As summers become increasingly sweltering, the days of sun-seeking vacations might be giving way to a new travel trend: coolcationing. This term, a play on “vacation” and “cool,” describes the deliberate act of traveling to escape the heat and seek cooler temperatures during the hottest months. It’s a refreshing shift in vacation planning, prioritizing comfort and rejuvenation over sunburns and scorching days.
Why Coolcationing is Booming
Several factors are fueling the rise of coolcationing this year:
- Extreme weather: Climate change is causing record-breaking heat waves, making traditional summer destinations uncomfortable and even dangerous. Travelers are, instead, heading in the opposite direction and time of year to vacation.
- Crowds and costs: Popular beach destinations often become overcrowded and expensive during peak season. Coolcationing offers a less chaotic and potentially more affordable escape. Additionally, traveling to a destination during the shoulder and off-season are easy ways to save money.
- Shifting priorities: Travelers are increasingly seeking unique experiences that prioritize well-being and connection with nature. Coolcationing destinations often offer outdoor adventures, cultural immersion, and opportunities for personal growth. Instead of heading to theme parks, folks are looking for ways to travel and not be shoulder-to-shoulder with others.
Where to Go for Your Coolcation
The world is your oyster when it comes to coolcationing destinations. To get you started, here are four popular destinations that are not only beautiful, and you won’t find sweltering heat and crowded conditions.
- Mountain Getaways: Escape the heat by seeking higher ground. Lush mountain ranges offer stunning scenery, invigorating hikes, and refreshing alpine air. Consider the Swiss Alps, the Rockies in Canada, or the Himalayas in Nepal.
- Island Paradises: Not all islands are scorching! Look for islands with cooler climates, lush rainforests, and refreshing ocean breezes. Tasmania, Ireland, and the Azores are excellent options.
- Cultural Immersions: Immerse yourself in vibrant cultures with cooler climates. Explore ancient temples in Bhutan, wander through charming villages in Norway, or experience the stunning architecture of Prague.
- Unexpected Cool Havens: Look beyond the obvious! The Scottish Highlands, Patagonia in Argentina, and the Oregon Coast in the US all offer stunning landscapes and refreshing temperatures. You’ll not only be filled with culture and good food, you’ll come home with a new travel perspective.
Beyond the Coolcation Destination
Coolcationing isn’t just about choosing the right destination; it’s about embracing a mindful approach to travel. Here are some tips for a truly refreshing experience:
- Focus on wellness: Plan activities that promote relaxation and rejuvenation, such as yoga retreats, spa treatments, or meditation sessions in nature. Look for locations with package deals to save money.
- Embrace local experiences: Connect with the local culture through food, music, and crafts. Immerse yourself in the unique rhythm of life at your coolcation destination. If you need recommendations, don’t hesitate to ask the hotel concierge when they go to eat and explore safely.
- Minimize your impact: Choose eco-friendly accommodations and transportation options. Be mindful of your consumption and support local businesses.
- Disconnect to reconnect: Leave your phone behind (or at least switch it to airplane mode) and focus on being present in the moment. Reconnect with nature, yourself, and your loved ones.
Coolcationing isn’t just a trend; it’s a conscious choice to prioritize your well-being and experience travel in a new way. By seeking cooler temperatures, immersing yourself in diverse cultures, and embracing mindful practices, you can return from your coolcation feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to face the heat – whenever it comes.
So, ditch the sunburns and crowded beaches. Instead, pack your hiking boots, embrace the cool breeze, and discover the unique charm of coolcationing. The world awaits refreshing adventures and unforgettable experiences just beyond the heatwave.