A holiday during an Australian summer is a highlight of anyone’s travel itinerary. The weather is perfect, the skies are blue and everyone seems little happier when they can go out to play, even if there is extreme heat. However, dangers in the Aussie sun can present at any time, even if such dangers are minimal, but it’s best not to be caught off guard by learning a few basic tips on how to survive an Australian Summer.
An Australian Summer is always meant to be a positive time, where most of the populations and its visitors are experiencing the great outdoors of what is on offer in the land down under. However, because you are outdoors so much, it opens you up to a few of the nasties in the country. That’s when you need to have awareness and basic knowledge when going about your daily business, whether it’s at the at the beach in the unforgiving ocean or driving on the open roads where 100% concentration is vital. If for one second your awareness or knowledge slips, a fun day could turn into a disaster and ruin what is meant to be a good time in your life during your Summer holiday.
This article is not meant to scare you from Australia during the heatwave months, far from it, it’s here to assist you in your everyday decision, so can have fun and keep cool during the hot summer nights or days. Let’s get you on the right track with this handy survival guide on how to survive an Australian Summer.
Travel Smart – Tips on How to Survive an Australian Summer
1. Know your limits on the open water
It’s important to know your limits on the open water whether you are swimming at the beach or kayaking on the calm rivers. It all seems a pleasant leisurely activity to enjoy and most times that is the case. It’s important know your limits, your capabilities and your surroundings.
Are you a strong swimmer? Are you an adequate swimmer? The ocean or rivers can be a wild beast and turn nasty without notice.
Too many locals and uneducated foreigners have drowned because they have underestimated the water. If you are at the beach, swim between the flags. If you are out exploring the local rivers, wear a life jacket. if you are having a party at the beach, don’t drink ans swim, that is just plain stupid. Adhering to the these small steps is what could save your life. Don’t take the mighty waters for granted, because at any time they can strike a fatal blow.
Last but not least, always keep two eyes on the children around the water. Whether be it the ocean, a lake or the backyard swimming pool, too many innocent lives have been lost due to lack of awareness.
Quick tips for the open water
1. Swim between the flags
2. Life jackets save lives. Use when appropriate
3. Keep an eye on the kids
4. Don’t drink alcohol and Swim
5. know your surroundings
6. Know your limits
2. Keep hydrated – Drink plenty of water
Water, Water, Water. It will save your life, so keep as much on you as possible, especially if you are planning a big day out in the extreme heat and you know hydration is the key.
Always take ample amounts of water with you, whether it is kept in cool esky in the back of the car or having acamel packattached to you,especially vital when spending long hours in the sun. Are you staying at home? keep the fluids up, it’s not hard when in the comfort of your own house, the difficult bit is to remind yourself to keep drinking, always easy when you have a bottle of water within arms reach. The average amount of water you should be drinking during an average day is two-litres, that number can increase when keeping active.
A good gauge to know if you are drinking enough water is by the colour of your urine. If it’s clear, your going well. If it’s yellow, drink more water immediately. By the way, drinking beer doesn’t count as water consumption.
1. Drink around 2ltr of water a day
2. Take plenty of water with you on trips
3. Alcohol is not water
4. Check the colour of urine for for hydration levels, the lighter the colour the better.
3. Slip, slop, slap – Gotta Love a good Aussie saying
An iconic Australian slogan made about twenty years ago to urge Aussies on how to survive summer with three basic rules. It is also a good slogan to take with you around the world, especially as many travellers love to holiday in the tropics where the heat is always oppressive.
The slogan broken down in it’s three words means, slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat. It’s fair to say following such rules can help prevent skin cancer, which is a big killer down under. As you are probably aware, Australia is the sunburnt country and sadly it has an unfortunate number of skin cancer patients each year. Following the slip slop slap method, as well as keeping in the shade when possible and wearing sunglasses, can help keep the nasties away.
Quick tips for Slip, Slop, Slap
1. Use the Slip, Slop, slap method
2. Use the shade as much as you can
3. Wear sunglasses
Check out this cheesy slip slap slop sang made in the 80’s
4. Be Cautious on the Aussie roads
The roads run for kilometres on end, you feel free and the scenery around you can be breathtaking and while that is certainly trhe case with all the natural attractions in Australia, it’s also important not to get complacent. Getting into a car is the single most dangerous thing you can do in day and the road must be respected, not only for your own lives but the lives of those also using the road.
During the holidays are the busiest times in Australia, as holiday-goers pack their bags for a quick getaway and you are bound to see all kinds of motorist, from the crazy lunatic who will overtake you at dangerous times, to truckies who will test your patients and those slow motorist who have a decade to get to their destination. Patients will be tested.
A few tips to note are the following: Don’t drive tired, keep to the speed limit (it’s there for a safe reason), watch your surrounds and most of all be patient, there is no need to rush to only arrive a few minutes earlier. Your drive on the Aussie roads can be a safe, scenic and an enjoyable road trip if you let it be. Just don’t be in a hurry, because that’s no good for anybody.
Quick tips for driving on the road
1.Overtake vehicles in overtaking lanes
2. Don’t drive tired
3. Be patient
4. Don’t drink and Drive
5. Don’t speed
6. Watch out for those kangaroos.
5. Be on Alert during the Bush fire Season
A quick mention on this not as I can’t see a lot travellers coming down under and starting a fire or for that matter being caught up in a bush fire, but it does happen. In the summer months of Australia there is a complete fire ban, that means, if you’re camping, having a day trip out in the woods, you can not start a camp fire thinking roasting marshmallows is a good idea, it ultimately may be a disaster.
Even in the case that no tragic event unfolds and you haven’t accidentally torched the whole forest on fire, if you are caught starting a fire or using machine that can ignite flames, your bank account may be a little short after you receive a hefty fine from the authorities. if in doubt of what you can’t do during a fire ban, check out this website for further details.
Quick tip during a fire ban
1. Summer in Australia is a complete fire ban
2. No Campfires
3. When trouble occurs listen out to local radio stations for advice
6. The Sizzling barbecues are good to go
The Australian Summer is meant to be a whole lot of fun, in the end, that is the ultimate goal to bring a whole lot of people and laughs together by getting into your swimwear/togs/bathers and having a dip in the swimming pool, responsibly drinking ice-cold beer while while watching the Aussies in the cricket and the old Aussie favourite of sizzling a steak on the BBQ.
It’s summer time down under, enjoy the moment but do it with safety as the forefront of your thinking, because at the end of the day, you want to get home in one piece, and don’t forget the mozzie repellent, those annoying little mosquitoes will be the end of you. Happy travels.
Check it out – A book that all parents will love, it’s a comedy about The Summer Holidays Survival Guide when the kids are on school holidays and weeks drag on and on until their return to school. It’s a good laugh and quite cheap on the Amazon Kindle.