7 Expat Tips To Deal With The Cold Or Warm Weather Abroad
Moving to a new country carries a great deal of change. Aside from the many things to look forward to, such as learning about the new culture, language and cuisine, there are also certain challenges you may face. This includes dealing with a different climate than what you’re used to.
Whether you’re moving to somewhere that’s hot or cold, extreme temperature changes involve more than just adapting your lifestyle – they can also lead to an array of health problems. Fortunately, there are several ways to deal with the weather and minimise health risks. As a matter of fact, living abroad can actually be beneficial for your health!
Here are 7 tips to prepare for extreme temperature changes when living abroad and what to look out for when it comes to your health.
Tips to beat the heat
If you’re moving to a city with a hot, tropical climate, there are a variety of lifestyle measures that you can implement to stay cool and adapt to the warm weather. Some of these measures include:
1. Avoid heavy clothing
Wearing breathable clothing made of natural fabrics such as cotton and linen can help to keep you cool throughout the day. If you’re starting at a new job, it’s a good idea to ask about the dress code and whether you’ll be able to dress light instead of wearing a heavy suit.
2. Wear a hat
Being exposed to the sun’s UV rays can damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. As such, it’s important to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays when you step outside. One way you can do this is by wearing a brimmed hat to protect your face, head and neck from the sun. Wearing a hat also cuts down the glare on your eyes.
3. Wear sunglasses with UV protection
Apart from protecting your skin from UV rays, it’s also crucial to protect your eyes. Your eyes can be damaged by sunlight as well, so be sure to invest in a good pair of sunglasses that will protect them from damaging UV rays. It’s worth noting that not all sunglasses offer this protection, so double check on its features before making your purchase.
4. Drink lots of fluids
With all the action of moving abroad as an expat, it’s easy to forget about hydrating yourself. However, increasing your fluid intake when moving to a hotter country is crucial to avoiding dehydration. Try to stick to drinking water and minimise your intake of sugary drinks, caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate your body further.
Watch out for
Sunburn: As one of the primary causes of skin cancer, sunburns should be prevented as much as possible by staying in the shade, covering up your skin, and applying sunscreen with a minimum of SPF30.
Insect bites: Although most insect bites are simply itchy and irritating, some mosquito bites can lead to serious illnesses like dengue and malaria. If you’re moving to an affected area, be sure to speak to your doctor about necessary precautions that you can take to protect yourself from these diseases.
Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion occurs when your body overheats, causing you to feel nauseous and faint, as well as experience muscle cramps and a rapid pulse. You’re especially prone to heat exhaustion if high temperatures are new to you. If you experience any heat exhaustion symptoms, be sure to do the following:
- Stop all activity immediately
- Get under the shade
- Drink cool fluids
Tips to stay warm:
Moving to a city with extremely cold weather may require you to make some big lifestyle changes to cope with the temperature. For instance, if you intend to relocate to Manchester, Salt Lake City, or Quebec, you’re bound to experience harsh winters with extreme temperatures. Here are a few tips to stay warm and protect yourself from certain health conditions associated with the cold.
1. Layer your clothing
Layered clothing is key to staying warm. Start by wearing a good base layer that fits snugly around your body. If the weather is extra cold, make this layer thermal. Then, add two to three thin layers of fabric that are breathable yet trap heat, such as wool, fleece or cashmere.
2. Keep your head warm
Heat can escape from any uncovered part of your body. This often includes your head and face. As much as possible, cover them up with a hat, scarf and earmuffs. If the weather is exceptionally windy, you may want to consider wearing a balaclava to protect your face.
3. Wear a waterproof layer
Finish off your outfit with a nylon or Gore-Tex technology outer layer to block harsh arctic winds from making you cold.
Watch out for
Colds and flu: Although colds and the flu virus are not directly caused by cold weather, you’re likely to spend more time indoors during the winter. During this time, your immune system may not be as strong, making you more vulnerable to picking up these illnesses. Protect yourself by practising good hygiene and washing your hands regularly, particularly after spending time in public. You can also consider getting a flu vaccination.
Asthma: Cold air can irritate sensitive airways, making it a trigger for some people who suffer from asthma. Staying indoors may not always solve this issue as increased indoor pollutants like dust mites can also lead to irritation. If you’re an expat who has asthma, try to manage your condition as well as possible leading up to your move. Carry your inhaler with you at all times and speak to your doctor about managing your asthma in the cold.
Adapting to the weather in your new city goes beyond keeping yourself comfortable – it also plays a significant role in maintaining your health. To ease the process of your relocation, let Moovaz lend you a hand!
As one of the best international moving companies in Singapore, Hong Kong, United States of America, New Zealand and more, we have the relevant expertise to take care of your expat needs while you’re abroad. From packing and moving to expat healthcare and insurance, we’ll connect you to our trusted network of partners so that you’ll have access to resources during your move as an expat!