Are you planning a road trip filled with neat roadside attractions, sunny picnics, and outdoor adventure? Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen… and so much more. Sun protection is a serious consideration especially for those who have already had an encounter with skin cancer or knows somebody who has.
This guide will help you cover all your bases, from sunglasses to road-friendly sunscreen, protective apparel, and more. Your skin is worth the extra consideration!
Choosing the Right Shades
Sunglasses are one of the most important road trip accessories. Your eyes are going to get tired staring at the road for so many hours even without the extra sun fatigue – but you also have to consider the issue of UV damage: if the arm by the window is growing sunburned, you can bet that your retinas are receiving just as much damage.
Full-spectrum UV protection is a must-have. Try to find wraparound shades so that you can protect the sides of your eyes from the UV and bright sun too. Take some time to shop sunglasses at 8 Wake for cool sporty shades at a fair price, so you won’t beat yourself up if they get lost. Polarized filters are nice because they cut down on fatigue-inducing glare. Polarized lenses are even nicer if you plan to drive around lots of snow, reflective buildings, water, or sand.
This guide will go into protective apparel in-depth later in this guide but first, a quick guide to road trip ready sunscreen:
Picking an All-Purpose Sunscreen
Sunscreen is a seriously important item on any packing list, especially for people who are going to spend a lot of time in the vehicle. Road trips involve hours with one full side of the face exposed to the sun while driving or riding in the car, plus all the accumulated time spent outside at rest stops, parks, and attractions.
UV radiation can even penetrate clouds on overcast days, and if you’re going to be on the road for a while, you’re probably going to get more exposure than expected. Finishing a road trip with a wicked sunburn sounds memorable but probably not ideal.
Check the label before leaving sunscreen in a hot vehicle. Most sunscreens are sensitive to heat and start to break down if stored in high temperatures – the limit varies from brand to brand but a car interior can quickly approach 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so there’s a good chance a standard tube won’t survive the day. Simply throw the sunscreen into an insulated cooler to protect its efficacy.
Road trips can be unpredictable! You might spend a good portion of the day in the vehicle and nobody wants to keep reapplying for every side attraction. Choose a sunscreen that applies cleanly and that you wouldn’t mind getting on your vehicle interior. Consider packing seat covers for such occasions, since you’ll be coming up against that issue quite often. Sometimes the stain doesn’t show up until it’s too late to treat it.
Sunscreen is easy to lose at roadside attractions and hotels. Plan to pack a few handy alternatives!
1. Floppy hat – This barely needs explanation. A hat will keep the sun out of your eyes while preventing sunburn on the sensitive ears and neck. Floppy hats pack up more efficiently than rigid ones. Choose one that folds small enough to fit in your pocket or satchel.
2. Headscarf – Don’t have room to pack a hat? A headscarf is just as protective, although perhaps a little warmer to wear. The advantage is that a headscarf is just a large handkerchief, which could come handy in a number of roadside situations.
3. Skin Suit – This one is perfect for coastal adventurers. These lightweight wetsuits are perfect for swimming under the hot sun. They’ll protect most of your body from damaging UV rays, and then all you’ll have to worry about are the exposed areas like hands and feet.
Road trips are fun, but they’re better without the sunburn. Is your sun-protection packing list comprehensive enough to protect you and your family from sunburn over your entire road trip vacation, with all its diverse pit stops and activities? Why wait? Start drafting out your packing list today!