The tropics are a great place for a getaway. Whether you’re visiting popular tourist locations such as Hawaii and the Caribbean or lesser-known islands such as Palau or Saipan, there are a few things you should know in preparation before running off to soak up that everlasting summer sun. This list will give you tips on what to expect and how to prepare.
The tropics are humid. Some more than others, but if you’re traveling to any tropical climate don’t go expecting a dry heat when you arrive. Humidity can be hard to deal with, not only can it feel like your breathing in water, but it affects other things such as your hair, how long it takes for things to air dry and the amount you sweat.
More important things to pay attention to in humid climates are health conditions such as asthma. Increased moisture in the air makes it harder for some to breathe and promotes the growth of certain organisms that increase the risk of attacks. For this reason, if you have asthma or respiratory issues make sure to take an inhaler with you or consult with your doctor on how best to prepare so you can enjoy the jewels of the tropics.
Let’s face it, summer and lakes equal mosquitoes. We know these bugs however, these irritating insects thrive in tropical climates and can quickly become the biggest pest you’ll have to deal with during your trip. They like to bite, and once they begin buzzing in your ear, it seems impossible to shoo them off without killing them.
If you’re going to be outside for a while, which you probably will be, then invest in some bug spray and mosquito coils. These can be bought at common drug stores such or at supermarkets, if they’re unavailable or out of stock, simply ordering them from Amazon is fine as well.
3. Food and Water
As with all travel locations, you should research the area before you depart on your trip. On islands such as Hawaii or Saipan, the hotel water is completely safe to drink, and street food from markets pose little to know health risks to tourists.
In other tropical locations however, such as Thailand or Mexico, the situation is different, and it is recommended to steer away from street food (unless you are adventurous and have a hardy gut) and only drink water if its bottled or is from a restaurant. This doesn’t mean to be suspicious of every vendor, you can still enjoy local cuisines safely by remembering to exercise caution to avoid any preventable illness.
4. Sun and Rain
While the tropics are often thought of sunshine-filled paradises, the truth is a great amount of rainfall takes place as well, after all the plants need water in order to stay lush and green. So, when you’re packing for your trip, don’t just take three bottles of sunscreen but a rain jacket or travel umbrella as well. There’s no telling when a sunny day can turn into three inches of rain.
As a tip, it’s a good idea to get online to look-up a location’s rainy season and prepare accordingly, but still, pack a light-weight rain jacket or umbrella just in case.
The ocean is usually the main draw for many tourists to the tropics. A warm glittering expanse of water in a wide array of blue hues is home to countless species of marine life within its reefs. While this is certainly true, many forget that the ocean can be dangerous even in resort or popular beach locations.
If you plan to do any water activities, it is best to have taken swimming lessons before you leave on your tropical adventure or wear a life vest. Never go swimming alone and try to stick to areas where there are lifeguards on duty. The ocean is beautiful but can be dangerous and should be respected no matter how calm it may appear.