One of the main considerations for people planning a vacation is the likelihood of having good weather. In fact, it’s one of the key motivating factors behind the popularity of hot and sunny destinations – the relative assurance that you won’t be subject to rain, wind, and the cold. The restorative power of the sun shouldn’t be underestimated, and the positive feelings it engenders are, for many people, the primary qualification in assessing whether their holiday was a success or not. The problem with the weather is that it is only predictable to a certain degree, and there is no guarantee that your vacation will have the perfect weather you desire. The best plan is to plan for whatever the weather may throw at you; hope for the best but prepare for the worst!
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If you come from a country where rain is a regular occurrence, and you wish to escape from it on your vacation, it can be very disappointing to arrive at what you hoped would be a sunny, dry location only to find it is sheeting down with rain. There’s not much joy in lying on a soggy beach or by a rain-drenched swimming pool, and if the main attraction of the place you are staying is the weather, you could feel like your precious vacation time has been wasted. When you’re planning your trip, you could choose the time of year that is most likely to be clement, but of course, most of your fellow travelers will be thinking along the same lines. The peak times of year are inevitably the most expensive and the busiest, so you will need to weigh up the importance of the weather against the extra cost and the lack of solitude.
In terms of vacation destinations, some travelers are likely to be seeking out the snow rather than avoiding it. You should be able to avoid snowy conditions at regular destinations by booking your trip outside of the winter months, but if you intend to go skiing or snowboarding, a lack of snow is your biggest worry. Just as with sunny beaches, ski slopes are more expensive and more crowded at the times of year when the snow is likely to be at its deepest. However, if you pick a cheaper time of year, you will run the risk of being greeted by grassy slopes instead of white ones when you arrive at your destination. Fortunately, ski resorts are mindful of the limited seasons they can offer and know that if they want to extend the season further and thus make more profits, they need to prepare for lack of snow. It means that most resorts will have contingencies in place for moving snow onto the slopes and providing alternative artificial surfaces. Resorts are also investing more in the infrastructure of their facilities, so instead of a gathering of chalets, a coffee shop and not much else, resorts now have shopping and leisure facilities to keep visitors happy.
It’s what everyone wants, isn’t it? Not necessarily, and even if glorious sunshine and clear blue skies are the very things you dream of, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. There’s also a health risk of overexposure to the sun, from sunstroke and heatstroke to sunburn and the risk of contributing to the onset of skin cancer. It’s almost tragic to feel you want to escape to the sun only to find that when you get what you want it makes you ill! Prevention is the best cure, and there is no shortage of barrier sun creams, plus protective clothing like sunglasses, and loose-fitting shirts and dresses that cover your skin but let the cool air circulate. Shade is a vital consideration, and taking sunshades and parasols for the beach can allow you to soak up the warmth without over-exposing yourself. Campers and caravanners need to take awnings and sunscreens like the ones available in specialist stores such as Campsmart, so they can relax in the sun in comfort and safety rather than being confined to a hot tent or getting barbecued sitting outside with no protection.
Storms, cyclones, hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods; there aren’t many places you can go without being at some level of risk. The main line of defense is to simply avoid the times of year when these events are most likely to occur. There’s no certainty with this approach, but it will reduce your chances of getting blown away by a force ten gale when you expected to be drinking cocktails in the shade of a palm tree. If you are planning to visit a location subject to these extreme forms of weather, find out in advance how early warnings are broadcast and what the protocols are if you get caught up in a severe storm.
Coping with the wrong weather
It’s bound to rain or get cold or windy when you don’t want it to during one of your vacations. Instead of grumbling about the weather and mooching around in your hotel getting bored and grumpy, have a contingency prepared so you know what to do and where you can go if the weather isn’t in your favor. There aren’t too many resorts that don’t have some form of indoor entertainment, be it games, galleries, sports venues or historical buildings. Find out what is available at your location before you go, so that you have a plan of the most interesting places to visit when the weather is unfavorable. Even if you’re going somewhere that is almost always hot and dry, take some rain gear just in case – there are plenty of wet weather kits that will roll up very small so they won’t impact too much on your luggage.
If you do get hit by bad weather, try taking a different attitude and turning it into a positive. It might not be what you hoped for, but there is still a certain joy in observing an impressive storm from the safety of your hotel or running along the beach with the wind whipping your hair every which way. If you can’t beat it, get the best out of bad weather and don’t let it spoil your vacation.
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