Never Leave Kids, Pets in the Car

Acting like miniature greenhouses, car interiors heat up fast in the #summer sun. Never leave children, elderly relatives or pets inside a hot car; all are extremely vulnerable to heatstroke and serious trauma or death can occur within minutes — even if the windows are cracked or it doesn’t seem “that” hot. Keep a bottle of cool water on hand to spritz yourself and your kids on hot summer days, The New York Times suggests, or have them run through a sprinkler or splash — fully supervised — in a pool. #SummerSafetyTips

Summer Safety Still Includes Masks

It almost goes without saying that summertime safety now includes taking precautions against #COVID-19. Mask up if you are not yet #vaccinated or immunocompromised; the Delta variant spreads more quickly and is just as deadly as the original. Fully vaccinated individuals don’t need to worry as much about mask, the Washington Post says, but if you are vaccinated and travel to an area with low vaccination rates, you might want to consider masking anyway. And again, outdoor activities tend to be safer. #SummerSafetyTips

Protect Yourself Against the Sun

If you plan to be in the sun this summer, take common-sense precautions to protect your skin against overexposure, Northwestern Medicine says. First, choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 and UVA and UVB protection; apply it liberally to all exposed areas of the body. Then, wait 15 minutes for the sunscreen to be fully effective before exposing yourself to direct sunlight, and reapply it periodically according to the label instructions. Note that no sunscreen is truly waterproof, however. #SummerSafetyTips

Staying Safe in a Heatwave

There’s an ongoing heatwave in the West, where temperatures soared above 100°F and set new records in places that rarely see sustained temps in the 80s so early in the summer. If you happen to be in a location that’s experiencing extreme heat, be sure to drink plenty of water, People says, and wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Avoid direct sunlight or wear sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat when exposed, and limit strenuous activity to avoid heat exhaustion and heatstroke. #SummerSafetyTips

Planning Summer Travel in 2021

Not so long ago in 2019, the unofficial beginning of summer was the beginning of summer travel season. COVID-19 put a stop to that last year, but now that the United States is (mostly) vaccinated against the deadly disease, pent-up demand is fueling summer trips large and small.

Air travel is at almost 90% of prepandemic numbers, and with more countries overseas easing lockdowns, international travel is starting to creep upward. But as you plan your summer trips, don’t expect the fine-tuned machine that served travelers in ’19.

For one thing, you may not be able to rent a car — or afford one in your chosen vacation spot. Auto rental companies slashed fleet inventories during the pandemic to stay solvent, the Washington Post says, and may not replenish them until next year at the earliest.

Business travel is expected to rebound late, leaving the leisure traveler with plenty of options in hotels and accommodations. Rooms may be somewhat more expensive in popular locations, USA Today says, but change and cancellation fees have largely disappeared during the panemic.

For travelers who are still wary of crowded indoor environments, the great outdoors beckons. Roadtrippers.com suggests booking campsites now to avoid disappointment as pretty much everyone tries to get safely back to a new normal, travel-wise.

The road trip is still perhaps the best option for summer travel in 2021. Pack the car and take off to visit the friends and family you couldn’t last year; gas prices are up due to the Colonial Pipeline hack and other supply issues, but it remains a great way to see the sights.

Roadtripper’s planning tools allow you to build an itinerary that will suit your budget and checklist, whether your ideal trip is city or country, active or 100% R&R. The Organizing Blog can offer advice on keeping your vehicle #neat, #clean and #organized during long stretches on the road.

If you pick up any #tchotchkes or #souvenirs on your summer trips, make sure they are things that you want to use every day; otherwise, they will quickly turn into #clutter. If you are already overburdened with #stuff, take only pictures to remember your travels.

As you pack, set aside any stuff you don’t use and contact ClothingDonations.org to schedule a free, contactless #donation #pickup. It will clear your head before you take off on a leisurely weekend or bucket-list trip — and make your home a welcoming place to come back to.