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Common sense holiday sun precautions

The nature of the British Isles is such that sunshine can never really be relied on, so almost inevitably, many people look abroad for their holidays in order to be relatively sure of picking up some warm weather.

Over the years, you may have become familiar with many of the warnings relating to sunburn and why sensible precautions should be taken. However, we at Bengo Travel know that some holiday makers find their holidays ruined due to sun problems so we think no harm will be done by reiterating a few points of basic common sense.

The sun can be dangerous

If you are exposed for too long to the sun and have not taken appropriate precautions through things such as barrier creams, you may get burned.

That can lead to two serious consequences, one short-term and one longer-term:

  • the linkages between excessive sun exposure and some types of skin cancer are now well-established;
  • having badly burned and blistered skin on holiday is not likely to help you enjoy your precious time away.

So, use high-factor sun block, cover up and sunbathe only in moderation.

Dehydration can make you ill

The direct sun, when it is hot, can quickly leads to dehydration even if you are not physically being burned. That may have many and varied effects including making you feel tired, lethargic and overall rather poorly.

In some situations it can become dangerous if it goes too far.

So, keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of plain cool water. Try to keep in mind that alcohol increases dehydration levels and it might be sensible to keep it to very moderate levels when temperatures are high.

Swimming is no protection

Being in the pool or sea may make you feel cooler but it's not going to stop you getting burned.

Don't be fooled - make sure your cream is waterproof and re-apply once you're out of the water.

Stomach upsets

Very hot sunshine means thirst and that leads to the temptation to consume lots of ice-cold drink.

Giving in and consuming lots of ice-cold liquid is a sure-fire way to encourage your tummy to start playing up - particularly if you're a child.

Nights can be difficult

If your accommodation is air-conditioned, then that's great.

If not, you may find that the sun leaves a lot of heat behind when it sets and that can make sleeping difficult. You can get travelling fans to take with you or you might even want to ask your hotel to provide one if you'd like to get a good night's sleep.

Check your cover

Some sunburn or dehydration/heatstroke can be so serious as to require medical treatment.

Try to make sure that you have adequate travel insurance to cover such eventualities.

Hottest part of the day

Contrary to what you might imagine, noon is rarely the time of the day when the sun is at its hottest.

That usually happens around 2–3pm so where possible, think about adopting the local practices. If you look, you may find that local people stay indoors in the shade between say 1pm–4pm eating extended lunches and resting.

It might be sensible to do likewise!