There other options to dealing with bad weather, than crying or begging for it to stop. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve agonized over rain ruining my trip. I won’t lie, I have cried over rain, and I have been upset about it. I’d waited years to stand outside and behold the beautiful Greek and Roman ruins, only for me to see them quickly while I was getting pounded on the ears with sideways rain. However, it’s really all in the preparation and making sure you have alternative plans. It’s making sure you bring the right gear. It’s also just accepting the rain for what it is, and not having unrealistic expectations. I’ll show you some examples of what I’m talking about, because the more you travel, the more inclement weather you’ll run into. You want to be prepared!
What to pack when you know it might rain
Half the battle is being prepared when you know it might rain. The worst is finding yourself with cotton shoes, jeans and no hooded jackets when you’re about to be in a rainy monsoon for 12 hours. I’ve had two articles published on Travel Fashion Girl recently, with outfit combinations for rain, and what to bring if it might rain. I know this is a practical concern for travelers. I know this because it has been for me, and by the fact that so many women read and commented on those articles (one had 28 comments!) I’m all about multiple-purpose items, so obviously I’m a fan of bringing leather boots instead of rain boots, because they’re waterproof and you can wear them when it’s dry as well. Rain boots really aren’t practical, unless you’re going to a farm or the jungle for part of a trip. If you know it’s going to rain most of the trip, check out some of my outfit combinations here to give you some ideas on what to pack so you’re comfortable and as dry as possible. For simple tips on what to pack if it might rain (like should I bring an umbrella?) check out my tips here. I like to address things like what pants are best to wear, and I actually suggest tights since they’re made of nylon. (Nylon is the recommended material by outdoor companies since it’s breathable, lightweight and dries fast.) The point being, have the right gear and be ready for the weather. Don’t let it come to you as a big shocker. Read the tips, look up the weather, and prepare yourself!
What to do when it might rain
Have a plan B. I’m not going to just tell you to do that, and not share with you how I did this in the past. I mentioned the ruins, didn’t I? I couldn’t wait to see the Greek theater in Taormina. I couldn’t wait to see that beautiful theater by the sea with the sun shining in on it at just the right moment. Well, turns out, a storm wanted to shine on it at just the right moment. I was devastated. I wish I could say I was cool about it, but I actually sat there in the rain and pouted. I shed a few tears and was just downright disappointed.
So, we went back to our bed and breakfast and I pouted some more. Then we decided, OK, can’t we do something else that will be fun? I mean we’re in Sicily, for goodness sake! We’re not going to sit here and cry (at least anymore.) We decided to go to a winery. And guess what? It was actually a lot of fun, and one of the highlights of the trip. The winery was situated on the side of Mt. Etna (an active volcano) and the way the clouds were moving in made this place look like something out of a movie. (Plus, the wine was great, and we ate so much food we could barely move.)
Have other options available. If you can’t sit outside and view what you want, maybe there’s a museum with some excavated ruins you could look at around there. Maybe you can have a long lunch somewhere and wait for it to pass. Just don’t set yourself up to be disappointed. I did that, and I hope you can learn from my mistakes!
I love taking photographs when I travel (obviously) and some of the most interesting ones have been when it was raining or about to rain. My favorite set of foggy pictures were when we were in Edinburgh. I read a tip from another travel blogger that bringing something bright and cheery when it rains can turn a rather dull picture into something cool. And she was right.
This weather made me feel like I was helping Sherlock Holmes solve a mystery. It added some depth and interest to Edinburgh that made me want to go back before I had even left.
The bottom line is rain doesn’t have to ruin anything. It doesn’t have to make or break your trip. You can work with it. Maybe things will be a little different than what you expected, but different doesn’t always mean worse. In fact, get out your GoPro (or waterproof lens) and keep taking those pictures. Put up your hood and keep walking. If you’re soaked, hop in somewhere for a hot tea and a cookie, and keep moving. I’ve learned that I can’t get control the weather, but I can control how I deal with it. Enjoy a rainy day and I hope you have lots of interesting pictures to show for it!