Flights, accommodation and tours. These may be the holy trinity of travel preparation, but sorting out these parts of your vacation is only the beginning of the trip planning process. If you want to achieve a smooth, headache-free trip (and who doesn’t?), making sure you’re prepared for the weather is another essential task you should have on your list.
The weather is the single factor most likely to positively or negatively affect your trip, though it’s also one of the things most travelers take for granted, and people quite often find themselves caught off guard.
So make sure you’re fully prepared for the weather on your next trip. If you’re not sure where to start, utilize the following tips.
Travel Advice: How to Prepare For the Weather Overseas
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Check the Weather
Simple, straightforward advice. Though often the most simple advice is the advice we need the most.
Checking the weather forecast for your destination before you leave is essential to ensuring you are packing appropriate clothes. Don’t make assumptions as to what you believe the weather is going to be, I mean it’s always going to be warm in Australia during summer right? Always check.
There are always exceptions to weather patterns, especially if you’re traveling during transitional seasons. Let a weather forecast guide your packing strategy. Failure to check the weather can result in unprepared, unhappy and very soggy travelers.
Download a Free Weather App
Downloading a weather app before you leave is a great way to stay on top of the most recent forecasts. When it comes to a free weather app that is the most accurate and has the most features, WeatherBug is one of the best (available on Google Play and iOS).
The app makes sure that you are able to see current and future radar the weather for the week in any destination, and has other free features like lightning warnings, storm alerts, wind speed, and many more. It offers the most accurate forecast out there of other apps.
You can program your phone to receive alerts when certain things, like storms or rain, pop up in areas that you frequent. To avoid getting caught in inclement weather consider adding a few local areas to your app so that you’re alerted when any of those areas have changes in the weather that could impact your daily routine.
Pack Warm Clothes For Every Trip
Always pack warm clothes regardless of how hot your destination is, and never travel without a jacket. You may be surprised by how often you reach for it.
Destinations like the desert may be brutally warm during the day, however the cold is quite often equally as brutal come night. Australia is a great example of a destination where travelers arrive unprepared. Believing the stereotype that it’s warm year round, many tourists to Australia end up not being prepared for the cold.
Though if one of your connecting flights is cancelled and you find yourself stuck in the airport of a country you weren’t planning on being, or you do happen to get caught in an unexpected weather pattern, you’re going to wish you had packed warm clothes.
Pro Tip: Make sure you pack appropriate clothes for the weather you’re returning home to. You might be spending three weeks in Florida, but you’re going to freeze stepping off the plane on return to Canada dressed in shorts and a strapless shirt. And vice versa.
Travel With a Compact Umbrella
Traveling with a small compact umbrella is always a good idea. You know the saying “wait 5 minutes and the weather will change”. I’ve heard that said about almost every destination.
For popular destinations like New York City, the weather has a tendency to fluctuate from day-to-day, regardless of the season. Rainstorms come on without warning, and hotels often run out of umbrellas to lend guests.
Make a habit of checking the weather each morning, and regardless of the forecast, travel with your own compact umbrella.
Remember Skin and Eye Protection
Weather you’re traveling in hot or cold weather, make sure you’re prepared with skin and eye protection from the sun. Be aware that when traveling internationally you may be entering a country with UV Rays more fierce than you are used to at home. Act accordingly to protect yourself and your health.
When it comes to UV rays, the winter season is more dangerous than you may think, and you can easily get sunburnt in the snow. UV radiation is reflected from light surfaces on the ground, and because snow reflects up to 80 percent of the UV light from the sun, it means you’re are often being hit by the same rays twice.
Travel with waterproof sunscreens SPF 30 or higher (with broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVB and UVA rays) and wear sunglasses (or goggles) that offer 99 percent or greater UV protection.
Prepare Your Home For the Weather While Away
Something a lot of people overlook is preparing your home for the weather while you’re away. For instance if you’re expecting snow, pay someone to shovel your walks and driveway while you’re gone. Snow covered walks are a telltale sign to burglars that nobody’s home.
Also, set your thermostat to insure the temperature in your home doesn’t fall below freezing which could result in burst water pipes.
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