Experts Advice for Traveling in European and US Amidst Heatwave


In case you haven’t heard, this summer has been extremely scorching. From Rome to Phoenix, cities around the globe are experiencing record-breaking temperatures, which is having an effect on travelers. This month, a Delta Air Lines passenger and flight attendant were taken to the hospital for a heat-related issue after the cabin temperature reached an unbearable level.

 That day, temperatures reached 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Monday, another Milan-bound Delta flight to New York was forced to make an emergency landing in Rome due to severe weather. However, the scorching temperatures do not deter travelers. This month, tourists flocked to Death Valley National Park to experience the record-breaking 134 degree temperature. 

This summer, Europe is also experiencing a significant influx of tourists, with popular destinations such as Rome and Athens expected to set new records for the year. Unfortunately, summer travelers may become accustomed to extreme temperatures. Dr. Neelu Tummala, a surgeon and co-director of the Climate Health Institute at George Washington University, said, “As a physician, I am concerned about the increased frequency of extreme events.” 

There are myriad causes for this summer’s extreme heat, and climate change is one of them. I am concerned that this will occur more frequently during the summer months. The Mediterranean is bearing the burden of the heat wave in Europe. Italian tourists passed out from sun exhaustion. Some popular tourist destinations, such as Rome, have installed cooling stations near popular attractions, providing free water and misting tents to help tourists escape the heat. 

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A Guide to Safe Travel During Heat Waves

Photo by: TIZIANA FABI, AFP via Getty Images
  • Dr. Tummala advised, Just be smart about it, especially when traveling because you engage in more physical activity when traveling, so be conscientious. She stated that walking longer than usual increases thermal stress, causing the heart and body to work harder. This is of particular concern for seniors with underlying cardiac conditions such as high blood pressure.
  • Dr. Tummala added that parents should be “hypervigilant” when traveling with children, who may be unable to communicate if they are overheated. 
  • Plan the maximum number of frequent breaks feasible.
  • Bring plenty of hydration.
  • Put on loose-fitting apparel, a hat with a wide brim, and plenty of sunscreen.
  • Ask your tour operator about your trip so you can be prepared,  said Shannon Stowell, chief executive officer of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. They do not wish to cope with a guest experiencing an emergency. 
  • Stowell stated that everyone has the digital resources to know what they are walking into each day. Check the weather before leaving, and if it appears to be too extreme, do not take chances or strain yourself. “Know your limits,” added Stowell. If you are not a hiker, do not consider hiking during a downpour. When things do not go according to plan, a trek may take twice as long.

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Source: USA Today

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