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Top 6 Sun-Conscious Places to Vacation During Winter Months

With the winter months approaching, the nights getting longer and days getting shorter are sure to bring on our winter blues.


Reports show that 32% of Americans suffer from vitamin D insufficiency caused by insufficient sun exposure. Vitamin D is essential for your mood and immune system. It’s time to escape to warmer locations where the sun still shines. Here are our top 6 sun conscious destinations to travel to during the winter months:

Exploring all of the unique restaurants and shops along Palm Canyon Drive. Chia cafe is known to be an Instagrammable spot to take pictures at. Image courtesy of kaylchip.com.
Exploring all of the unique restaurants and shops along Palm Canyon Drive. Chia cafe is known to be an Instagrammable spot to take pictures at. Image courtesy of kaylchip.com.

We as humans need sun-exposure for vitamin D, which is important for your blood cells, bones and immune system. Although, too much time outside under the sun could raise your chances of skin cancer. Sun exposure is essential for us to thrive but you need to be sun-conscious when outdoors by protecting your skin from UV rays. Especially with the depletion of the ozone layer, the UV exposure has increased significantly, making the risk of skin cancer far greater. 


  1. Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs is known for its golf courses, spas, stylish hotels and exceptional restaurant scene. Its core shopping district along Palm Canyon Drive is the heart of downtown. From art museums to vintage boutiques, there’s plenty to do and see. The surrounding Coachella Valley offers hiking, jeep tours and horseback riding trails. Go on a ride in the World’s largest rotating Tram Car through the cliffs of Chino Canyon to see the most breathtaking views. 

 

Relax under the shade of the palm trees on the shoreline of the beach. Image courtesy of tripadvisor.com. 
Relax under the shade of the palm trees on the shoreline of the beach. Image courtesy of tripadvisor.com
  1. Upolu, Samoa

Explore the beautiful island Upolu, Samoa’s main island. Samoa is known for its tranquil beaches, lush waterfalls, and fishing. Although the island is quite small, there is lots to do, see and experience. Go swim in To Sua Ocean Trench, a 30-meter deep swimming hole of crystal clear water surrounded by exotic jungle. It is known to be one of the most beautiful and unique places to swim in the world!



There’s endless activities Lake Tahoe has to offer. A fan-favorite is doing a morning class of some Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga on the water. Image courtesy of tahoeunveiled.com.
There’s endless activities Lake Tahoe has to offer. A fan-favorite is doing a morning class of some Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga on the water. Image courtesy of tahoeunveiled.com.
  1. Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Go take a ride on Heavenly’s Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster  for an adrenaline rush and fresh air! This gravity-powered mountain coaster allows you to glide around natural rock formations on a track as you descend down the mountain. Looking for something a little more relaxing? Lake Tahoe Yoga offers Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga on the water. Join Jenay Aiksnoras at Lakeview Commons for a great workout with an even better view!

 

Exploring the shallow blue waters near the coastline by boat. Travelers exploring the Na Pali coast by sea pictured caught off guard by a whale sighting from afar. Image courtesy of misstraveltheworld.com. 
Exploring the shallow blue waters near the coastline by boat. Travelers exploring the Na Pali coast by sea pictured caught off guard by a whale sighting from afar. Image courtesy of misstraveltheworld.com


  1. Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai, also known as “the Garden Isle” due to tropical rainforest covering most of its surface. The majestic scenery of the dramatic cliffs on the Na Pali Coast are notorious for being the backdrop in many Hollywood films. Nā Pali literally means “the cliffs” in Hawaiian! There is endless to do, from farmers markets to The Shops at Kukui'ula, Kauai’s premier art, shopping and dining destination. Kauai is a true adventurer’s playground, filled with historical landmarks to explore and some of the most beautiful hiking destinations. 



Travel blogger Ashley Torres shares her ultimate travel guide to Miami. The best spots from where to swim, where to stay to where to eat. Image courtesy of everydaypursuits.com. 
Travel blogger Ashley Torres shares her ultimate travel guide to Miami. The best spots from where to swim, where to stay to where to eat. Image courtesy of everydaypursuits.com
  1. Miami, Florida

Miami is the place to be and be seen, known for its A-list nightlife scene, but it's also a place to swim and soak up some sun. Crandon Park, an offshore reef is a perfect beach for swimming as the reef protects the shoreline from big waves. Wind down and take in the views of the city on a walk along the Miami Riverwalk. Visiting Little Havana, a historic neighborhood created by Cuban émigrés, is a must. Little Havana, known as Miami’s vibrant Cuban heart, is full of walk-up cafes, busy restaurants and Latin American art galleries. Make sure to stop by Sanguich De Miami for the best Cuban sandwich you’ll ever eat!

Street performer shown playing the saxophone on a street corner. Live music and entertainment fill the streets of Havana day and night. Image courtesy of weheartit.com. 
Street performer shown playing the saxophone on a street corner. Live music and entertainment fill the streets of Havana day and night. Image courtesy of weheartit.com
  1. Havana, Cuba

The city of Havana is the blend of old and new, full of Spanish colonial architecture and colorful vintage cars mixed with the lively nightlife and fancy art galleries. Walk along El Malecon, translated as “the pier”, to see the most spectacular, well-known view of Cuba. The restored seafront walkway lies along the city’s coastline and features the most amazing views of Havana’s architecture and coast. The pier is known for its food and live music but also to be the absolute best spot to watch the sunset. 


How to protect yourself from the sun

Spending time soaking up the sun is a great way to reduce stress and get some vitamin D. Although, you must remember to protect your skin from the sun as UV rays can damage skin cells. You should always check the weather forecast to see the strength of the UV rays each day. The UV index is a numbered scale that measures how damaging exposure to the sun will be on any particular day. If the UV index is 3 or higher in your area, you must protect your skin from too much exposure to the sun. Here’s a few tips on how to be sun-conscious and protect your skin from the sun:


Shade

When outside in direct sunlight, try to stay under a shaded area like under a tree or an umbrella. Staying in the shade will reduce your risk of sun damage. Here’s a tip to know when you should find shade: if your shadow is shorter than you, that means the sun’s rays are at their strongest. 



Choice of clothing

Try to cover your skin with clothes as much as possible. Try to wear long sleeves and long pants for the most protection. Darker colored clothing may offer more protection from the sun than lighter colored clothes. For the most protection, CDC suggests wearing a hat that has a brim all the way around to shade your face, ears and back of your neck from the sun. Look for clothes that are made with special sun-protective materials. Babies younger than 6 months old should be completely covered and in the shade at all times. 


Sunglasses

The skin around your eyes is very sensitive to sun exposure so try to wear a pair of sunglasses when outdoors. Wearing sunglasses protects your eyes from UV rays as well as reduces the risk of cataracts. Sunglasses with lenses that have 99-100 percent UV absorption provide optimal protection for the eyes.


Sunscreen

The most important thing to do to protect your skin from too much sun exposure is to apply sunscreen. You should use sunscreen every day, even if it's cloudy. The most effective sunscreen is one that is broad spectrum, meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. It is highly recommended to wear sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or higher. You should apply sunscreen on all exposed skin before going into direct sunlight. You should reapply sunscreen every two hours to all exposed skin. It is also advised to reapply sunscreen every one hour if you are swimming or sweating. Do not use sunscreen that has expired. Cream sunscreen is better if you have dry skin. 


Hawaiian Tropic AntiOxidant Sunscreen lotion. Image courtesy of Hawaiian Tropic. 
Hawaiian Tropic AntiOxidant Sunscreen lotion. Image courtesy of Hawaiian Tropic



The Hawaiian Tropic AntiOxidant+ Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 is one of the most highly rated sunscreens on the market. This sunscreen is great if you have dry or sensitive skin as it is moisturizing and does not irritate the skin. The scent of the sunscreen is a beachy, tropical smell and is very highly rated among customers. With the water resistance being 80+ minutes, this sunscreen will protect you while swimming in the water. Customers love this sunscreen due to it being not greasy and not leaving white marks, like most sunscreens do. You can buy The Hawaiian Tropic AntiOxidant+ Sunscreen Lotion on Amazon. 


The long winter months take a toll on us in more ways than one, including lack of sun-exposure and vitamin D, affecting our mood and health negatively. Sun-exposure is essential for us but it is also essential to be sun-conscious when escaping to sunnier places. Always pay attention to the UV index and apply sunscreen. Being sun-conscious will protect your risk of skin cancer. 




 


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Nikki Novick

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