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How to Travel Safely During a Heatwave

by Barbara Rogers

Aug 3, 2023

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Travel Tips

The soaring temperatures that have broken heat records this summer added a concern for families traveling to some of the most popular tourist destinations. This is not just in the southern states: Acadia National Park in northern Maine recently recorded temperatures as high as 95.


Even those visiting northern attractions should have a hot weather plan that involves more than taking enough light clothes and sunscreen. Young children and the elderly are at the greatest risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as their bodies do not adjust as quickly to changes in temperature. Protect your family with these precautions:


  • Time outdoor activities and active sports for early morning and evening, and plan indoor and less strenuous activities for the hottest part of the day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, even if you’re not thirsty; carry water whenever you are away from places where it is easily available.
  • Seek shade: Walk on the shady side of the street or under trees.
  • Wear loose clothing that allows air circulation. Make sure everyone wears a hat in intense sunlight.
  • Take refuge in air conditioning. Forego that cute little sidewalk café and opt for an air-conditioned restaurant or museum instead. Try and take frequent breaks in cooler places and stay out of the midday sun.
  • Watch for sunburn and take care of it immediately. Reapply sunscreen regularly, especially if your family is swimming or perspiring; apply aloe vera or other soothing cream to burns and cover the burned area when you are in the sun.
  • Recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion so you can act quickly: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, fainting or heavy sweating. Stop any activity and get into a cooler place immediately. Drink sips of water and, if possible, stay cool by wrapping in a wet towel or bathing in cool water. If symptoms persist, get medical help.


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