I always feel like the voice of gloom and doom around here at Sunshine, but being the accident-prone blogger, I’d rather be safe than sorry for all of us. And, I’ve had plenty of winter travel mishaps, and would you believe none of them involve broken limbs going apres-ski or drowning after falling through thin ice?
Nope, I always get sunburnt in the winter! So I want to remind you about a few winter-sun safety tips that keep me from looking like a boiled lobster in February, regardless whether you are on the beach or on the ski slopes.
If you’re heading to the beach, your skin isn’t ready. Is it no surprise that so many people who go on sun escapes in winter end up fried? Their skin hasn’t been primed with much Vitamin E, so when they hit the beach for a 7 hour stint, even a strong sun cream isn’t going to hold up that well.
Remedy? Ease into it, and I recommend taking a couple of levels of sun factor, and starting off strong.
Snow is reflective. This lesson was so painful I wince as I type – I was on a glacier in New Zealand. It wasn’t as cold as I expected, so I took off my outer coat and scarf, which exposed the bottom of my face and neck to reflected rays of sun on spots where I’d missed the sun cream. Holy moly, I was burnt toast just a few short hours later.
Remedy? Don’t miss any spots, and take care of all the sun cream application from your hotel/resort/apartment, so that you don’t miss a vulnerable area.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Going on holiday can be dehydrating in itself – not to mention irregular eating patterns, and perhaps a little too much coffee at the all-you-can-eat breakfast or too much tequila at the happy-hour-all-night type of thing. But if you’re going to be at a high elevation for snow sports, or enjoying a much needed poolside retreat, you need to drink up.
Remedy? Try to drink a large glass of water when you get up, when you go to bed, and one glass with each meal. Just that will make a big difference.
Don’t forget the lips. I don’t know how you feel about this, but personally I find a lot of foreign countries don’t have very good lip balm. I always triple check on winter trips to make sure I bring some of my favourites (Burt’s Bees is a particular fave, but really any of the nice Boots brands works for me), because in the winter, my lips can get chapped just in the taxi to the airport.
and lastly…not just sun related but practical: Travel with Good Footwear. Many folks start or end their trip in disaster – with a fall at the airport, or en route to/from their house. I know you’re in a rush to get the heck out of town, but just wear good sturdy shoes (Yes, even if they take up room in your suitcase), because you can’t enjoy your holiday if you have a blue foot because your slipped wearing your flip-flops on the way to Spain.
Do you have winter sun travel tips?
Photo by apollo1981
Posted : Monday, January 30th, 2012 at 11:00
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.