We just returned from a two-week family vacation in Florida. I grew up there and we went to visit family and friends, particularly my parents and my 93-year-old Grandmother who recently suffered a fall and is now in a rehabilitation center. As long-time Pacific Northwesterners, we are NOT acclimated to the intense Florida heat. It burns like the underworld and my poor kids are not used to it at all. Ronin sweats a lot even in Seattle where we’re still enjoying cool temps, so being in HOT HOT Florida can be a bit of a love/hate experience.
I would assume that many of you are also traveling to hot locales this summer so I thought it might be a big help to share some of the ways this Seattlite family made it through the weather change. It’s a big one for us, and while we did feel the heat, we also enjoyed our trip immensely. We love visiting Florida! We were lucky enough to be there over the 4th holiday and had so much fun at the local parade and fireworks display. It was certainly intensely hot but we learned a lot about surviving and thriving in the heat.
Tips to Beat the Florida Heat
Umbrellas are a bit of a running joke in Seattle. We don’t really use them and we often say that it’s only the tourists who do. But in Florida, using an umbrella, sunshade or canopy is a very good idea. This of course was at the 4th of July Parade but it also makes sense if you’re visiting the beach, a theme park, zoo, or other outdoor attraction where you’ll be in the beating sun for a long period of time. Another option is a large sun hat or even specially made breathable sun-shading clothing like the Columbia shirts below. But don’t forget, even if you’re using a sun shade, be sure to use sunscreen as well. We used 100 on our bodies and 70+ on our faces and non of us returned with sunburns. Oh, and check out Ronin’s head in this photo. My poor sweaty boy even had a wet washcloth on his head trying to survive the heat. We brought it along in a plastic baggie just for this use!
We had the pleasure to test drive a new 2016 Kia Optima Limited while traveling in the Tampa Bay Area. Thank you Kia! I have to make a confession here. I am not typically a fan of white cars. But after driving around Florida for two weeks I absolutely understand the appeal. This Kia was actually so easy to cool down even after parking in direct sun. Although if you can, parking in the shade is a good idea. But with this car we very quickly got cool, not only with the dual climate control air conditioning, but also the fabulous air conditioned seats. So amazing! The back seat windows also come with their own sunshades. It’s a good idea to keep those up when you’re parked. And we kept the sunroof shade closed when parked as well. The one time we didn’t, it got hot in that car!
This isn’t related to staying cool, but it IS a very cool feature of the vehicle: the backup camera. Wow, I really loved this, having the backup view but also a 360-degree view from above. After driving with it for two weeks, I’m feeling a bit disadvantaged without it. It enabled me to always feel safe backing up, even in unfamiliar areas. We will be getting this with our next Kia!
Swimming, Swimming and More Swimming.
We don’t swim too often here in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s a big treat when we’re visiting our southern friends and family. It’s pretty novel to us that almost everyone has a pool but for them it is so necessary. We went out of our way to do a lot of swimming. My kids even took swimming lessons as the local recreation center, and that gave us the opportunity to swim even more. And while the kids enjoyed themselves, I also waded in the water quite a bit to beat the heat. Again, don’t forget the waterproof sunscreen, sunglasses (look at Ellie below, it’s even bright for her while she’s wearing sunglasses!) and swim shoes (which are a must for walking across the hot pool concrete when your little toes are not used to it!)
I cannot stress the importance to drinking water and staying hydrated when in an extra hot climate, especially when your body is not used to it. I get lots of headaches when I’m dehydrated and it just gets worse in the summer. In sweaty Florida, it can be horrible. Many of us are chronically hydrated and we don’t even realize it so in the summer we need to focus. And it’s not just a nice ice cold glass of water that can help. Eating water-filled fruits like watermelon are also great.
Another tip is to bring along fans, standard hand fans are great but we also found some rechargeable electronic fans that also have water mist.
What are your tips for beating the heat this summer?
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