Are you counting down the days to the holiday season? For many of us, that means a chance to escape to a warm, tropical destination to spend some time away from the blistering cold and snowy weather. When we’re enjoying a relaxing break under the sun, the last thing we need is a nasty sunburn to ruin our vacation. To ensure a sunburn-free vacation, make sure you follow these five simple tips.

1. Apply Sunscreen

Sunscreen is especially important during your vacation when you’re out in the sun often. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. If you’re hitting the beach or pool, use a water-resistant sunscreen and reapply after swimming. For those who are packing sandals or flip-flops, remember to apply sunscreen to your feet as well, and ask for help with hard-to-reach places like your back.

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2. Cover up

Besides sunscreen, covering up your body with hats and clothing are also good forms of sun protection. Not all clothing block UV rays equally, so UV protective clothing is advised. Also, make sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat so that it can cover up the top of your head, neck, face and ears.

3. Wear Sunglasses

Like your skin, your eyes are also susceptible to damage from the sun. Wearing sunglasses will help protect your eyes and the tender skin around them. Make sure your sunglasses sufficiently protect your eyes against UV radiation by looking for ones that block 99 – 100% of UVA and UVB rays, or offer UV absorption up to 400nm.

4. Seek Shade

The sun is strongest during peak hours from 10am to 4pm. Try to seek shade during this time by going indoors, or finding an umbrella or shady tree. If you’re planning on going to the beach, consider going earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. Remember that water and sand can reflect damaging UV rays and increase your chance of sunburn, so it’s important to find shade and use the other forms of sun protection.  

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5. Use Sun Index

Sun Index is a useful free app that’s great for keeping you safe under the sun. Available for iOS and Android, it can tell you how long you can stay outside before getting a sunburn. It also lets you know how much sunscreen to apply based on your size and clothing choice, and can even send you reminders when it’s time to reapply sunscreen.