Products I Swear By for the Hot Humid Summer (And Ones I Do NOT)

My first visit to Ambergris Caye was mid-August of 2006. It was warm, sunny, and I fell in love. With the snorkeling – we went twice on the same Hol Chan/Shark Ray snorkel trip. With the weather, the sun, the people, with the bars where locals and tourists hung out together. I fell in love with rice and beans mixed with potato salad. Only a few days into the trip, I knew I’d be in Belize again SOON. (And I NEVER thought that about any other trip I’d taken to warm weather beach spots)

Beautiful water
View on the west side of the island

I never thought it was too hot. If I was warm…I had a rum punch at a beach bar or jumped off a dock into the sea. I wasn’t running errands – or driving the dusty road to town. And I was young! 32-year-olds don’t feel the heat 🙂

But 18 years later, I can now feel the change of seasons in Belize—and when the temp dips below 70 (which is rarely does), I’m cold. And, a few months later, summer is HOT! Hot and humid and when you are running around, it can be a bit uncomfortable.

After LOTS of experimentation, I’ve found products that make my life easier, cooler, and better. So I thought I’d share them and hopefully illicit from you the things that make summer more comfortable—whether you are in San Pedro, Belize, Savannah, Georgia, or August in Michigan. Please let me know in the comments what works for you.

Here is a post about shipping to Belize: Can you OnLine Shop/Amazon Prime to Belize? To hopefully help you out if you are thinking about moving or have already moved..

Things I Buy that Make My Summer Comfortable & Easier

Powder: As an adult (without a baby), I did not have powder in my home in the USA. But when I moved to Belize – and I saw locals using it – I bought some, and…it’s amazing for keeping you comfortable in hot, humid weather. Golf cart seats are vinyl, and…a bit of powder can make all the difference…

I’ve tried Gold Bonds (thanks all you Southerners from the US for suggesting it), and I’ve tried Monkey Butt Powder, but the one I like best – and it’s available down here is: Ammens Shower Fresh Powder

It looks like something your granddad might have but it works!

Cotton Bandanas: My collection of bandanas or “sweat rags” is one of my most important possessions. I constantly need to wipe my face (dust, sweat), wipe my sunglasses, and wipe my filthy golf cart seat; I always have a bandana in my bag—maybe even two on an extra hot, dusty day. The older, softer, and more absorbent, the better. It also probably doesn’t need to be said, but don’t buy white.

The Right Mosquito Repellant: As the summer advances, we start to see a bit of rain. Often at night or pass-by showers, the rains bring mosquitos in the early morning hours and as the sun sets. (As I type this…mid-May, there has been almost no rain since the end of January. I haven’t had a mosquito bite in months! But it is good to prepare)

When you are hot and sweaty, the last thing you want is to be covered in smelly, greasy-oily DEET. Finding picaridin and Sawyer’s Mosquito Lotion and Spray has been a game changer. The lotion is not greasy at all, stays put for HOURS, if not all day, and works better than DEET in my estimation. LOVE.

Order if before you arrive – I have not seen it for sale in Belize (yet) – it’s so good.

The Right Sandals: Winter and spring in Belize are warm (high 70s-low 80s) and dry. You can wear those $3 Old Navy Flip Flops or those bejeweled beauties you picked up at Mirabs. But when it starts to rain… store tiles become SLIPPERY and you want to run for a bit of shelter, you want something with some grip – both the treads and something that adheres better to your foot.

I like these Birkenstocks for both those reasons but Tevas or Croc sandals probably work just as well. They can get wet, you can walk on more rugged terrain and they grip tiles and slippery surfaces. I even talked Jeff into them…

I’ve got lavender, Jeff a kind of olive green

A Rechargeable Fan: We’ve been experiencing power outages over the last few months. As the summer advances and temperatures rise, they tend to be more frequent. After doing a bit of research, we invested in two of these fans last year, and they have been AMAZING. They are LONG-LASTING (on low, they go for about 9-10 hours) and make a huge difference. Definitely wait for a sale or juicy coupon.

Our rechargeable fan

Banana Shakes: We started making these last summer – with the 15-year-old VitaMix that Jeff brought from his old business, Rojo Lounge. A few frozen bananas and a few spoons of cacao powder from Belize Chocolate (it makes ALL the difference) – add a few glugs of milk (of any sort) – and whir until it’s a thick ice cream-like consistency. Suck through a straw (a metal one if you have it) and you will instantly be 25 degrees cooler.

Tea Tree Oil: Sweating makes me itchy. The powder helps but…well…we don’t need details. I’ve tried so many products for itch – for bug bites, for rashes, for all of it – and I’ve found that tea tree oil (mixed in with an unscented moisturizer for all over application) or just dotted on bug bites works 10x better than any cortisone or Benadryl creams…it WORKS.

I’ve purchased from Trader Joe’s – amazing – and from Amazon. This one is big and comes with a smaller bottle so you can keep it in two places. I don’t always believe in natural products but this one WORKS.

Things I Bought that Don’t Work for Me

Those Neck Fans: I ordered this one (it was cheaper last year!) And found that it just blows hot air back into your face. Maybe if you are in a poorly air-conditioned room, it cools you off a bit, but these don’t work for me.

Neck fan didn't work

That Mosquito Device: If you are sensitive to bites and want to protect yourself easily from the bugs, use lotion or spray. Those citronella bracelets or stickers or natural mixtures do not work for me. At all. And what also does not work for me – and this may be controversial – the Thermacell devices. Man, I wanted them to be effective. They might work on a patio in Rhode Island – I hope they do – but Belizean mosquitos do not heed its invisible warning. They were undeterred.

Something I Just Ordered (I’ll Get Back to You)

Cooling Towels: Maybe even better than a bandana? A towel you can refresh every few hours and drape around your neck? (Hurray for all the businesses that still have a COVID-handwashing sink outside)

If this works, I will see if they make a body suit. Please let me know if you’ve tried and/or recommend!

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  1. Kelly on May 16th, 2024 at 10:23 am

    You’re Tee Tree Oil is on sale today.
    Thanks for the rec!

    • San Pedro Scoop on May 16th, 2024 at 2:50 pm

      That bottle should last me about 35 years 🙂 but thanks for the heads up. I store the big jar in the fridge and use the little one for my bites and itchiness!

  2. Kathleen Hoffman on May 16th, 2024 at 10:33 am

    Does the Swayers repellent work on sand fleas?

    • San Pedro Scoop on May 16th, 2024 at 2:49 pm

      I don’t think it does – the only thing that seems to work for those little jerks is something greasy that drowns them. (I know this isn’t helpful but they don’t both me on Ambergris Caye. Though once I was DESTROYED in Guanaja and Roatan so I know how awful the bites can be)

      • Pam Weller on May 18th, 2024 at 6:45 am

        Kat, if you’re bitten by sand fleas, white vinegar takes away the itch. Better to avoid being bitten of course, but this works if they get you.

  3. Renee on May 16th, 2024 at 10:49 am

    I keep a low tech, old fashioned hand fan in my bag and that cools me off in a pinch. Gallery 501 has some nice ones.

    • San Pedro Scoop on May 16th, 2024 at 2:48 pm

      Like one of the older looking pleated fans? I love that! I’ll (appear to) so demure!

  4. Kris B on May 16th, 2024 at 12:57 pm

    I read your tips religiously, no sense reinventing the wheel! Anxious to visit in a new season that we have not experienced previously. Your warm weather tips are appreciated.

  5. Billy Frank Thornton on May 16th, 2024 at 11:14 pm

    …I learned in New Orleans to run cold water on the underside of the wrist. Also, gel filled ice packs works wonders…wrapped in hand towel.

  6. Corrine on May 17th, 2024 at 8:17 am

    I had to a cooling towel in my purse, I use my ice cold bottled water on it and it works. If you use the tap water it’s not so good.

  7. rubmd on May 18th, 2024 at 3:26 am

    Nice blog here Also your site loads up fast What host are you using Can I get your affiliate link to your host I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  8. Ricky Moore on May 18th, 2024 at 7:51 am

    The cooling towels work great. Especially if you can store them in the fridge or cooler with ice water. We use the neck towels, wrist wraps, and durags (skull caps) to combat the Texas heat while working on the pipelines.

    • San Pedro Scoop on May 19th, 2024 at 9:34 am

      I order some towels and a tiny bottle of pepperment oil. I should carry around a tiny cooler – I wonder how small they get!

  9. Kim on May 19th, 2024 at 12:04 pm

    My first purchases when I arrive in Belize: a jug of water and a box of cornstarch for all those sweaty areas.

    • San Pedro Scoop on May 20th, 2024 at 8:36 am

      Corn starch! I feel like I sweat enough that…it might make a paste or worse…dough.

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