woman standing outside in a park area, looking up at the sky while holding a red umbrella

Tips To Prepare Yourself For Unexpected Weather While Travelling!

Travel preparation can be a stressful and overwhelming time as you weed through flights, accommodations, and more. However, many of us fail to consider how unforeseen weather changes may impact our travel plans. Don’t be caught off-guard! Check out these tips to prepare yourself for unexpected weather while travelling!

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There is no discounting the importance of consulting a trusted weather app in the days and weeks leading up to your next big adventure. Ensuring that you are aware of the predicted weather patterns is the first step in packing accordingly.

Unfortunately, as well all know from experience, these weather forecasts aren’t always 100% reliable. If you’ve recently experienced weather that differed A LOT from the local forecast than know you’re not alone! It’s often a joke that the weather is nothing more than an educated guess, and there may be more truth to that joke than we like to admit!

So, if you can’t trust that the weather forecast is going to prepare you for what’s to come, is there any way to prepare yourself for a headache-free holiday? Great news! There are steps that you can take and great items you can pack to ensure that you’re ready to take on whatever Mother Nature is going to throw your way.  

Make sure to check out these simple tips and must-have travel items to make sure you’re fully prepared for any unexpected weather while travelling:

Rainy Weather

Arguably the most common example of unexpected weather while travelling, rain can put a series damper on your travel plans! Rest assured, however, that experienced travellers are able to make the most out of a wet or rainy day. The secret? Ensuring that you have the gear necessary to avoid being wet and miserable.

There is no arguing that the feeling of wearing wet clothing, soaked through, can ruin even the most exciting adventures. Why? It’s uncomfortable, cold, and can lead to sickness that you would much rather avoid! With such a wide array of great travel gear available to us today, there is no reason any traveller should be caught unprepared. Simply throwing a compact rain poncho or travel umbrella in your backpack or purse will keep you surprisingly dry while out sightseeing or exploring a new location. If you’re camping, don’t forget to include rope for a clothesline to dry everything out when the rain passes!

Related: ’15 Tips For Camping In The Rain’

One big point that is often overlooked is the power of dry bags. These range in size from full luggage sized bags and water-resistant backpacks to keep everything you own safe and dry to smaller bags big enough for just the essentials in your purse or bag. At the very least, I believe that every traveller should invest in a dry document bag to keep passports and travel documents safe during unexpected showers. Waterproof cases for your cellphone will allow you to keep your electronics safe while still providing the opportunity for use if necessary.

Remember, one of the most important things you can rely on during rainy weather is your own mood and outlook! Rather than focusing on the fact it is ‘ruining’ your trip, consider the positives. Often rain means that you are dealing with fewer crowds. It’s just another opportunity to make lasting memories! Some attractions and experiences may even offer discounts due to the lack of visitors due to the weather. It POURED in Los Cabos during our honeymoon, and the stories of flooding streets and finding ourselves waiting out the worst of it in a random bar along the boardwalk are some of our favourites to share nearly 7 years later.

woman standing outside in a park area, looking up at the sky while holding a red umbrella with the title tips to prepare  yourself for unexpected weather while travellingCold Weather

Whether you are travelling to a well known ‘hot’ destination or not, you should never travel without packing some warm clothing. Even locations in the desert are known for significant temperature drops occasionally, especially later at night. Furthermore, you may have to contend with travel layovers or unexpected stops in a less than warm location, as well as the weather upon your return. How many of us have seen that couple stepping off their flight from their tropical getaway, shivering in their shorts and t-shirts as they try to make their way through the colder Canadian air? Don’t be that couple!

Obviously, I’m not saying pack a parka on your next trip to the Bahamas, however, you should throw a couple of warmer weather options into your suitcase ‘just in case’. This may include a light sweater or hoodie that could be quickly thrown over your clothing and a pair of full length, comfortable pants. Don’t end up needing them? If you’re strategic about which items you bring, they don’t have to take up much room it’s better to be safe than sorry!

If you are heading somewhere where the colder weather is to be expected, then you’re going to need more than a sweater and a pair of pants! Depending on the level of potential cold weather, your packing may also include gloves, a hat, a scarf, thermal and moisture-wicking layers, plenty of warm socks, and don’t forget the chapstick!

Overly Hot Weather

While many of us will identify unexpected cold fronts as a weather concern, have you stopped to consider whether or not you are prepared for extreme heat? Whether you’re travelling somewhere warm and tropical or to a snowy ski slope, you should always be prepared with a waterproof sunscreen SPF 30 or higher and a pair of sunglasses (or goggles) with adequate UV protection.

Sunscreen in the snow? That’s right! You may be surprised to know that snowy locations put you at a much greater risk of UV exposure. Why? While all ground surfaces will reflect a small amount of UV radiation back at us, approximately 10% when standing on a grassy surface according to the World Health Organization, fresh snow reflects so much UV radiation that you are being hit with almost double the exposure!

Another major risk of extreme heat is the possibility of dehydration. Therefore, if you are heading out anywhere that you may not have ready access to water, such as hiking, wildlife excursions or camping, you should always pack a water bottle. Don’t forget to take the time to make sure it’s filled before heading out – an empty water bottle isn’t going to help! For those that enjoy more extreme adventures off the beaten path, water purification tablets should be packed to ensure that you can purify less than desirable water if necessary. Lack of water is easily one of the biggest survival risks!

Have you ever experienced unexpected weather when travelling? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

34 thoughts on “Tips To Prepare Yourself For Unexpected Weather While Travelling!”

  1. I live in one of the driest areas of England and my last holiday to Ireland it rained 4 times in my first 24 hours there! This came as a huge shock to me as I don’t think it had rained 4 times in the previous month at home. I was completely unprepared but fortunately was able to pick up a waterproof and an umbrella (as well as spare dry shoes) at a cheap department store the morning after arriving!

    1. I can only imagine how much of a shock that would have been! I’m glad you had the chance to pick up the gear you needed. We’ve been stuck before (due to poor planning on my part) and had a hard time getting our hands on rain gear.

    1. Our weather where I live is anything but predictable and always changing. In a single day I’ve been in a tank and capris due to hot weather, been rained on and seen snow as nightfall came hahaha

  2. Great tips Britt. I’ve experienced many down pour when the forecast said sunny, so I can relate to that one. I always keep a rain mac with me and have been looking at a more hackable umbrella to keep with me. Those Fidus ones look like they’d fit the bill. On the other side of the spectrum I’ve been caught in warm clothes and it end up being very hot(!), so, as you said, layering is key.

    1. I have one of those umbrellas and it fits perfectly in my purse! I keep it there all the time, whether I’m travelling or not, because you just never know! Lol

    1. Hahaha I feel you – The weather is all over the place here in the area of Southern Ontario, Canada where I live as well! Never know what to expect… lol

  3. I’ve never experienced really adverse weather conditions (well, apart from a tropical storm in the Caribbean from the comfort of our hotel room) but I agree about the desert, which plummets to extremely cold at night. We always take hoodies when flying because you can guarantee the weather back home will be rubbish! Great tips, Britt 🙂 Lisa

    1. We have a little chuckle as we return to Canada and see all the people shivering and rushing to their cars from the airport because they forgot that the weather wouldn’t be the same at home as the tropical paradise that they’re leaving lol

  4. As an Irish woman, living in a country where it could be Sunny for a few hours and then gale forced rain storms the next, I can honestly say I have everything in my car for all sorts of weather.

    I keep 2 coats in the car, an umbrella, a change of shoes and even a few extra jumpers (okay the jumpers are deliberate, I threw them there and forgot about them).

    The only thing I don’t have is sunscreen because we never see those temperatures here, but I suppose you can still get burnt even through the clouds. I’ll have to look into this one.

    1. Clouds definitely won’t protect you from the sun’s rays! Outside of that, however, it sounds like you’re prepared for whatever may come your way!

  5. This happened to me earlier this year, Istanbul was colder than England. Thankfully we were expecting okay temperatures rather than hot (or really cold) so had some weather appropriate clothing but my ‘airport’ jacket definitely got used far more than I was expecting! I think it always helps to pack an extra jumper or two and an umbrella just in case x


  6. These are excellent tips! I’m always shocked by how many seasoned travelers DON’T follow them. Thanks for sharing.

    1. As much as I grew up in the snowbelt of Ontario, Canada, I much prefer warmer weather to snow haha! I think it’s because I get cold so easily lol

  7. Great article! We usually bring a variety of clothing for our road trips as we have experience triple digits one day, to seriously cold the next day to thunder and heavy rain. But your best tip I saw was your mood and having a positive outlook. No matter what curveball/weather it throws, the mood can make or break the trip. 🙂

    1. It’s a point so many people overlook – You can let the weather destroy a vacation, or you can roll with it and have a great time regardless! I prefer to choose the second one and make memories!

  8. I’m so happy you said to bring warm clothes to a well known ‘hot’ destination. If I see anyone on social media traveling to Florida in the winter, I try to tell them this. No one thinks that Florida gets cold and it does. Our weather is always all over the place! Great tips!

    1. People forget that even the ‘warm states’ aren’t always warm! I live in the southern most point of Canada, known for ice and snow, and we’re at the same latitude as northern California!

    1. That’s what it’s like here too, the rain doesn’t seem to be predictable in the slightest, especially as of late!

  9. I am so guilty of overpacking, but I fail to pack for poor weather. I do check the weather beforehand, but, as you mentioned, that’s not always reliable. My hubby is going to love my additional overpacking, cause I’ll be using your tips! ?

    1. I have made the mistake in the past of trusting the weather forecast and it definitely didn’t serve me well hahaha Now I come prepared lol

  10. Very solid tips and advice. I always find it difficult to pack for holidays, especially if they last for more than a week. It’s so hard knowing what the weather will be like but on the other hand you don’t want to over pack either. Great post, keep it up.

    1. Over-packing is definitely a downfall – that’s why it’s important to find the best options to protect you without taking up too much space!

    1. That’s how it’s felt here as of late… Although more rain than anything. I’m looking forward to sunny days ahead!

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