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Home » Blog » Travel Tips » 8 essential sun safety tips that every traveller needs to know

8 essential sun safety tips that every traveller needs to know

Written by: Lydia Crispin | Travel Insurance Expert
Last updated: 10 May 2024 | Created: 10 May 2024

There’s something magical about feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin. It doesn’t matter whether you’re relaxing on a pristine beach in Greece, or you’re taking a stroll along the cobbled streets of Valletta, Malta. Sunshine can make an already special moment even better.

However, the sun also presents certain risks, especially for older travellers or people with particular medical conditions. But with a few, simple precautions, you can still make the most of your sun-soaked holiday.

Here are eight indispensable tips for staying safe in the sun.

1. Wear the right sun cream

It may sound obvious, but applying a broad-spectrum sun cream that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF of 30 or higher, is crucial. You should reapply it every two hours, as well as after swimming, or if you’re sweating heavily. If you have sensitive skin or specific medical conditions you should use specially formulated sun cream.

2. Make good use of shade

During the hours when the sun’s at its hottest, usually between 10am and 4pm, it’s wise to take shelter under umbrellas, trees, or even head indoors. Doing so significantly reduces the risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke, and is common practice in most places which regularly have high temperatures.

3. Consider the sun when making plans

Planning your outdoor activities for the early morning or late afternoon can greatly reduce exposure to the most intense UV rays. This lets you enjoy your activities while lowering the risk of sunburn, dehydration, and other related health issues. You’ll probably find it’s more comfortable too.

4. Stay hydrated

While you’re soaking up some sun, it’s easy to become dehydrated. This can pose a severe risk, especially with certain health conditions. You should drink more water than usual when you’re somewhere hot. Doing so prevents dehydration and its potentially dangerous complications.

Keeping a reusable water bottle handy is a practical way to make sure you drink enough water throughout the day.

5. Understand your medication

It’s worth noting that some medical treatments can increase your sensitivity to UV rays, making you more prone to sunburn and other complications. Before you go on holiday, check with your GP to understand the effects your prescribed medicine could have. Your GP can also tell you about any necessary precautions that can help you enjoy time outdoors safely.

6. Use sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB radiation is not just a matter of comfort, but helps prevent long-term damage to your eyes. Investing in a good pair of sunglasses can protect your vision over time, making them an essential accessory for sunny days at home and abroad.

7. Choose the right outfit

While sun cream is one way to keep your skin safe, wearing the right clothes is an even better one. Opting for lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, trousers, and wide-brimmed hats can significantly reduce your risk.

You can also select clothes with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), as these are designed to block a larger portion of the sun’s rays, giving you an added layer of defence.

8. Keep an eye on your health

Stay alert to the signs of exhaustion or heat stroke. These include; excessive sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, and headaches.

At the first sign of these symptoms, you should head somewhere cooler, and seek medical attention if necessary. Spotting the signs early, and reacting quickly can stop serious health consequences ruining your trip.

By taking these simple precautions, you can look forward to memorable holidays under the sun, filled with warmth and joy.

There’s something magical about feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin. It doesn’t matter whether you’re relaxing on a pristine beach in Greece, or you’re taking a stroll along the cobbled streets of Valletta, Malta. Sunshine can make an already special moment even better.