Destination Hydration: How (and Why) to Drink More Water on Vacation
As summer approaches for countries at the top of the globe, it’s time to start planning a vacation to remember, whether that’s an overseas trip, a domestic road trip, or a weekend away in a nearby city. Unfortunately, while booking flights and hotels or making packing lists, too many of us don’t plan ahead to keep healthy during travel, and forget to plan for our hydration needs! Before we get to some tips, let’s be clear on why it’s even more important than usual to drink water during vacation.
Why you need to track your water intake more while traveling
To start, even if you’re an expert-level water drinking when you’re at home, the lack of routine during a vacation can disrupt that healthy habit, causing you to drink far less than usual.
What’s more, travel opens you up to health issues that you are less likely to face at home. For example, airplane travel not only puts you into close proximity to the germs of total strangers, but flying also dehydrates you because airplane cabins are designed to have extremely low humidity. Mild dehydration can make you more susceptible to those germs and prolong any illnesses you pick up, making your vacation miserable from the start!
Finally, many vacationers engage in more walking, swimming, or other physical activity than they do at home, especially those who lead sedentary lifestyles. When you increase your activity levels, you must also increase your water consumption, but it can be way too easy to forget to drink when you’re having so much fun.
So, how can you prepare yourself to avoid dehydration during your next vacation? Here are some helpful tips to implement before, during, and after your next trip!
Bring a bottle & refill it at every opportunity
When you’re visiting a new place, you can’t really predict when water will be available, especially if you’re spending time in nature or on a road trip. And depending on where you go, some water sources also might not be clean or safe for you to consume as someone not acclimated to the local water supply. Therefore, be sure to pack a decent-sized bottle for your trip, and fill it up every single time you come across a water source you trust.
Overcome your avoidance of public restrooms
A common mistake among travelers is to drink less in order to avoid using public restrooms. It’s true that public toilets can be a little less sanitary than they ought to be, and that it can be tough to find a bathroom you’re allowed to use when you’re in an unfamiliar place. Air travelers even avoid bathrooms on planes (which are usually fairly clean) simply to not have to step over fellow passengers on long flights. Therefore, a change in mindset is needed before you leave, so that you don’t sacrifice your hydration to bathroom avoidance. Accept that public restrooms are a necessary evil, arm yourself with travel packs of tissues, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer, and consider downloading a bathroom finder app (or several!) before your trip.
Meal time? Snack time? Water time!
It’s easy to forget to drink when you’re busy at the beach or shopping in the city, but most folks are not likely to forget to eat. And even those who don’t sit down for full meals are likely to graze on local eats throughout the day. Therefore, make a pact with yourself or your travel companions to drink at least one glass of water before or after any meal, and at least one glass when you’re snacking. For even better hydration, choose foods with high water content, like fresh fruits and vegetables, ideally prepared without added sodium. What a great reason to choose a tropical destination, where fruit is often a highlight of the trip!
No matter where you’re headed this summer, making sure you keep hydrated while traveling starts with the steps you take now. So start choosing your favorite water bottle, stock up on comfort supplies for public restrooms, and have a conversation with your travel buddies about how you’ll keep each other happily hydrated on the go!