Boomers Beware:  Surviving the Heat of a Summer European Trip Takes Knowledge, Planning

 By Phyllis Stoller
NABBW\’s  Group  Travel Associate

  Why so many of us go to Europe in the heat of the Summer is a puzzle. 

Northern cities like Paris and London have temperatures above 90-degrees F. And Southern favorites like Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, and Athens frequently scorch in the Summer with  days in the 100’s.

Here are a few tips to survive:

European hotels do not always have strong air conditioning.

  • When choosing, pick one that is new or newly renovated.
  • Expect daytime air to be cool and nighttime to be less so. Why? Many even good hotels turn the electricity down for economies at night figuring you are asleep. (Well you won’t be for the first few nights of jet lag!).
  • Don’t stay on the top floor near the roof or facing the street.  The latter, in case you need to open the windows.

Stollr_ grouptuscanycasualEuropeans dress nicely even when it is hot. If you want to fit in, avoid short shorts, skimpy tees, and flip flops.

  • Do wear thin fabrics, wide skirts, non cotton tees, and invest in one of the newer walking sandals.
  • Skinny jeans might look good, but they are hot and you cannot roll them up.
  • Bring a hat that has air holes, even for city wear and lighten up whatever you carry during the day with your money etc.

Always carry a water bottle or just buy a bottle of water and use the empty container.

European stores usually have food downstairs where they do sell individual bottles of water and inexpensive sandwiches etc, but you need to look downstairs!

  • Monoprix in Paris is one example.
  • Marks & Spencer in London is another.
  • If you cannot speak the language — or even guess the word for supermarket (lets say you are in Hungary) — follow the plastic bags and ask the carriers where they bought their food.

Stoller Moracco Xmas 1996Use social media for reviews of air conditioning in theaters and other venues.

  • Many theaters will not be air cooled. ” Air controlled” might not be the same thing as air conditioning.
  • Forget about feeling cool in classic museums, they are rarely air conditioned due to their size and layout.  So if you want to visit them (and you really should), go early morning and avoid weekend crowds.
  • Finally get out of town for a day.  Most cities have beautiful places to visit within an hour train ride — or enjoy an air conditioned bus tour.

These are heat tips for Boomers from The Women’s Travel Group, check out our trips on The Women\’s Travel Group and join us for a cooler trip to Sicily, December 5-12, 2014.

Phyllis Stoller, NABBW’s Group Travel Associate is founder of The Women’s Travel Group, a tour operator which specializes in smart vacations for smart women, was recently honored as one of the 14 most influential women in Group Travel by Group Travel Magazine. The Women’s Travel Group works with travel agents and is a strategic partner of SITA World Tours.

For solo women travelers who do not yet know her, Phyllis also founded The Women’s Travel Club. Both it and The Women’s Travel Group cater to women travelers, especially those traveling solo on group tours and cruises.
Phyllis will personally escort trips to Sicily and India in 2014.

Find more of Phyllis’ travel tips on her blog at and on Facebook at “toursforwomen,” where you can feel free to ask Phyllis your travel questions.