Any parent will know holiday heat and that children and hot, sunny weather aren’t always as good a match as we’d like them to be. Dreams of long happy days playing at the beach can quickly give way to tantrums and demands to go inside, and that’s before you’ve dealt with the warmth at bedtime.
To help make your holiday as stress-free as it should be for you and your little ones, the travel experts at Thomas Cook got in touch with Single Mum Travels. Here, they give us their top tips for helping your children deal with the holiday heat.
Make your own cooling spray
If you’re spending the day out and about exploring old towns or ancient ruins, this solution can work a treat in the holiday heat. Take any kind of spray bottle and clean it out thoroughly before refilling with water. Then, keep it in your fridge overnight and pack it into your cooler bag the next day. When you’re in need of a quick cooldown, give everyone a spray. The back of the neck and legs are the best places to aim for!
Try tea towel cooling packs
This one sounds a little odd, but bear with us. Before you head out for the day, soak a collection of tea towels and fold them flat. Once they dry out a little and stop dripping, place them flat on the grill shelves of your freezer. Take them out before bedtime and let everyone lounge in an outdoor chair with the towel pressed up against their backs. It’s a great way to cool off just before bedtime.
Dress them in the right clothes
They might love and want to wear their black racing car t-shirt, but if you want to stop those complaints later in the day, you’ll need to put your foot down. The best plan is to not pack these items in the first place. Try to bring lightweight, light-coloured cotton clothes. Dark colours attract heat and synthetic fibres trap it; so avoid these.
Keep them hydrated
Seems obvious, right? But you’d be amazed how easy it is to drink less than you really need in hot weather. Plus, it’s easy to assume their favourite soft drink hydrated them over lunch, but not all beverages do this effectively. Wherever you go, keep a supply of multiple filled water bottles with you.
Give everyone a hat
That ‘overbearing’ feeling we sometimes get from the sun stems from a variety of physical reactions, not least the constant squinting and narrowed version its bright light can cause us. By simply sticking a cap on everybody’s head you can reduce that feel of ‘too much’ sunshine in the holiday heat, and keep those tantrums at bay.
Remember to close the curtains
It can be tempting to constantly throw open your hotel room or apartment’s curtains, especially if you’ve got a stunning sea view to take in. But by leaving them open, you allow the sun’s rays to quite literally pour into your rooms, raising the temperature in the process. Keep them closed as much as possible and block out the hot sun. Even if you’ve got air con anyway, the kids will be thankful come bedtime.
Need advice protecting against mosquitos as well as the heat? Here is a comprehensive list of 50 Tips for Surviving Mosquitos in a hot country.