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Travel Rain Day: How Real Travelers Beat a Bad Weather Forecast
Don’t let a downpour ruin your vacation! Make the most of inclement weather with advice from travel bloggers on finding the sunny side of rainstorms.
Patrícia Cuní knows all about dealing with bad weather on vacation. During a trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia, the Madaboutravel.com blogger headed out to visit the city’s famous medieval castle, only to get caught in a downpour.
“I was in summer clothes and not ready for it at all,” she recalls. “I got totally soaked and, to top it all, I got off the bus one stop early, which meant I had to walk to my hotel under the pouring rain. My clothes took days to dry!”
The incident taught Cuní to pack an umbrella and packable waterproof jacket during every trip – and to always check the forecast. Now, she’s prepared to deal with the elements when Mother Nature strikes.
Read on for more tips on how experienced travelers have learned to cope with travel rain days and beat the bad weather.
Prepare for the conditions
A gloomy weather forecast doesn’t have to put a damper on your vacation if you plan ahead. “Pack extra socks and a small travel umbrella, dress in layers and bring a sense of humor,” advises Suzanne Wolko of Philatravelgirl.com. You may also want to take a packable rain jacket or poncho, a super water-resistant backpack, and footwear that won’t be ruined by a few showers.
Several Eagle Creek products are ideal for bad weather conditions, including the compact Rain Away Travel Umbrella and water-resistant bags like the Systems Go Duffel Pack and No Matter What Flashpoint Rolling Duffel.
Chances are you’ve already got a few activities on your itinerary that can be done indoors, so why not group them together during a rain day and save the outdoor activities for tomorrow?
“I use rainy travel days to go to museums, galleries and shops,” says Billie Frank of Santa Fe Travelers. The crowds may be slightly larger, since others will likely have the same idea, but at least you’ll be out of the weather.
Restaurants, bars and pubs are also ideal bad-weather spots since they allow visitors to chat with residents and learn more about the local culture.
Embrace the bad weather
Some travelers simply proceed with their outdoor activities during rainy weather. Assuming there’s no thunder or lightning, you can still go hiking or sightseeing, and the crowds will be smaller than usual.
“If it's not dangerous, face bad weather head on,” advises Carol Perehudoff of WanderingCarol.com While in Venice, she and her husband had a decision to make after they saw water everywhere following a storm.
“Instead of staying in, we bought plastic booties from a street seller and slogged through a flooded St Mark's Square,” she says. “It ended up being one of the highlights of our honeymoon.”
Tom Bourlet of Spaghetti Traveller offers a couple of unique suggestions that allow adventurous travelers to embrace their inner child. “Go to a theme park or water park,” he says. “There will be no lines for anything, and if you can handle a bit of rain, you actually get more time on the rides.”
Bourlet also believes that rain storms are the perfect time to hop on a bike and ride around town. “All the walkways and roads completely clear out, and you completely transform into a kid the moment you are on a bike in the rain, tearing through puddles as fast as you can.” But be careful of slick streets or cobblestone and wear bright colors.
Use the rain to your advantage
If you enjoy taking photographs, inclement weather can be a good thing. Wolko notes that during a drizzle in Sydney, Australia, she was able to snap some pics of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in cloudy conditions, providing a different perspective on the famous sights.
While in Florence, Italy, Jennifer Doré Dallas of Moi, Mes Souliers ( turned constant rain into an opportunity for a photography adventure. She found that the city’s architecture looked amazing when reflected in puddles. She notes, “I got some great shots, and I can’t say the rain dampened our stay!”
What steps have you taken to beat the bad weather while traveling? Leave us a comment with your ideas!
Scott Shetler is a freelance journalist and frequent traveler who enjoys national parks, urban nightlife, and everything in between. He blogs about his adventures at http://quirkytravelguy.com.