Summer vacation is a time to create memories with your family and friends, not a time to wish you had remembered to protect yourself from the sun. Skin cancer rates are rising every year, but there are plenty of ways to protect us. Even if you aren’t outside for very long, you can get a wicked sunburn that demands some aloe vera to alleviate the burning sensation. Here are a few tips to lower your risk of getting burned this year when you’re out on the lake (or anywhere, really).

1. Don’t be afraid of the sunscreen

Sunblock works wonders for keeping the sun’s damaging rays from damaging your skin. A couple of the most common complaints I hear are that it takes too long to apply and that you have to keep applying it. It’s a small price to pay for protection, otherwise you will be one sad RVer. Here within the last few years, sunblock spray has become more popular (I even use it) because of it’s ease of use. You can cover your entire body within a minute or 2. Don’t forget to check the instructions to see how often you need to reapply. It does no good to stay out in the sun for 3 hours if your sunscreen is only effective for 90 minutes.

2. Seek out the shade

Setting up shop underneath a big oak tree is ideal, but you can also stay under your RVs awning, inside your RV, or carry an easy to put together canopy with you when you travel so you always have portable shade. Avoiding the sun during the hottest part of the day and staying directly out of the sun’s rays cuts your chances of getting burned dramatically.

3. Cover up

Cover up? During the summer? Are you crazy? It may sound crazy, but it works. Purchase a wide brimmed hat so that it covers, not only your scalp, but your face and neck, too!  If you can go without being bare-chested while you’re out cooking lunch or dinner, then keep your shirt on, no one likes having sunburn over half of their body.