16 June 2015

Lifestyle | How To Keep Your Cool On The Underground This Summer

If like me you're a) in London and b) use the tube to commute to work every day or if you're a visitor trying to navigate around our wonderful city, chances are you've encountered the underground on a particularly hot day wishing you were anywhere else in the world than stuck in a metal carriage which at the time feels hotter than the surface of the sun.

source: Google
Whilst we've yet to really experience the sort of heat that turns the tube into hell on wheels so far this summer I'm sure it's only a matter of time before those days are upon us and the only thing worse than stressed Londoners trying to get to or from work during peak times is overheating stressed Londoners trying to carry on as normal whilst resisting the urge to push everyone else off the train so that you can have all of the air!

Source: Evening Standard via Google
I'm one of those people that gets quite grouchy when I'm too hot, especially if I'm in an enclosed space with little air and the fragrant armpit of another commuter somewhere near my face - I'm selling the experience well aren't I? I can practically hear all of you non-Londoners scrambling to queue up to experience this on a daily basis. 

Source: Evening Standard via Google
With this in mind, here are my top tips for keeping cool and keeping your cool on the underground this summer because really, it's all fun and games until someone actually gets kicked in this shins (witnessed this last summer on the Central Line which is basically a free-for-all).

1. Carry water with you
The first, most obvious and most important tip I can give you is make sure you always carry water with you. Keeping water with you is important anyway but even more so when temperatures soar and tube carriages are notorious fainting grounds for those dehydrated souls who think they don't need water. Until there's a signal failure somewhere and you're held in a tunnel, at rising temperatures feeling like you're trekking across the Sahara without one of life's most vital things. 

2. Keep a facial mist in your bag
I always carry a travel size of the Avene facial mist with me when temperatures rise so that when I am, quite literally, at boiling point because somebody is leaning on the doors and the train is crawling along at a snails pace, I can give my face a little spritz, a physical action that not only cools me down but also gives me something to do with my hands that doesn't involve bodily removing said door leaner from their position! 

I really like the Avene mist because it comes in an aerosol type cannister so I pop it in the fridge the night before so it's cool on the way to work and then into the fridge at work so it's cool on the way home. It'll never stay completely chilled but it's always cooler than I am which is what I want/

3. Apply something cooling to your pressure points
This is my fail safe, I don't just use it on the tube I also used it quite a lot in Australia and if it cooled me down in 45 degree Aussie heat then it certainly works on the tube. Take your water bottle (another reason to carry one apart from the obvious), facial mist or something cool that you have in your bag and apply it to a pressure point (I like my wrists for this) and wait for the magic to happen. 

I find this works so much better than fanning yourself with a copy of the Evening Standard for example as you're only circulating the hot air if you do this and you're using unnecessary energy which will make you even hotter. 

4. Wear and remove layers
This is probably the second most obvious tip but remove your jackets! The amount of people who fight to stay in their jacket on the tube when they are quite literally melting inside it baffles me! I know with our notoriously unpredictable weather what can look like the greyest day of the year in the morning often turns into a mini-heatwave by lunchtime and you're desperately clawing your way out of your opaque tights and considering lunchtime shopping trips to change into something cooler - just me? Either way, the key here is layering. Layer light clothes when it looks chilly and remove layers when you're too hot - it really isn't a complicated concept. 

5. Stand in less crowded spaces
Final tip here from Captain Obvious but again, it's a good one. If you commute regularly and you're as sad as me you'll know what spot to stand at on the platform that both suits your position in proximity to the exit at your stop and maximises your chance of getting a seat or at the very least, space to breathe. If you're on a packed carriage try and choose your spot wisely, the front and end carriages tend to be emptier as more people opt for the middle; there's usually more space to stand/breathe/generally end up not despising humanity if you choose to stand in front of the people sitting down rather than all bunching up by the doors or desperately clamouring to stand near a window that brings in hot air... 

I hope my tips come in useful for when the tube heatwave eventually strikes, if you've got any tips that I may have missed, please share them in the comments so that we can all get through this summer together!

Vicky x



  1. Great recommendations! Thanks for such an informative post :)

  2. Layers are the best! I don't care if it's ugly, but bringing a cardigan and then tying it around my waist...it's so functional haha. x

    1. Absolutely! I'm the queen of shoving clothes into bags on the tube! My own obviously, it would be awkward if not! Xx

  3. Love this post! I always try and use those cooling facial sprays in the summer I find they really help me if I spray them on my face and the back of my neck and wrists and that seems to cool me down pretty well! X

    1. Glad that it was helpful. Back of the neck is a good one! x


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