Be sun smart this summer!

Posted Date: 18 November 2016
travelling sunsmart

Summer’s nearly here and that means sunshine, holidays and good times! We want you to have you best summer ever, so here are a few tips to help you stay safe and sun smart. Now all you have to do is relax and enjoy yourself!

Be sun smart this summer infographic created by: Southern Cross Travel Insurance

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Top sun smart tips for summer

Summer’s here! It’s time to get out and enjoy the things you love. Whether you’d rather hit the beach, explore a new city, get out adventuring in the great outdoors, or simply relax by the pool with a good book, there are so many ways to make the most of your summer break.

Just remember, you can get too much of a good thing and the sun is no exception. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your summer and enjoy the sunshine!

Sunscreen

Broad Spectrum

Offers protection against both types of UV rays. UVB rays are what cause sunburn, but UVA rays have more long term nasty effects, so it’s best to protect against both. Always go for broad spectrum sunscreen if you can.

SPF rating

Did you know the SPF number relates to how long your sunscreen will protect you against UVB rays for? The higher the number, the longer it will protect you. However, it’s still recommended to always reapply every couple of hours, just in case. Make sure you don’t forget your ears or the tops of your feet!

Set a timer

A handy way to remember to reapply your sunscreen regularly is to set a timer to go off every 2-3 hours. If you’re worried about taking your phone to the beach with you, try a waterproof watch or even a stopwatch.

Medication

Certain types of medication can cause extra sun sensitivity, so it’s worth checking this and taking extra precautions if you need to.

Water resistant

This type of sunscreen is recommended if you’re swimming or exercising and working up a sweat. The packaging will say how long it lasts for, so be sure to reapply!

Hydration

Exercise

If you’re exercising, you’ll need to increase your water intake. It helps to take a drink bottle with you so you’re not dependent on water being available for purchase. If you’re doing an activity where carrying a drink bottle isn’t practical, try something like a hydration pack. Camelbak has plenty of options.

Alcohol and caffeine

While it’s refreshing having a beer in the sunshine, alcohol is known to cause dehydration, so take it easy and make sure you drink plenty of water too. If you’re planning on enjoying a beer at the beach, always check the local liquor laws first. Caffeine is another source of dehydration, so instead of an iced coffee or energy drink, try a mocktail or just stick to water.

Water bottles

It’s always best to have your own drink bottle on hand, so you’re not reliant on buying water where you’re going. Some drink bottles come with carabiners or clips too, so you can attach them to your bag or belt. That way, you know they’re always there. It’s also important to check the tap water and whether it’s drinkable before filling your bottle, that includes ice cubes!

Shade and cover

Shade on the move

If you’ve got space, it’s always handy to carry a small, lightweight umbrella when you’re travelling. Not only is it useful for sudden downpours, it can also make a great portable shade if you can’t find any.

Hat and sunglasses

Go for a wide brimmed hat whenever possible and don’t forget the sunnies! A handy tip is to take a couple of pairs of cheap sunglasses with you, so you don’t have to worry about scratches or losing them.

Indoors time

There’s a good reason they have siesta in Spain! The sun is at its hottest around midday, so it’s a good idea to plan any activities around being indoors at this time. Take a break, stay cool and get ready for your afternoon.

Cover up

Cotton is light and comfortable in the heat, so carry a cotton shirt and pants with you. That way, you can cover up against the sun without getting too hot. Light scarves are another handy item and can also be useful for modesty in temples and churches if required.

Footwear

Thongs

No day at the beach is complete without your trusty thongs. Problem is, if you haven’t worn them for a while they can rub between your toes or even cause blisters. While this seems like a small problem, being uncomfortable walking can ruin a holiday in the sun. Wear your thongs around at home for a few days before you go, to make sure your feet are used to them. If that fails, make sure you have plasters with you just in case!

Wet shoes

If you’re travelling with kids, think about wet-shoes. They’re great for areas where you’ll be walking on hot sand, if there are critters you want to avoid like sea urchins or crabs, or if the beach is rocky. If you’re surfing or body boarding somewhere where there’s coral close to the beach, wet shoes can be really handy to avoid painful coral cuts.

Sunstroke

Sunstroke is also known as heatstroke and it’s no fun. You’re at greater risk of heatstroke if you’re in a hotter environment than usual, like a sunny day at the beach or a tropical holiday. Here’s what you need to know:

Causes

Sunstroke is the result of an overly high body temperature and can be brought on by exposure to hot environments for a long time. Exercise in hot environments is also a common cause, especially when you’re not used to the temperatures or you’re not staying hydrated. It’s more likely in the very young or over 65, but that doesn’t mean others are immune!

Symptoms

Nausea, headaches, turning red, loss of breath, confusion, not sweating.

What to do

Get out of the sun immediately and bring your body temperature back down. Use cool damp cloths on your body and forehead, stay in the shade, drink plenty of fluids. If you’re worried, seek medical assistance.

No matter how you’re enjoying your summer, stay smart about the sun and you’ll have a great holiday! 

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