Travel advisors are employing two main tactics to help their Europe-bound travelers stay cool in this summer's heat waves: Scheduling activities during cooler hours and recommending frequent gelato stops.
Europe's heatwave has been the most impactful this summer, said several advisors I spoke with last week. Some said travelers are asking to move their trips and activities to cooler hours as a result.
Diane Sherer, the owner and founder of Beyond Traveled in Los Angeles, said her clients haven't asked to cancel anything yet this summer. But she has been careful to arrange tours outside of midday hours.
She offered this advice to other agents: "Do the best you can to set up the outdoor tours in the cooler hours (and museums and other indoor touring midday), send a reminder to bring sunscreen and water, talk to your partners on the ground there to make sure your mutual clients are well taken care of, and give lots of breaks for water -- or gelato! -- if needed."
Gelato flavors at L'Amande, a pastry shop in Nafplio, Greece. Photo Credit: Rebecca Tobin
Cooler hours usually mean early mornings and late afternoons, Sherer said. If clients question their itinerary, she explains her reasoning, and they understand.
Sherer wasn't the only advisor recommending gelato stops.
Christy Mahon, owner of Dream Vacations franchise Escape Artist Holidays in Branchville, N.J., is also a fan of the frozen treat.
"I'm always telling my clients, 'If you feel like you're wilting in the heat, have gelato,'" Mahon said. "'As often as necessary. You'd be surprised how much it helps."
Mahon is also a fan of talking with clients early on about the heat associated with traveling in summer - in fact, well before they book.
Taunya Altamirano, owner of Dream Vacations franchise Live Love Drink Travel in Phoenix, agreed.
"To me, that's really what our job is, is to set expectations," she said. "Explain to them what can happen. You hope that it doesn't; you know what they say, plan for the worst, hope for the best. That's kind of my motto whenever I book travel anywhere."