Summer is here and it’s time for your much-anticipated family vacation. With the beautiful and sunny weather, comes warm temperatures. Make sure you are well-equipped for the heat and have the necessary supplies for a enjoyable experience. Take into account how you must adjust your food and water supply, tune up your car and pack gear that is helpful in hot and dry climates.
Bring Plenty of Water
Make sure you have plenty of water on hand. The extreme heat will increase the rate of dehydration, which can lead to fatigue and other undesirable symptoms. Keep a few gallons of water with you, on your trip. Make sure the water is not in plastic jugs laden with BPA, as the plastic will emit chemicals into the water if it warms in the hot sunlight. You can find some BPA-free alternatives, which will work as water carriers. Make sure you don’t drink straight from the larger, communal water source, but pour out your portion of water into a cup or individual bottle. Your mouth carries an excess of bacteria, which you don’t want to expose your water to.
Pack Lots of Snacks
Choose snacks that will aid your hydration, not deplete it. Steer clear of sugary, salty or starchy foods. Essentially, most processed foods will make you dehydrated–i.e. potato chips, salted nuts, cookies, and candy. Opt for fruits and vegetables instead, as they have a lot of natural water and are filling. For something a little more substantial, you can snack on some unsalted crackers, cheese, low-sodium trail mix and jerky.
If you’re involved in outdoor recreation in the heat, make sure you can keep your energy levels high. For a little extra boost of energy and nutrients, have some energy gels on hand. These energy packs are ideal when you can feel moods worsen and hunger settle in–the gels will boost your glycogen levels in minutes, which keeps you sustained until the next meal.
Stay Cool While Driving in the Heat
Give your car a good check-up before any extended automobile travel in the summer. Check up on your car’s air conditioning, so you can adequately cool down the air in the car. If the system only slightly cools in the AC setting, you may need to check the pressure or refill the refrigerant. Many auto supply retailers sell AC refill kits that come with instructions. Be careful that you don’t overfill the refrigerant– an over abundance will hurt its performance and make your AC system less efficient.
Check your tires before you travel. Weather has an effect on the tire inflation, which is important to gauge before you embark on a trip. Equip your car with all-weather tires, so you can drive safely in all climates.
Gear and Supplies
Make sure you’re outfitted for extended periods of sun exposure and high temperatures. Choose your apparel carefully — make sure you pack airy linen shirts and pants in light colors. Dark-colored apparel will absorb heat more than reflective light colors. Bring along a hat that provides face protection from the sun. A wide-brimmed hat is more efficient than a baseball cap, though any brimmed hat is better than none.
Make sure you also wear plenty of sunscreen that is 50 SPF or higher. Apply sunscreen all over your body, as UV rays can penetrate cotton and other textiles.