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How to Maximize Sun Protection When You Travel

Getting sunburned is one of the fastest ways to ruin an otherwise incredible vacation. Here is how to avoid this from happening.


Imagine the sun-kissed sands of your favorite beach, the sound of waves crashing against the shore, and the promise of a perfect day ahead. While a trip to a tropical paradise is always a treat, it’s best not to go unprepared. As our previous article suggests, preparation is vital when planning a beach getaway. Carrying essential items from sunscreen to sunglasses, or even ziplock bags and snacks, ensures you’re well-equipped for a day of sun, sea, and relaxation.

However, a beach trip isn’t the only occasion where you’ll need to focus on sun protection. A comprehensive understanding of how to healthily soak up the sun’s rays is crucial for savoring your adventures, whether you’re at the beach or exploring the city. In this guide, we discuss essential tips that can help make your sun-soaked travels safe, enjoyable, and worry-free.

Check the UV index

Tourist with phoneOne of the most crucial aspects of sun protection is understanding the strength of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays on a given day. To achieve this, always begin by checking the UV index for your destination. The UV index provides valuable insights into the intensity of UV radiation — from 2 or less for low exposure level to 11+ for extreme exposure level — and can guide your preparations.

Imagine you’re planning a trip to the stunning beaches of Bali, Indonesia. Checking in advance will reveal that Bali often experiences a high to very high UV index. Armed with this information, you can better plan your sun protection strategy.

Dress smart

TouristOnce you’ve assessed the UV index, it’s time to tailor your attire and accessories for optimal sun protection. Depending on the UV level, you may need to cover up with a jacket or accessorize with a hat.

You may even need to make some adjustments to your daily apparel. This can mean switching your frames to prescription sunglasses for extra UVA and UVB protection if you usually wear eyeglasses. Thankfully, brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley offer prescription options for their popular sunglass models, and these options can come polarized as well. You can stylishly explore bright coastal destinations like the Amalfi Coast in Italy while reducing glare from the water and shielding your eyes from the sun.

Always wear sunscreen

SunscreenNo sun protection routine is complete without sunscreen. However, choosing the right sunscreen is essential for ensuring you’re adequately protected. Read labels and look for “water-resistant” options with an SPF of at least 30 and ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

Otherwise, remember that sun protection shouldn’t stop while you’re in transit. You can be exposed to UV rays even on airplanes. Apply sunscreen before your flight, focusing on areas like your face and hands, and don’t forget to reapply every two hours — especially when on long-haul flights to Australia or the Caribbean.

Seek shade

Asian womanWhether or not you don sunscreen or cover-up, always make sure to seek shade during peak sun hours. This is when the sun’s UV radiation is most intense, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can schedule your outdoor adventures for the morning or late afternoon when the sun’s intensity is lower.

This is especially important if you’re exploring the iconic pyramids in Egypt or hiking the trails of Patagonia, where sun protection is paramount. Otherwise, you risk increasing the risk of sunburn, skin damage, and dehydration.

With the above tips, you can embrace the sun’s warmth without compromising your health. So, pack your bags, set your destination, and embark on your next adventure with confidence, knowing that you’ve mastered the art of sun protection.


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