It's a common belief that before heading to the beach or the tropics, you should take a trip to the tanning salon to get a base tan. Even though it seems like a good idea to prepare your skin for sun exposure by hitting the electric beach, according to the Mayo Clinic, there's no proof that a few sessions at the tanning salon will prevent an outdoor sunburn. Keep in mind that ultraviolet light, whether from the sun or a sunlamp, damages your skin. Any change in the color of your skin is a sign of damage from UV radiation. Repeated exposure increases the risk of premature skin aging and skin cancer.
So skip the tanning trips and once you head to warmer climates, be sure to protect your skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen, which will protect you against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it at least 30 minutes before you head outside, and reapply it every two hours.