Sunblock in Portugal, for October?

Old Jul 7th, 2023, 07:15 AM
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Sunblock in Portugal, for October?

We're travelling to Portugal in the first week of October (Lisbon, Sintra, Porto) for 10 days. Is sunblock necessary? We heard that sunblock in Portugal can be really expensive.
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Old Jul 7th, 2023, 11:09 AM
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I can't speak for Portugal, but I went to Spain in October and it was sunny and HOT. Much hotter than anticipated. I wear foundation with sunscreen and it wasn't an issue. I can't imagine that it would be that expensive to buy if you don't have suitcase space.
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Old Jul 7th, 2023, 11:42 AM
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I don't understand the issue. You can bring sunscreen from home or buy it there. I have a hard time believing it's prohibitively expensive. But even if it is very pricey, skin cancer will cost you a lot more, and not just in terms of money.
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Old Jul 7th, 2023, 12:04 PM
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If you’re traveling with carry on luggage only, bringing liquids is an issue to be considered. That being said, though, I can’t imagine the cost is exorbitant. It’s just a necessary expense.
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Old Jul 7th, 2023, 12:40 PM
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Portugal has the same sun intensity (lattitude) as New Jersey or Indianapolis. Would you wear sunscreen if you spent a warm sunny day outside at the Jersey Shore in October?

If yes, then do as others have said and bring some with you. If no, that’s your personal choice that we can’t judge.

this website shows how the UV index changes with the seasons and location
https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/sun-sa...erage-uv-index

Longitude does not really matter. Lattitude and elevation do.

Since the sun is much lower in the sky in Oct vs May/June/July, the total UV exposure will be far less that time of year.

The need for sunscreen depends on UV strength, time of exposure, clothing and personal risk. (Skin type, cancer risk factors, etc)

Last edited by J62; Jul 7th, 2023 at 01:03 PM.
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Old Jul 7th, 2023, 02:57 PM
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If you prefer a particular brand and are putting luggage in the hold,, then take it with you. In the total cost of a holiday, buying some in Portugal won’t break the bank.
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Old Jul 7th, 2023, 03:38 PM
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I'm sure sunblock is just like anything else you buy while traveling. If you buy it in a heavily touristed area it will be expensive. If you buy it from a neighborhood store where the locals shop, it will probably cost about the same as it does at home. In any case, if you need it then pay what it costs and enjoy your trip without a sunburn.
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Old Jul 7th, 2023, 05:30 PM
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What are you planning to do in Portugal? Head to the Algarve and spend time by the pool or ocean?
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Old Jul 8th, 2023, 12:49 AM
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We were in Lisbon in April this year, which I guess would have the same sun intensity as October. As we were flying carry-on only we couldn’t pack liquids. Every day was warm and sunny, and we walked all over the city. Had we spent our days sunbathing we would have needed sunscreen, but even with our pale skins after a winter in England we didn’t burn.
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Old Jul 8th, 2023, 08:54 AM
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It isn't that expensive, you heard wrong.
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Old Jul 8th, 2023, 10:54 AM
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I have found that sun screen costs more in Europe than the USA.
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Old Jul 8th, 2023, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Heimdall
We were in Lisbon in April this year, which I guess would have the same sun intensity as October. As we were flying carry-on only we couldnít pack liquids. Every day was warm and sunny, and we walked all over the city. Had we spent our days sunbathing we would have needed sunscreen, but even with our pale skins after a winter in England we didnít burn.
Sorry but I can't resist. The intensity of the sun received say in mid October would actually be the same as the one in the last days of February or first days of March. Of course on the other hand, the weather would not be directly comparable since its pattern at those distinct times of the year are usually not similar.

I would not worry about this - Lisbon is at the same latitude as Washington DC. Same sun intensity - if you feel you need sunscreen in October in DC, then bring some along to PT.
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Old Jul 8th, 2023, 01:24 PM
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>> “Sorry but I can't resist. The intensity of the sun received say in mid October would actually be the same as the one in the last days of February or first days of March.”

Well, we were there at the beginning of April, but if, as you say the sun intensity in October is more like the first days of March, that makes my case for not needing sunscreen even stronger.
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Old Jul 8th, 2023, 03:22 PM
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you should be wearing sunblock every day when going outside. So yes, you will need sunblock
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Old Jul 9th, 2023, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by millie2112
you should be wearing sunblock every day when going outside. So yes, you will need sunblock
This is the correct answer. Sun damage is cumulative. Just because you didn't burn doesn't mean there wasn't damage.
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Old Jul 9th, 2023, 10:42 AM
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I agree that sunscreen is always a good idea.
If you are only doing carry on, each of you get 2 travel size and put that in your allotted quart zip lock bag.
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Old Jul 9th, 2023, 11:03 AM
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For travel I like the small stick sunscreens, as little as $5 if you are lucky and your local Ralph's or other Kroger brand has them in stock. Or Target for about $8. Very compact, doesn't leak and SPF 50-55. I don't lay out in the sun anymore. If I am spending time at the beach I wear a rashguard.

Hats and long sleeves are better protection. SPF lightweight long sleeved shirt for wearing over a T is also a good idea if you are worried about it being too hot.

I have been to countries where you have to go to a pharmacy to buy sunscreen ( I guess it's to make sure it's effective?) Then it was expensive and seems counterproductive if it's good public health to wear it consistently (or maybe it's just considered something that only wealthy white women use).

Last edited by mlgb; Jul 9th, 2023 at 11:06 AM.
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Old Jul 9th, 2023, 02:29 PM
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I posted examples from real stores in Lisbon but the post disappeared .

Wells is a big "drugstore", and of course El Corte Ingles has all kinds of products. 50 SPF sunscreen is only about 6-10 euro for sticks or bottles up to about 100 or 150 ml.

If anyone wants to check, just go to their websites and search for protetor solar.

https://wells.pt/

Last edited by Christina; Jul 9th, 2023 at 02:31 PM.
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Old Jul 19th, 2023, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by quentinchin4168
I think sunscreen is very necessary when traveling, no matter what the weather, temperature, season. Because it can not only prevent skin cancer, but also slow down the speed of aging.
"but also slow down the speed of aging"

wonderful, welcome to Fodors
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