Bright blue sky, fluffy white clouds, shining golden sun… there’s lots to love about a hot summer’s day. And what can make it even better is equipping yourself with some essential items that’ll help you stay cool, calm and protected. Here are our picks!

1. Sun cream

We couldn’t start with anything else. Sun cream is the number one must-have item when you’re planning to spend time outdoors as it’ll protect your skin against sunburn, which can increase your risk of skin cancer.

There are loads of sun cream options to choose from and the NHS recommends going for one that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and at least 4-star ultraviolet A radiation (UVA) protection. It’s also important to bear in mind that sun cream can expire, so check the date if you haven’t used yours for a while.

While sun cream is often synonymous with going on holiday abroad, the truth is that you can burn just as easily here in the UK and you can even burn when it’s cloudy. So, make sure you’ve got a bottle to hand and that your skin’s thoroughly covered when you’re heading outside this summer.

2. Hat

Sun cream and a sun hat go hand-in-hand. It’s a good idea to choose a hat with a wide brim as this will create added shade for your face, neck and ears. As the skin on our faces tends to be more sensitive to the sun’s rays, having this second layer of protection is even more important.

3. Sunglasses

Whether you’re planning to relax on a sun lounger in your garden, enjoy some time in the saddle or go for a scenic drive, we’d always recommend taking a pair of sunglasses along with you.

Eyes are highly sensitive to bright light and popping a pair of shades over the top of them can help to prevent damage from UVB rays, reduce the risk of getting a migraine or headache (classic consequences of squinting in the sun) and protect your eyes from weather elements like dust and sand.

4. Water bottle

It’s always important to stay hydrated, but never more so than when you’re out in the sun or the heat and your body starts to sweat to keep you cool. The best way to make sure that you’ve always got water to hand is by packing a water bottle in your bag.

There are a range of options available, with different capacities and materials, while some also offer insulation to keep your water cooler for longer. Whatever you choose, just make sure the lid is safely secured before you set out!

5. Coolbox

We’re sticking with our cooling theme for the next entry in the list: coolboxes. Coming in all shapes and sizes, a coolbox will help to keep your beverages chilled and fresh even when the sun is beating down. Many have handles and wheels to make them easy to transport, while some can also be charged via your car for adding cooling power. It’s the ultimate way of enjoying your food and drink in style this summer.

6. Parasol/umbrella

Even if you’ve covered yourself in sun cream, bought the perfect wide-brimmed hat and paired it with some stylish glasses, it’s still important to have access to some shade during the day. The NHS recommends spending time in the shade when the sun is strongest (between 11am and 3pm) and that’s where having a parasol or umbrella comes in handy.

There are all sorts of designs out there, but a lot of them are portable, which means you can keep creating that much-needed shade as the sun moves across the sky.

7. Fan

It’s always worth making room in your life for a fan when it’s hot outside. From little hand-held models that you can slip into your bag to bigger models that are designed for use around the home, a fan will provide a welcome escape from the heat of the day.

We hope these hot weather essentials help you to stay cool and safe this summer!

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