Air Conditioning: Survive Travel Without It

What?? NO Air conditioning??

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You can travel without air conditioning and survive! Except for the young, self proclaimed travelers as opposed to tourists (read more about that discussion here) many family adventurers want the creature comforts of home. For Americans from the US, most of the year, but most especially in the summer, this means air conditioner.

No air conditioning sweaty man in front of fan


So, we carefully read the fine print on hotel information while planning our family vacation to make sure air conditioning is available.

Just FYI: Some important info on Air Conditioning

1) Air Conditioning isn’t always available year round. During our family trip to Spain we were uncomfortably warm in our Madrid hotel which proudly offered air conditioning. What I didn’t realize at the time (and you can learn from my mistake!) was that the entire building had air conditioning – or didn’t – it was an all or nothing situation. In March, when we were there, the air conditioning was OFF. No matter the temperature air conditioning was only available in June, July, and August.

2) Sometimes the power in the room only works when you put your room key into a slot on the inside of the room. This means the air conditioning is off when you are gone during the day. So, when you arrive back from your hot family adventure the AC has to start from scratch to cool the room off.

3) Even when the air conditioning  is available and turned on it is most likely NOT the blasting crisp cold air that we literally have everywhere in the states or it might take a long while to get things as cool and crisp as you like them at home.


Well, lots of reasons. In some places electricity is much more expensive than it is in the states so making SURE that guests turn everything off when they are gone is necessary. Finances aside….it certainly is greener to turn everything off when you leave, right? Think about how many times you have to ask the kiddos to turn off the light when they leave the room? Wouldn’t it be so easy if they couldn’t leave it on?

In some places, the cultural thought is that you can get sick from going from the heat outside to very cold inside. Once while on a family vacation in Turkey we were in a van that had AC. We asked for it could be turned down to make it cooler. The hospitable driver, warm as all Turks are,  turned the AC on high and then he opened the window. So, we rolled up our sleeves and smiled – this was one cultural tidbit we had traveled so far to see.

No air conditioning child singing in front of fan

How to Cope

Air Conditioning –  Dress the part.

First, cover up from the sun – especially your kid travelers.  This seems counterintuitive to some who want to wear shorts and tank tops, but consider Egyptians who have worn long sleeved robes in the desert for centuries. Hat and long sleeves protect you from the sun and actually keep you cooler than baring your skin. Sun protection is important because sun damage – like a sun burn can hamper your family vacation. No lobsters in your party! They even make cute ones for wearing in the water!

Order yours now and SAVE! I love the bright colors from Columbia’s sun protection shirts!

Forget slimy sun screen and wear clothes that have sunscreen built in! I’m a huge fan and wear them all the time! I love the bright colors, too.

No air conditioning enjoy travel without it

Hats are perfect for carrying around your own shade! I’m a HUGE fan of hats…no worries about hair, sunscreen, and you carry your own shade. Plus…they are just fabulous! This hat by Barmah is one of my favorites. It has a mesh crown so the air blows through to keep you cool

Kids look even more adorable in sun hats!!

Will your boy enjoy channeling his inner Batman and stay protected?

Read – How to Choose the Right Hat for your Face.

No air conditioning; Survive travel without it

Air Conditioning – Open the windows.

Look around. If all the other buildings have windows open, follow suit. This lets the hot air out and older buildings have windows to that allow for a cross breeze. Very often you can cool off a room nicely by the kids’  bedtime.

Air Conditioning –  Rest.

Come in from the hot day and slip into something cooler and more comfortable, although maybe not as sexy as that sounds due to having the kids around! 😉 Tank top? Sun dress? Swimsuit cover up? Look fabulous and stay cool lounging in these cute dresses! They go to dinner, too!

Just getting everyone out of sweaty clothes can help a lot. Some countries use a siesta to sleep during the heat of the day and when traveling with the family in the heat it is easy to understand where that tradition came from!  When in Rome, do as the Romans do!

Air Conditioning – Stay hydrated.

Drink, drink, drink! That is not only a college drinking game – LOL! I mean – drink water, drink water, drink water! Room temperature drinks are absorbed easiest but cold ones feel better. Either way, bottoms up! By the time you are thirsty, you are already a little behind on your fluid. Pay extra attention to kid travelers who aren’t as aware of their bodies as grown ups.

Bring your own bottle to fill in the hotel room. Save money by not buying water! A family of four can save $20 a day this way!

I love these foldable water bottles from Sportzu. They are easy to carry and cheap enough for everyone in the family to have their own!

Air Conditioning – Water isn’t just for drinking.

Wash hair in the morning and don’t use the hair dryer. Use the evaporative cooling effect – As your hair dries you feel cooler. This makes getting ready quick and easy! Gotta love that.

For later in the day, use a scarf. You can buy scarves that soak up water. Tie it around your neck for the same effect. It is really important to keep children cool.

If you need help planning a hot weather family adventure

No air conditioning : cappadocia fairy chimneys

or a cold weather family adventure, I can help!

No air conditioning Statue of Liberty ferry

Happy temperate family travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist


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3 Responses

  1. October 14, 2016

    […] Constant temperatures – using air conditioning is not a global thing. Read about how to deal with the lack of ac here. […]

  2. July 21, 2017

    […] Dress for the weather and read tips on how to travel comfortably in the heat without air conditioning. […]

  3. September 7, 2017

    […] Note about AC – Sometimes Air Conditioning means different things to different people. Read more about how to deal with the differences here! […]

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