees felt like they were stuck in cement. In the humid climate, the cloth felt like a knee brace. The best option? Buy a local pair of pants and shirt that work for the region. In India, I came home with two 100% cotton pairs. They work well after the trip for sports or even as lounge wear.
Light weight bugs-away fabric at Jaipur’s Amber Fort
5 Tips How to Travel in Style in Hot Weather-Tip Four:
Pack hand washables where possible. Put all those little “gift” bottles of shampoo to work!
-Buy new no-wrinkle items. Be sure they are made to wash and wear in the sink. Do watch out for two things:
- What will the fabric look like?
- How does it look on you?!
If you have tried out the brand before, that works. I found that one of my purchases did look like pajamas. They were really comfortable though. The second such “treasure” was a pair of navy washable linen pants. When I wore them, I found they were very hot and looked larger than life in photos!
-My best travel find was an Indian kurti tunic shirt I bought at a shop in Washington, DC. They come in a range from cotton to silk and silk-like synthetics for every budget as blouses and tunic tops. They are great in many ways:
-The fabrics are light in hot climes.
-They are covered up enough for local customs in many lands and for blocking out the sun. Do you know: If you can see through the fabric, so can the sun! So remember this next time, when you float in the sea with a tee shirt to block the rays! I took my local version with me and had it copied in India in several colors.
Indian silk with contrasting colors
5 Tips How to Travel in Style in Hot Weather-Tip Five:
Expect the unexpected: Pack a fan (or two) and a poncho unless you are headed for the Kalahari.
Three types of fans can make the difference between a good day and a great day. Tourist spots will almost always have vendors selling handheld “traditional” fans.
I have found a 21st century idea that works well. I bought two battery operated fans. One larger type has space for water for a cool spritz. The other is small and fits in your palm. Do take extra batteries. I found out how fast they gave out one hot day. I was left with no way to catch a breeze on an all day trek.
Don’t bother with an umbrella. They are “space stealers” that gobble up room in your bag. In the heat, you may be glad for a light rain. If it is a huge downpour, a poncho needs to be light weight when you factor in the humidity.
Easy to pack poncho but leave your Best Friend home!