I just got back from an amazing trip with College Break through Italy and Greece. I ate a bunch of pasta, saw a ton of ancient ruins, and got to dip my toes in the Mediterranean. We had an amazing Tour Director and a really fun group. That being said, traveling in the summer can be intense. It will most likely be super hot and super crowded. But don’t let that deter you, you just gotta be prepared! Here are my tips for traveling in the dead of summer.
1. Beat the crowds
It’s a simple fact, there’s gonna be a lot of people in popular places. All those crowds are a great motivation to find some “off the beaten path” spots. Ask a local where they would grab lunch, or where they go in the summer to escape the crowds. Your Tour Director should have some great suggestions too! You can also beat the big crowds by getting to popular destinations early in the morning. I know, getting up early is hard. You can do it.
2. Get some sleep
With all the late nights, early mornings, crowds, and sweating it’s easy to wear yourself out. Take advantage of any time you have to catch up on sleep. Our trip had plenty of bus time, so my travel buddy Morgan and I took full advantage of this downtime. Neck pillows and blankets are your bff for long bus rides. You might look like a nerd but it’s totally worth it.
Morgan convinced me to invest in a neck pillow and I’m forever grateful to her for that wisdom.
3. Take a break
The hottest time of day is noon until around 3 p.m. After a full morning of seeing the sights, I recommend taking a long, leisurely lunch, seeking some shade, or best of all, taking a cold shower. Then get back out there fully refreshed, hydrated, and not stinky. NOTE: Beer doesn’t count as hydration, as Instagram-worthy as it may be.
I’m from Maine which means my body is not used to anything above 80 degrees, ever. Italy’s 100 degree, humid summer weather was like nothing I’d ever experienced, and I was unprepared for the sweat and the accompanying thirst.
My trusty Brita bottle was my best friend until I lost it somewhere in Italy (a moment of silence please). Pretty much everywhere you go in Europe sells massive 1 liter bottles of water for pretty cheap. Even if the vendors are ripping you off and charging you 3 Euro outside the Colosseum, just splurge. It’s worth it. You know what’s even less cute than sweating? Feeling like you’re gonna pass out while you’re taking selfies in the ancient ruins.
Do you have any tips for traveling in the summer? Leave it in the comments.