With climate change and an increase in the number of tourists and traffic jams around Instagram photo opportunities, travel has never been hotter.
I've just returned from a two month tour of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. It was hot and I wasn't prepared enough. As soon as I returned home we created the Packidilly Hot Stuff pack. Here are some tips I learned to keep my cool.
1. Take a day pack -- a large purse/bag really doesn't work well. It gets heavy very fast. And you want your arms free to take pictures, drink water, read information. Men soon find that pockets can't contain all you need. I never leave for a day out without my day pack.
2. Take a hat. You think you won't need it, but a cool cloudy morning can turn hot fast. It's nice if it can roll up to fit in your day pack. If you forget buy one for cheap on the way.
3. Freeze/chill your bottle of water the night before you go. Each member of your group needs their own water bottle.
4. Chill towels as well.
5. Pack sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
6. Stand and walk in the shade whenever you can. Even while waiting to cross the street, or in line for the restroom.
7. Take advantage of convenience store or cafe air conditioning. Use the WiFi to plot your next destination.
Use the opportunity in the cool to check out local products. In EastAsia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Australia you will find bottles of Pocari Sweat a Japanese sports drink in the cooler. When you first spot it you think "more sweat is the last thing I need." But it is intended to supply to the drinker with all of the nutrients and electrolytes lost when sweating. It does help.
8. Bring rehydration powder to add to your water.
9. Buy tickets online in advance if available. Ticket holder lines are much shorter.
10. Search for your destination on Google before you head out topopular tourist spots. Google will often show most popular times. You want to be inside between 12-3, not waiting in line to get in.
11. Start early, or start late. Plan as best as possible to be inside during the hottest part of the day.
12. Bring a portable fan, fully charged the night before. You have many fan options to select from on Amazon. We include one of the smaller, more popular in our Hot Stuff pack. Stay away from those that work off your phone. They can drain your battery, or even cause your phone not to work. Your phone is more important than the fan.
13. When near water, take your shoes off and stick your feet in, splash water on yourself.
14. Wrap a cold towel around your neck, under your hat, or even put on on the ground to rest your bare feet on. We include several towel options in our Hot Stuff pack.
15. Pack a sarong that can serve as shade draped over a few people. It may not look stylish, but when it is 90 degrees in the full sun, smart wins over style. And I have been known to ditch my heavy clothing for a sarong. They are very forgiving.
16. Wear loose-fitting and lightweight cotton clothes, they allow the air to circulate. Cover as much skin as possible from exposure to the sun. Again a sarong stashed in your day pack can help with this.
I've found it helpful to buy appropriate clothing for my destination when I arrive. It is designed for the climate and often cheap enough to leave behind when you go home.
17. Drink water and more water. Take it very easy on the alcohol and heavy meals. You probably won't feel like eating that much anyhow.
18. Bring a hair tie and keep your hair off your neck.
19. Pack one or two Packidilly Hot Stuff packs.