Surviving Rainy Day Travels

Updated June 1, 2020.

It’s Travel Tip Tuesday, my friends! On my recent trip to Block Island, half of my days there were rainy, and it started raining again as I was Ubering from Point Judith to the Providence Airport! I have never found a way to truly appreciate cloudy or rainy days when I’m traveling, since I always want to get picture-perfect photos and I just love the sun! But sometimes you just have to roll with it. Next time you find yourself bummed out because of weather on your travels, remember these ideas and make the most of it!

10. Rest Up

This one sounds boring, but it’s important to get adequate rest on travel, and a rainy day is a good opportunity, especially if your trip lasts a week or more. So take a nap, read a book, write some post cards. Look out your window and make your plans for the next sunny day!

9. Go Shopping

Even a non-shopper like me sometimes gets in a shopping mood–souvenirs, gifts, keepsakes, shorts because I forgot to pack some. I’ve shopped for it all! I don’t really think about going shopping on a sunny day unless I have to, but a rainy or overcast day gives me a built-in opportunity to get those shopping chores done.

8. Take Spooky or Dramatic Photos

Overcast or rainy photos can be very dramatic and even impressive! I plan to use a few for future Halloween-inspired blog posts.

Gloom and doom… but look at those clouds!

7. Look for the Rainbows

You can’t have rainbows without rain, my friends! And they really do pop in at any moment to brighten an overcast mood. Seek them out!

End-to-end rainbow!

6. Visit an Aquarium

The sea life doesn’t mind a little rain. We have visited impressive aquariums in Melbourne, Australia; Guam; Monterey, CA; and more, and I just love to watch the life all seem to float around without a care in the world. Makes you feel better about your rainy day!

Dory at the Melbourne Aquarium

5. Go for a Hike

There is one instance I can think of when I decided a cloudy day wasn’t the worst. It was the day we hiked 5+ miles round-trip to the Green Sand Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii. There was literally no shade, just some scratchy shrubs and volcanic rocks. There were lots of clouds and the threat of rain the entire hike. I didn’t realize our luck until we hiked in similar terrain elsewhere on the island a few days later in the scorching heat! On the first hike, I got no sun. On the second hike, I got burned! Make the most of those overcast days and take advantage of that cloud-cover! But be safe if it starts to rain!

Cloudy all day, but we saw the green sand and didn’t get sunburned!

4. Go to a Theme Park or Water Park

Fewer people go to theme parks on rainy or overcast days, but as long as there are no storms or lightning, go and have fun! On a rainy day, every ride is a water ride! Embrace it and enjoy–you will be in the rain, but not in a long line in the rain!

It’s a Small World is a water ride that goes inside! For the rainy day win!

3. Take a Tour

Walking tours go rain or shine, and as a tour guide myself, I know that fewer people go on tours in the rain. So get a private (or almost private) tour in the rain or under the clouds! I’ve given rainy tours in Alexandria, VA, and I’ve taken rainy or overcast tours in Philadelphia, PA, and Krakow, Poland. Grab an umbrella or a poncho and go for it! Ghost tours are especially spooky in the rain. After all, what great ghost story doesn’t start with, “It was a dark and stormy night”? Not into rainy tours? Castles, world-famous venues (like the Sydney Opera House), and even  historic homes all offer tours of the inside of their properties!

A spooky shot of the imposing “Ghost Busters” building in Philadelphia! Best ghost tour ever!

2. Museums and Art Galleries

This is a classic rainy day (or cold day) activity. I’m definitely an outdoor girl, especially when I’m traveling, but sometimes you just need a little relief from the outdoors! So if you’re in Paris, visit the Louvre; if you’re in D.C., check out the Smithsonian Museums; and if you’re in Oslo, check out The Scream at the National Museum!


1. Get Out There Anyway!

If you’re already at a beach, lake, or other water-side location, you’ll be wet anyway! As long as there are no storms in the area, and especially no lightning, enjoy the rain and get into some water sports! That’s what we did in Guam, since it rains there almost every day! For more, read Guam on a Rainy Day.

It rained on and off all day, but I went for my first time stand-up paddle boarding anyway!

What do you think? What do you like to do when you find yourself on travel and it’s raining? Tell me in the comments below!

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6 responses to “Surviving Rainy Day Travels”

  1. I love visiting aquariums wherever I go. My family never wants to go, so I always secretly hope for one rainy day during every trip so I have an excuse to drag them with me lol.

    1. I love them, too! Any excuse to go to an aquarium is a good one!

  2. I love this. Have definitely encountered a few of these days during my travels. I remember going to the Aquarium in Sydney when it rained. There’s always something to do on your travels despite the weather. Either that or just face it anyway!

    1. Got to take advantage of every opportunity–even in the rain!

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