Aside from gifts and feasts, the holiday season also means cold and winter for many. Thankfully, there are certain spots in the US where the winter sun provides enough warmth for the winter-avoiders. Today, Florida is home to a host of winter sun destinations to boost vitamin D intake into the colder months, as winter days are typically sunny and warm, with nights just a little cooler.
One of the joys of visiting Florida in the cold season is the "endless summer" that the Sunshine State offers — if you know where to look. We've previously written about visiting the Disney World theme park and how to enjoy shopping, dining, and merch at Disney Springs. Winter-goers can also treat themselves to various Disney-themed accommodations, including Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and the more budget-friendly Disney's Pop Century Resort, for a great summer-in-winter experience.
Still, it's important to care for your health and well-being while out enjoying Florida's winter sun. Despite the mild, almost tropical temperature, you'll still want to protect your skin, eyes, and body to ensure you can enjoy your winter sun holiday. Below, we'll share some tips for doing just that:
Protecting your eyes
While the summer may be over, it's still important to invest in ample sun protection for your eyes. As explained above, winters in Florida are considerably sunnier and warmer than in most other parts. As such, experts recommend wearing sunglasses, even when it's cloudy out on a winter's day. This will provide protection from harmful UV rays, which can damage your eyesight and health in the long-term.
Fortunately, there are many prescription sunglasses available on the market in various shapes and sizes today. Brands like Ray-Ban offer their iconic silhouettes, which will be a nice touch for vacation photos. Prescription sunglasses are also a great option as they offer sun protection as well as visual clarity, so you don't have to constantly switch between your stylish shades and regular prescription glasses to see clearly.
To enjoy Florida's winter sun, most residents wear short-sleeves throughout the year. However, light jackets and sweaters aren't a rare sight on winter nights. While you don't necessarily have to bundle up in coats and gloves, covering up can help protect you from potential wind chill. So instead of a thick, fluffy jacket, a simple long sleeve shirt can be a good alternative. Plus, it's much easier to roll up your sleeves than continuously taking off and putting on a jacket.
For your bottom half, you'll want to pack a few pairs of pants. Jeans are great if you want the extra style points, and sweatpants or joggers will keep you warm and comfortable enough. If you find that Floridian winter mornings are warm enough, you can wear some shorts to soak up more of that vitamin D. You can also save up packing space by ditching winter accessories like mittens and beanies, as jackets are more than enough.
Investing in skincare
Finally, a key piece of winter sun skincare is sunscreen. This is especially important as even during the hottest summer days, only 10% of Americans regularly wear sunscreen. The numbers plummet as the seasons change into cooler temperatures. Dermatologists recommend sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun's UV rays during the winter — yes, even if it's cooler.
When looking for sunscreen, you don't have to overthink your winter sunscreen choices. Doctors confirm that using the same sunscreen you use for spring or summer during cooler seasons is fine. However, the amount of SPF you need will depend on the sun you'll be exposed to. If you're not doing too many outdoor activities, you don't have to look for sweat-resistant or water-resistant sunscreen.
Ultimately, while winter in Florida will feel somewhat warmer and sunnier than most other winter destinations, it's still important to dress and pack accordingly. Aside from ensuring good health and comfort, it'll help you fit in with the crowd and have a more enjoyable winter sun holiday as a whole.
This article was produced in partnership with Ruth Merritt.