The Check-In: Traveling in a heat wave, the sound of The Sphere in Las Vegas, and more

Welcome to The Check-In, our weekend feature focusing on all things travel.

Stave off the heat with these summer travel tips

Some of the world’s travel hot spots are literally scorching this summer. With temperatures soaring across the globe and heat waves affecting parts of Europe, Asia and the United States, there are some precautions tourists should take as they prepare to take flight.

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First, realize that your plans might have to change because of the weather. In Athens, the Acropolis recently had to close early due to the heat, and other attractions might also have reduced hours for the same reason. Always check in advance to make sure the places you want to visit are open.

Try to get your day started as early as possible, before it gets too hot. Wear loose clothing made of lightweight material, and wear a hat while in the sun. Lather up on sunscreen, and be sure to reapply it.

Take your time while walking around to avoid getting overheated, and try to steer clear of areas that will be densely packed with people. Carry plenty of water (and don’t forget to drink it!) and choose snacks like watermelon and grapes that will also keep you hydrated.

To cool off when you’re back in your hotel room, take a cold shower or bath. In Italy, authorities are telling people to make sure they spend at least three hours a day in air conditioning, CNN reported. Schedule stops at places with A/C, like museums and movie theaters.

“Beyond air conditioning, limit your outdoor activity, especially mid-afternoon, the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight,” Claudia Brown, a health scientist at the National Center for Environmental Health, told The New York Times.

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If you experience symptoms of heat stroke, seek help immediately. Signs include a body temperature of over 103 degrees Fahrenheit; hot, red and dry skin; a rapid pulse; dizziness; confusion; upset stomach; a throbbing headache; and passing out.

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Finally, don’t expect to get your money back if you ask to cancel an already booked trip or excursion. Most travel insurance policies don’t cover extreme heat events, and “vendors are scheduled very tightly and don’t have much maneuverability,” Joyce Falcone, president of the Italian Concierge travel agency, told the Times. “They’re trying to make a living, and have limited time to do so.”

In case you missed it…

As part of a total overhaul of its planes, United Airlines is adding Braille placards to seats and lavatories. So far, the new signs are on 12 planes. Mark Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said in a statement the organization applauds United for “taking an important step toward making its aircraft more accessible to blind passengers.”

When The Sphere opens in Las Vegas this fall, people might hear it before they see it. That’s because this giant entertainment venue (at 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide, it’s the largest spherical structure in the world) will feature a first-of-its-kind Immersive Sound system with more than 1,586 loudspeakers designed for the curved interior. The venue will be christened by U2, with the band launching a 25-show residency in September.

Traveling to Europe in 2024? If you have an American passport, you’ll need to fill out the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) application ahead of time. This is being implemented as a way to “better track who’s coming and going” from Europe, NPR reported.

Mark your calendars

Kylie Minogue is coming to Sin City, with a residency at the Venetian’s new Voltaire nightclub. The singer’s first show is set for Nov. 4, and every spot in the venue will be a great one — there are only about 1,000 seats. When announcing the residency, Minogue said the creative team has “designed an environment where people can get up and dance at their tables and revel in the night,” so you know it’s going to be a good time.

The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival has been enticing visitors to “eat, drink, and stink” since 1983. Held every summer, this year’s event is set for Aug. 19 and 20, and it’s all about that allium — there will be garlicky food, garlic-based activities, the crowning of a Garlic Queen, the Garlic Festival Dog Show, and more. Vampires won’t love it, but you will.

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