It’s been raining like crazy in my hometown recently, which is fine with all my creature comforts around me - but what about when you’re off seeing the delights of the world? While it’s not the end of the world when it starts raining while you’re away, there are a few things you can do to maximise your time …
1. Prepare yourself for more rain.
Unless it’s cyclonic weather, a bit of water doesn’t hurt while you’re traveling. Especially when in Europe - where rain is a given - or around the equator, where wet weather tends to be pretty heavily tied to the rainy season, where rain buckets down and continues on and off for a good six weeks.
Or, if you’re in Australia like I am, and if it rains, it pours … and floods.
So how can you prepare yourself?
Wet weather gear is pretty common around Europe as it tends to drizzle on the regular, so if you’re able to make it to a grocery store, or even a clothes outlet, chances are you will stumble on a handy something to keep you dry. During my time in Japan, it was pretty common for the place to be devoid of umbrellas until the downpour started. Suddenly, every man and his dog would have umbrellas for sale, ready for the unprepared customer. Australia’s a bit of a different story, as we tend to have a lax attitude towards rain. So, you’re going to get wet? Ah, she’ll be right.
What I’m saying is - if you don’t have wet weather gear, don’t panic - you can always buy some - but for the love of all that is divine and holy, please pack a sturdy pair of enclosed shoes.
2. Take and organise your photos.
Before doing this, I’d like to invite you to first follow through on Thing Number One. Mainly because damaging your camera in the wet isn’t going to help anyone!
Successful photography is largely dependent on how you use the lighting that’s available. This will alter how your camera focuses on objects, how your subjects will behave - after all, who likes the sun shining in their eyes? - and the atmosphere that you capture in your shots.
Now it’s one thing to take lots of photos, but it’s another to have some time set aside to organise them while you’re travelling the globe. Rainy days give you the chance to stop having to juggle the myriad of photos you’ve taken while you’ve been away. Minimise those 50 photos of the one gorgeous scene down to two or three treasured photos, so that you can continue taking great shots once the rain clears up!
3. Do some journalling.
Ever committed yourself to writing about every day that you’re away, and when you arrive home you’ve got a bunch of blank pages? Rainy days while you’re traveling are the universe’s way of giving you the time you never take for journalling.
In terms of saving packing space, consider downloading an app for all of your journalling needs. A personal favourite of mine is Day One for iPhone - it lets you record the date, attach photos, and use tags to organise your entires. It does a lot of the hard work for you by including your location, and even gives you prompts if you’re not sure how to get started.
4. Hide in a cafe until the rain lets up.
One of the most memorable days that I had in Scotland involved running down the streets of Edinburgh with a friend, looking for a cafe to shelter in when it started raining. We’d stumbled inside one for breakfast, only to find out that it was part of an art gallery! Our morning cultural activities were sorted.
On that note, hiding in an art gallery, museum, or shopping centre are also alternatives to this one.
5. Keep an eye on the weather forecasts.
This is important for two reasons:
- So you can plan your activities if the rain’s set to continue … or let up.
- For your own safety.
Unfortunately, just because you’ve paid for a fantastic trip doesn’t mean the weather’s going to do you a favour by staying good. As an Australian I always register with smartraveller, a government website that ensures you can access assistance overseas if need be, before I head off and photocopy my travel bookings to keep with family so that I can be contacted in case of an emergency.
What do you do when it’s raining while you’re travelling? Share in the comments below!