Travelling is one of the most wonderful gifts life has to offer. New locations and new experiences, good food, warm weather, new friends, fun activities… these are just a few things that we look forward to when we travel. On the other side of fun, one of the top things that can ruin our trip is the weather.
Most people choose countries with warm temperatures, so they can enjoy thesun, the beach and the sea. However, many of the more tropical warm locations have plenty of rain. Then there are people that find adventure in exploring the humid corners of the Earth filled with lush green forests with lots of rainfall. And even your dry Mediterranean summer, with some bad luck, can turn into days of rain.
Rain however doesn’t need to ruin your trip. All these places are just as beautiful in rain. There are however a few tips and tricks that you should follow in case the sky starts to leak.
First you should separate longer term heavy rainfall from the rest of bad weather. Heavy rain may cause avalanches, floods, property damage and even casualties. This is not something that you can solve with a waterproof luggage. If this is case, if this kind of weather is forecasted,it is maybe best to cancel or postpone your trip until the weather calms down.
Tips for Traveling in Rain
For all other occasions, there is plenty that you can do to stay dry and to have a great trip. Here is the list:
You Are Not Made Out Of Sugar!
One of the more important things when caught in bad weather is actually your mind set. Don’t focus only on the disadvantages of rain. There are plenty of ways to have fun in rain. You are not made out of sugar and your skin is waterproof. So instead of sulking in your hotel room go out and do things!
You can try some sports where you get wet anyway like swimming, rafting, kayaking, you can get a surfboard and try to learn how to surf, you can visit a park with water slides etc… or you can just do what you planned to do in the first place, just in rain. Unless it is sunbathing it can be just as fun.
Pack an Umbrella
Sounding like captain obvious here, butif your travel destination is not a wet one it is easy to forget to bring an umbrella just in case. Keeping a small portable umbrella in your backpack will make your travel worry free in case of light rain.
Bring a Raincoat or a Rain Jacket
An umbrella is ok for shorter walks in the city, but for more serious action it is better to have a raincoat. So if you plant to do lots of walking outside it is better to pack a light travel friendly raincoat or rain jacket.
A high quality waterproof but breathable jacket is best, especially for more strenuous activities like hiking and for places where rainstorms won’t be that out of the ordinary. For easy walking around a simpler rain jacket is also ok.
If you plan to travel to wet and humid location you should avoid cotton and denim clothes. Not only do they take longer to dry if they get wet in rain, they will also suck in moisture from air and soon they will feel moist and will even start leaving a bad odour in your bag. To avoid that, pack polyester-based clothes. These materials dry faster and don’t suck in moisture. Another plus is that these materials are significantly less cumbersome than cotton and denim, leaving you with more space in your bag.
Keep Your Belongings Dry At All Time
Invest in a durable and really 100% waterproof backpack. This way you won’t need to stress over your backpack getting soaked in rain, wondering all the time if your spare clothes are still dry. Even mishaps like dropping it into a puddle or overboard straight into the sea won’t ruin your gear. It is an ideal investment that will keep your electronics, money, documents and spare clothes safe from getting wet.
There is nothing worse than getting soaked in the rain and then discovering you don’t have any dry clothes to change into. And that your laptop and camera got soaked as well. I especially like the DryTide 50l backpack. It is big enough for some serious traveling and has loads of pockets and other features that are usually lacking with this kind of backpacks. You might also want to check their ultimate guide to waterproof travel backpacks, it has loads of good info on how to pick one that is best for you.
If you don’t have a waterproof backpack and there is a chance you get caught in the rain bring some plastic bags. Then put all your things into plastic bags before putting them into your backpacks. This will help and stop the rain for a while.
Bring a Towel
This is not a Hitchhikers guide reference. Ok, maybe it is. A travel size Microfiber towel will come in handy when you have to quickly dry yourself up and it only takes a little space.
Rainy days mean muddy roads, slippery surfaces and wet feet. Shoes take ages to dry and are one of the things that take up lots of space in your luggage. People usually don’t bring many spare shoes. This is why good and sturdy waterproof hiking shoes are your best bet for rainy days. Especially if you are going somewhere where it can rain a lot. For occasional storm your old sneakers, ones you might not care about if they get dirty, are all right. And flip flops for the sunny days. Also – pack plenty of socks, having wet feet sucks more than anything.
Another captain obvious tip here, or is it? Weather forecasts have gotten really good in recent years. But your average tourist weather forecast usually means googling something like “location + weather” and checking the first result that shows some sun and cloud icons. That is only scratching the weather forecast surface.
What you want is to find weather maps that forecast precipitation for every 3-6 hours. You also want to check cloud cover. And you want to check rainfall radar maps that will show you live precipitation map of the area so you can see if and where the storms are forming and how they are travelling.
Hope these tips help you have an unforgettable rainy trip and I mean that in a good way. Remember, life is not about waiting for the storm to pass it is about dancing in the rain.