No doubt you’ve been on a holiday with nothing but rain. It sucks – I’ve been there, and I know there are places I’ve been that I didn’t like as much because the weather was poor. You can try to stack the odds in your favour by heading to traditionally sunnier climates, but there’s no reason to avoid rainier places just because of the odd shower. Go, enjoy, and be prepared with these tips for rain and thunder.
1. Take a nap (sleep in). Enjoy, you know, your hotel. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use a little extra sleep. Yes, I know you paid good money for your trip – but a holiday is about relaxing a bit, enjoying yourself. So get some rest. Maybe the rain will pass while you’re getting some beauty sleep. This might also be a chance to enjoy the comforts that hotels provide and we often never experience: a dip in the hot tub, wandering around your room in a robe and slippers, room service, bad made-for-TV films.
2. Follow the locals. Most locals have a routine when it comes to the rain – I speak from experience, having lived in many rainy places. In Edinburgh, pubs and tea shops fill quickly when the rains come. In Amsterdam, everyone’s indoors having a quick espresso – because they know most storms blow over. In Portland, they just keeping walking, because it never rains that hard. Worse case scenario is to ask someone on the street for a recommendation – maybe there’s a great place to stay dry and enjoy the view for a bit?
3. Plan ahead. I also research some local indoor options for my trips. Maybe I’m a cynic, but its always nice to know the local galleries and cultural stuff. Think about museums, about underground/indoor tours, workshops, activities, meetups – the sky is the limit (er, pun not intended). And who would turn down a beer, wine, or vodka tasting, even if it is do-it-yourself? Write these things down, and when rain strikes, turn lemons into (spiked) lemonade.
4. Rough it. I find some places are very atmospheric in the rain. New York City comes to mind – even with the wind whipping around those buildings, the rain adds somewhat of a calming feel, and is certainly good for people watching – especially the ladies in those high heels trying to avoid the puddles. Edinburgh is another, as the dark buildings seem to get even darker. You can dry out in your hotel – grab an umbrella (even the cheap ones from the corner vendor, if you have to), and trudge ahead. You’ll have earned that extra glass of wine!
5. Eat! Lots of folks will be heading indoors for museums and the like, and as I mentioned above, that’s a great idea. But how about some warm food to pass the time? Grab a table and enjoy some local snacks, maybe a sneaky gelato or just some hot chips. Enjoy some conversation if you’re with friends, or dive into a book if alone. It’s your holiday – don’t let the weather get your down!
Posted : Friday, June 8th, 2012 at 10:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.