Health and Wellness While Traveling: Hydrate

A good way to cope with anything is to make sure you’re hydrated. Especially when traveling. You won’t be able to take that scenic hike, enjoy a night out, or even get a good night’s sleep when you’re dehydrated. It can take a long time to recover, so it’s best to stay on top of it. Here are a few ways we hydrate:

Drink more water than you think you need

I know you know this. But when I’m active about it I feel so much better. Take the water every time they offer it on a plane. If you get an alcoholic beverage, ask for water in addition to your booze. I don’t care if you have a window seat and don’t want to get up to go to the bathroom. Drink water and annoy your seatmates and feel better–offer to swap with them if they want to sleep. Airplane air and hotel air is super drying for a variety of reasons–less than 20% humidity in aircraft cabins says the World Health Organization (WHO)–and the food you get in those liminal spaces while traveling is likely to be very salty. 

Drink water when you first get up, and before you go to bed, even if you don’t want it. And keep water at hand throughout the night in case you wake up thirsty. Generally….”drink until you pee”–this is re-hydration advice I’ve heard from both nurses and boaters. Since I’m always hydrating, I also use restrooms whenever easily accessible even if I’m not bursting at the seams, and am always glad I did.

Fill your own bottle

Keep a reusable water bottle topped off at all times. Airports now often have the water bottle refill stations, and many countries (in Europe at least) have excellent, highly regulated tap water. Save money by just refilling from the tap. Here’s a list of countries where you can and can’t drink the tap water. We can vouch for the UK, Germany, and Iceland…their tap water is delicious with no off flavors (e.g., chlorine, etc.). I’m a fan of S’well bottles, which keep drinks cool or warm for an unbelievably long time. They’re a bit heavy though, so I like this Nomader collapsible water bottle when I need to save space and weight.

Add some fun to your water

Add electrolytes tabs or packets, flavor drops, slices of citrus, herbs, or drink sparkling water–anything to make you drink more, if you’re not a plain water fan. You can also try non-dehydrating beverages to shake things up…decaffeinated coffee or tea, kombucha and coconut water to name a few. You can also eat your water (e.g., soup, and fruits and veggies like watermelon or celery.).

Drink smart

Be careful with your alcohol consumption, especially when combined with jet lag. Wine, beer, and spirits are often plentiful and cheap outside the U.S., and other cultures are more relaxed about their consumption, so it can be easy to get carried away. Take at least a vitamin C beforehand if you plan to drink, and hydrate with water along with your booze. Drink with a buddy and/or keep your eyes peeled. Ne’er do wells are experts at taking advantage of drunk tourists. Seeing the sights of a new place is intoxicating in its own way, so try to lay off the sauce. You’ll remember more if you’re not drunk, and you’ll fully enjoy your journey. 

Have you got any favorite hydration tips? Let us know!

When I’m not traveling, part of my daily hydration routine includes keeping a huge half gallon (64oz) Mason jar of water on my desk which I use to refill a drinking glass throughout the day. This is a great visual reminder of the amount of water I need to work through.

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