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10 Tips on How to Combat Heat Whilst on Vacation

by Family Globetrotters

Don’t Let the Blistering Heat Ruin Your Family Holiday! Here Are Some Useful Tips on How to Combat Heat Whilst on Vacation, Especially If You’re Not Used to It.

If your kids are anything like my daughter, heat is not their friend. It doesn’t take much for her to start feeling suffocated and for her skin to get that prickly itchy sensation. Whenever we holiday in South East Asia or anywhere with extreme heat, I have to be really prepared for what we can or can’t do. Although we do get days in Australia that go over the 40 degree Celsius mark, that’s an easy fix by just staying indoors in air-conditioning but when you’re on holidays, locking yourself up in the hotel room can’t be the only remedy. So I’d like to share some tips and general advice on how you can help your kids combat heat whilst on vacation. We have become somewhat of an expert as it makes such a difference to our time away.


If you know the heat is going to be a problem, it’s a good idea to take it easy for the first day or two. Take the time to get use to the weather before you embark on more active adventures or hectic schedules.


The aim of the game is to try and keep your core temperature at a regulated level. Dress for the heat in lightweight, light-coloured (don’t wear black as it absorbs the heat), loose-fitting clothes. Loose-fitting garments allow air to circulate against the skin whilst selecting cotton is a smart option as it ‘breathes’ and absorbs perspiration, helping to cool your body.

Depending on the type of heat, opting for clothes which don’t give you protection against the sun may not be the smartest idea. The general rule would be to wear clothing such as long pants and long sleeved shirt which will cover your skin if in a desert type climate as it’s primarily dry and the sun is merciless. If holidaying in hot and humid conditions such as the beaches of Thailand and Goa, you should wear clothes that will let your body cool off.

As the sun is also brutal, I recommend wearing visors and sunglasses. We lose most of our heat from the top of our heads so wearing a hat means you’re keeping all the heat in. So I put a visor on my daughter to give her the shade for her face and it works a treat.

Woman dress white hat sunglasses in summer_mini

Doing My Best to Stay Cool in the Height o the Hawaiian Summer. That Big Hat Made a Big Difference For Me


Dehydration is the most common heat related issue. Keep the fluids up constantly throughout the day. Feeling thirsty could mean you are already dehydrated so ensure everyone is well equipped with water. Cool to cold water definitely helps and is the best way to cope with the heat during holidays.

Do you struggle with the heat but you're about to embark on a scorching summer holiday? We feel you! Here are some great tips to help you combat the heat! #familytravel Click To Tweet


It’s important to plan your airport run. There is nothing worse than flying into your destination after a long flight only to be confronted by an excruciating heat. The kids would just have a meltdown…..literally! Before leaving the airport, I make sure everyone changes into appropriate clothing, buy cold bottled water in the airport so we are well equipped and I plan the most comfortable mode of transportation possible.

If the destination has an excellent train system from the airport, we would usually grab that as apart from them being fairly comfortable, they’re actually quicker than being stuck in potential traffic on the roads. Otherwise, I bite the bullet and pay for a cab to save ourselves a bit of sanity and try to beat the heat.


One of the best ways to cope with hot weather and high humidity is to time things right. The hottest time of the day is when the sun is above us and is usually in the early to mid-afternoon. When we’re in Bali for example, we find that the hottest time of the day is around 2pm to 4pm every day and can get quite unbearable. And that is exactly the time we choose to stay indoors, sit by the pool or a stay in for a quick nap.

But what we do is get up early and hit the ground running. If possible, we will try to get some of our activities out of the way when it’s cooler with the added advantage of less crowds and traffic. This is particularly great if you’re embarking on outdoor activities like walks, treks, biking etc. Later in the afternoon into early evening, we are normally quite rejuvenated and we head back out to attractions that are closed later in the day.

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Kids putting up sun umbrealla on beach

Shade At The Beach Will Help You and Your Family Stay Cool.


When putting the itinerary together, we tend to cluster the things we want to do or see by location. This allows us less time being exposed to the heat as we flit from one destination to another. Well with an 10 year old in tow, that’s our general practise anyway as a way to reduce exhaustion but would seem more prevalent a practise when it’s extra hot!

Always make sure you have a plan for breaks from your day’s activities to combat heat whilst on vacation or at least know where you can go to get some respite from the heat. Shopping malls make great saviours whilst understanding the terrain on outdoor activities is important. Know where you may be able to take much needed breaks to cool down the body’s temperature.

girl reading book in pool_mini

Hannah Doing Her Best to Stay Cool in Bali.


It’s important to plan how you’re going to get around during your holiday as an effective method to combat heat whilst on vacation. We tend to avoid buses as it’s simply not an option to stand waiting in the heat. If you’re getting on a taxi, it would be prudent to call for one to avoid waiting times. Uber is our saving grace!

Trains or monorails are only good if they are air-conditioned but in saying that, we avoid the LRT in Kuala Lumpur as the stations are all built at minimum 2-3 storeys high and no the air-conditioning makes the wait area completely unbearable! Hiring a car or a driver is perhaps the most comfortable way to get around. Understandably it’s not the most cost effective method but certainly to be taken advantage of if possible.

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Girl red cheeks heatwave

Hannah Feeling the Heat in Bali. Her Face is Completely Flushed. So Getting Into An Air-Conditioned Taxi Was Necessary.


I find that in hot weather, our appetite diminishes as it simply takes more energy to digest large portions of food. It is better to eat smaller portions but more frequently throughout the day.

Whilst on holiday, it is part of the culinary journey to enjoy street food, especially if you’re in Asia. Food sitting out in the heat for long periods of time is a recipe for food poisoning. If you must indulge however, opt for piping hot food that is preferably cooked in front of you. Avoid lukewarm food at all costs as anything that sits between 5 degrees and 60 degrees Celsius, the organisms actually multiply rapidly!

You might also like to dine on some spicy food. I know that is probably the last thing you want to be doing but spicy food actually increases circulation and causes perspiration. This in turn helps to cool the body down.

Satay on skewers street food

Beware of Street Food in Asia During the Heat. Be Smart Or Risk Getting Food Poisoning!


Whilst it seems like common sense to have a cold shower on a regular basis as a mechanism to keep cool during a heat wave. It is however, not advisable. When you’re overheating you need to actually cool down your core temperature, not just the external parts of the body. What that does is trick your mind in thinking you’re cool enough but all it’s doing is shocking your skin and causing your body to overproduce heat later.

Do you find the heat stifling and unbearable? Here are 10 Tips on How to Combat Heat Whilst on Vacation. #heatwave #summerholidays #familytravel Click To Tweet


Invest in an excellent hypoallergenic sunscreen for exposed parts of the skin. A reminder to constantly re-apply throughout the day. We are all great at applying when we’re by the pool or at the beach but tend to forget when we’re just walking around in a built up area. Adding sun burn to the discomfort of extreme heat is just a terrible predicament to be in.

Also, ensure your skin is well moisturised. My daughter is a little fish and can spend an entire day in the pool but the chlorine tends to dry out her skin and adding the prickly heat, she is always scratching. Same goes for too much exposure to the salty seas and how it can make the skin feel.

Hot, humid weather also tends to attract its fair share of mosquitoes so please invest in appropriate repellents plus anti-sting creams if you do get bitten.

Sometimes you just have to let the heat win and adjust your itinerary to suit the family. The consequences are just not worth how miserable everyone is going to feel if they can’t cope with the heat. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your holiday; you may just have to shorten some activities or perhaps lower your expectations regarding its outcome. But if you have some of my tips in place, it will certainly help you along the way!


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10 Tips on How to Combat Heat Whilst on Vacation

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Daniel December 19, 2018 - 1:11 am

I learned most of these things the hard way lol! I burn as soon as 10 minutes of sun contact but yeah this post is a great fit for people like me. You’ve mentioned some really useful tips to keep cool while traveling. Thank you for sharing this informative post.

Family Globetrotters December 19, 2018 - 9:33 am

Oh gosh! 10 minutes! The worse place I have ever been where I could literally feel the sun burning my skin was in the South Island of New Zealand where there is a hole in the ozone layer. I put on so much sunscreen there despite the fact that it wasn’t even hot!

Bhushavali N December 18, 2018 - 9:57 am

Oh my! Hailing from a tropical country where its always hot its pretty amusing to read the experience on the opposite side!
Cold was what created troubles in our vacations, hot was home! Haha…
Interesting read indeed. Yeah, even we get uncomfortable without AC, so I can imagine your plight!

Family Globetrotters December 18, 2018 - 2:15 pm

Hahah! I grew up in Malaysia so I know how it feels to live in perpetual heat and humidity. But years of living in Australia has made me soft. My daughter was born in winter and it would seem that has meant she can’t handle the summers well. When it gets past 30 degrees Celsius, she moans and groans! Ah the cold. time for me to do a post about that perhaps!

Clarice December 17, 2018 - 4:35 pm

I can totally relate. Heat is also not my friend and I get really bad reactions after being exposed to the sun. This is one of the many reasons why I am not a big fan of beaches.

Thank you so much for your tips. They are very helpful.

Family Globetrotters December 17, 2018 - 7:27 pm

Oh gosh! That’s such a shame you’re not able to enjoy the beach. I’d love to know what you do to try and mitigate the situation when you don’t have a choice?

blair villanueva December 17, 2018 - 3:16 pm

Nowadays, summer are getting hotter and hotter that sometimes I don’t want to stay under the sun anymore. But I love the sun so much, so I always carry a bottle of mist to freshen me up, and bottle of drinking water. Also applying a water-based sunscreen lotion is a good idea, no for creamy sunscreen lotion coz it will make your skin sticky.

Family Globetrotters December 17, 2018 - 3:22 pm

Oooh I love the idea of a mist spray to refresh up! And I agree about a water based sunscreen as opposed to the ones that are not. Nowadays we even have to take into account sunscreen that is reef safe and doesn’t contain all those terrible chemicals which kill sea life.

Soraya December 16, 2018 - 10:26 am

These are all excellent tips on how to combat the heat. Dressing the part is so important and choosing the right fabric even – I have seen many who wear lovely summer dresses, but the fabric just doesn’t breathe so it’s not as light weight so help combat the heat. It just makes things worse. I love learning about not taking a cold shower during a heat wave. I had no idea it actually causes shock to the body. I totally would think this is the most logical thing to do. Always learning!

Family Globetrotters December 17, 2018 - 9:28 am

So true about the fabric! Polyester is the worse fabric I would think as neither does it absorb nor does it breathe. Cotton is by far the best and light colours so it doesn’t absorb the heat. Yup, lukewarm to cool showers are better than cold showers even though the relief may be instant. Drinks lots and lots of water!

Medha December 15, 2018 - 11:50 pm

I had actually not given it a thought, the fact that it can get really difficult for some people to handle the heat! I live in a country that goes up to 52 degrees C in the summer so I’d definitely not recommend you to visit here (Dubai) in the summer. Having said that, you’ve mentioned some really good tips to keep cool – especially staying hydrated. I did not know that it is not a sensible thing to have a cold shower in a heat wave!

Family Globetrotters December 17, 2018 - 9:25 am

Ah yes, I would never visit Dubai in the summer! Oh my goodness I don’t think I could function! Yeah, my daughter is not so good in the heat so I have to factor all this in when we travel. We will be going to Japan in the summer next year and already I’m starting to worry! You can have a cold shower during a heat wave but it can’t be the only method to cool down the body. You have to hydrate all the time!

Shreya Saha December 15, 2018 - 9:58 pm

This is a great list of things to do to prevent heat. I would definitely consider to stay hydrated. It’s really important. Plus as you recommended, planning your day accordingly and being cautious early and packing the necessary creams to combat heat will be really effective.

Family Globetrotters December 17, 2018 - 9:22 am

Thank you! Yeah, not all of us are so good with the heat and for my daughter. she finds it debilitating, to the point where she is so hot and bothered she can’t do anything. Staying hydrated may sound like a no brainer but its incredible how many don’t do it enough!

Emilio Marcos Sierra December 15, 2018 - 9:56 pm

Great article! Your article is absolutely right! People do need to combat the heat as it can be an absolute killer if you get bad sun stroke. However, if people read your blog post then they have all the tips they need to combat the heat! Staying hydrated I always find a difficult one because if you’re travelling and you are on tight schedule sometimes you either forget with the rush of things to keep hydrated, or you’re so remote there’s no water!

Family Globetrotters December 17, 2018 - 9:20 am

That is so true about forgetting to do the right thing when you’re travelling. Time always slips by so quickly and then you realise you haven’t had enough water or you had forgotten to re-apply sunscreen. That’s happen to me a few times!


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