Vacations often bring to mind images of sandy beaches and sun-soaked cityscapes, but the influence of global warming on travel is creating a new reality. Passport Photo Online recently conducted a survey of over 1,000 Americans to explore how heat waves, intensified by global warming, are reshaping the travel landscape.

Global warming is reshaping the way travelers move around the world. As temperatures continue to rise, travelers are adapting by making careful preparations, reorganizing their itineraries, and considering destinations with milder climates. Staying hydrated and taking preventive measures against heatwaves are now key considerations for travelers. The travel industry must take note of these changing trends and provide solutions to help travelers beat the heat.


This survey was conducted online with US respondents who had traveled for leisure within the last three years. The survey, carried out in August 2023, revealed a significant trend of travelers factoring in the threat of heatwaves when planning future trips. The findings are statistically significant for the population at large, and the survey had a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of 3%. Here are the key findings:

1. Global Warming Impact

  • Nearly 94% of travelers have noticed a surge in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves, a phenomenon linked to global warming.
  • Over 77% of Americans are now likely or very likely to consider potential heatwaves when planning future travel.

2. Adaptations to Beat the Heat

  • Travelers are making significant adjustments in response to heatwaves, including reshuffling daily schedules (27.15%), choosing accommodations with better cooling facilities (26.56%), and changing transportation methods (25.84%).

3. Global Warming’s Health Concerns

  • Approximately 48% of respondents cited health issues like dehydration and exhaustion as their top inconvenience during heatwaves.
  • More than 57% of travelers would consider travel insurance that specifically covers disruptions caused by heatwaves.
  • Headaches (28%) are the most commonly experienced heat-related symptoms.

5. Heatwave Precautions

  • Travelers’ top three precautions include staying hydrated (14.71%), avoiding outdoor activities during midday (14.11%), and using sun protection with appropriate clothing (13.88%).

Challenges of Heatwave Travel

Traveling during a heatwave isn’t just about sunburns. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are real risks, affecting 48% of respondents. Other practical issues such as curtailed outdoor activities (34%) and transportation disruptions (29%) add to the struggles.

Travelers can experience a range of symptoms in extreme heat, with headaches being the most common. Over 23% of respondents reported seeking medical assistance during their travel due to heat-related illnesses.

Global Warming’s Impact on Travel Decisions

With global temperatures on the rise due to global warming, travelers are increasingly factoring in the threat of heat waves when planning their trips. Extreme temperatures are becoming the norm, not the exception, and travelers are adjusting their preferences accordingly. For example, there is a 10% drop in those planning trips to Mediterranean destinations from June to November, as milder climate countries like the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, and Bulgaria see a surge in tourist arrivals.