Keepin’ it Cool in a Warm Climate

March 11, 2012

Earlier I wrote about pre-trip packing and briefly mentioned being aware of travel stress and fatigue.  Once you are here, there’s also a few tips to consider for staying healthy in a warmer climate than you might be used to.

For the hotter months of the year in Merida roughly April through September, DO be aware of the cumulative effects heat and humidity.  It is easy to run yourself down without even knowing it until it’s too late.  What you could be risking is heat stroke, and it could cost you valuable holiday time.

DO respect the hottest part of the day and use the shade.  Use the shadows of buildings and trees for cover.  Even if it doesn’t seem like it is hot, it’s a good idea.  Wear a wide-brimmed hat that breaths—Panama hats found locally are the ideal choice.  ImagePlan your day with the energy-consuming activities in the morning or evening.  Try to be at your destination early.  Keep an eye on your companion too; we all have different limits.

Dress appropriately.  That might seem obvious depending on where you are from, but light cotton shirts or blouses and loose pants or light dresses and comfortable, durable shoes that breathe.  If you don’t have this type of clothing, shopping locally may be your best bet.  Who knows! You might just end up blending in. 

Use an umbrella–It’s a Swiss Army Knife of sorts for skin, sun and rain.  You can find them locally for a few dollars, or you might want to check a collapsible one in your bag.  You never know where you are going to be during those brief tropical rains—of course rain can be a real joy to be in without an umbrella too!  Don’t worry; you’ll be dry no time…that is with the right clothing of course.

 Don’t forget the Agua.  Hydrate!  Bring some H2O wherever you go.

 ImageSwim.  Be sure to use the plunge pool at the casa every day.  Aside from being a nice feature at the casa, it is also very functional.  The plunge pool is a necessary ingredient to maintaining normal core body temperatures.

Live like a local—take a siesta and skip the heat of the day.  Don’t worry, you won’t miss anything.  Merida is a big city and still ‘works’ during siesta.  The pulse of the city is just a bit slower.  But when temperatures cool off in the evenings, activities heat up in the Centro just a few blocks away.

Plan a day trip to the Cenotes or caves.  The Cenotes are a great place to bring a picnic lunch and hide out from the heat of the day.  (See what I wrote on Cenotes: ‘Indiana Jones day Trip to the Cenotes at Cuzama’)

Take a trip to the coast.  Try Progresso about 30 minutes by car to the north—it’s a casual beach vibe with tons of restaurants and trinkets for the cruise ship crowd.  Or try the Bird sanctuary of Celustun, a Pink Flamingo day trip to the east with some of the best seafood.  The coastal areas can be about 10 to 12 degrees cooler than the inland areas.  And the gentle breezes can be sublime.

Speaking of breezes…If you are feelin’ like you just need to chill…the roof top of the casa is a good place to be in the mornings or evenings.  Take your coffee or a cocktail up for some neighborhood views and relax!  Switch it up!…cocktails in the morning, coffee in the evening!…Hey, what the heck, you’re on holiday!

Mexico essentially has two seasons:  The rainy and warmer more humid period from May to September-October, and the dry, cooler period from October to March-April.  Both seasons have their benefits and shouldn’t bias your visit.

Feel free to add some stay-cool-in-the-heat tips from your travels!

Until next time…Cheers!

 

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