Worse things can happen, of course. But when we’re on vacation and rain begins to come down in buckets, it’s often a disproportionately huge disappointment – even when ensconced in a luxury hotel or resort.

When we anticipate our vacations, we tend to conjure up mental portraits of sunny blue skies (and, sometimes, sand).

Encountering a rainy day (or several of them) at a destination can be a real downer. Even several hours of heavy downpour can put a crimp in our plans.

Credit: Pixabay

Rainy day vacation ideas to brighten your mood

Should the skies open up with rain, here’s a list of rainy day vacation ideas to make sure foul weather doesn’t dampen your spirits!

1) Get lost in a museum

Scan websites of museums and galleries at your destination and/or ask the hotel concierge about any special exhibits or permanent collections that might tickle your fancy.

Credit: Pixabay

2) Go shopping

Whether you’re a boutique-shopper or bargain-hunter, use the time to refresh your wardrobe or find a special gift for a friend. You’re likely to find things you wouldn’t find at home. And an indoor mall is a perfect rainy day destination to forget the elements outdoors.

Credit: Pixabay

3) Enjoy a leisurely meal

Are you a food enthusiast? Find a spot to enjoy a long leisurely multi-course lunch. Increasingly, hotels and resorts are luring celebrity chefs and top-notch restaurateurs inside (like Marcus Samuelsson, at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club). You might even find a long table where it’s easy to make fast friends with locals or fellow travelers.

Credit: Jerome Levine

Credit: Jerome Levine

4) Luxuriate at the spa

Make an appointment for a massage or to relax in the steam room or Jacuzzi. Take a swim in the indoor pool. Perhaps you have enough time to schedule an indulging beauty treatment, too, whether it’s a haircut, facial, manicure or pedicure.

5) Cocoon in your room

For the moment, you’re living in the lap of luxury, so take advantage of your luxury hotel or resort! Rent a first-run movie and raid the minibar (you might even find local specialty products). Or call room service for your favorite snacks and libations.

Credit: Pixabay

6) Work up a sweat

Find the hotel gym or fitness center. You might even be able to book a session with a personal trainer and jump-start your usual routine!

Credit: Pixabay

7) Find a flick 

Depending on where you are, you may be able to catch a new movie or snag last-minute tickets to a show. Many resorts schedule movies and other entertainment on rainy days.

Credit: Pixabay

8) People-watch in the lobby

Find a comfortable chair off the main lobby, maybe near a window and watch the comings and goings of people inside and outdoors. You’ll be in an enviable position to know just when the downpour has ended.

Credit: Jerome Levine

Credit: Jerome Levine

9) Ignore the weather! 

Forget about this minor inconvenience and don’t let it spoil your plans (unless you were planning a picnic under a tree). If you don’t have a raincoat, buy an umbrella from a street vendor. Do whatever you had planned to do. You won’t melt in the rain and chances are the sun will come out tomorrow or sooner!

Credit: Pixabay


This interactive map is designed to help travelers avoid rainy days

If you are wet-weather-aversive, check out this neat interactive map (below) from DecisionData.org that tells The Best Time To Visit Anywhere in the World. 

It was created by digital nomad Ryan Whitaker who crunched ten years of weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

How to Use It: Choose a week of the year for your travels, set filters for the temperature and days of rain, and identify the best place(s) to visit during a particular time or check out the rainfall predictions for your destination.


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About how to enjoy Napa Valley in the rain:


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Have you experienced a rainy vacation? What rainy day vacation ideas do you have?