Staying Hydrated While Traveling – Why It’s So Important
When people travel, there are various factors that can exacerbate dehydration and take the fun and excitement out of going on a trip. Getting enough fluids each day is certainly important when you’re at home and going about your normal routines. But it is perhaps even more important while visiting a new place via plane, train, or car.
Here’s why it is so important to stay hydrated while traveling and some tips about how to stay hydrated on your next trip.
Causes of Dehydration During Travel
When you travel, your body is taken out of its normal routines and exposed to different elements it’s not used to. If you travel to another country, you could be at a higher risk of traveler’s diarrhea due to food and drinks you consume. Also, air travel commonly causes dehydration due to the low humidity levels in airplane cabins. Prolonged heat exposure, excessive alcohol intake, and food poisoning can also cause a person’s body to become dehydrated while traveling.
Symptoms of Travel Dehydration
One of the most common symptoms of dehydration, while you’re away from home, is traveler’s diarrhea. This condition is often caused by E-coli that results from eating or drinking something that is contaminated with bacteria. Traveler’s diarrhea often lasts for at least three days and is typically accompanied by nausea, vomiting, cramping, abdominal pain, bloody stools, or fever.
Other symptoms of dehydration that occur during travel include headaches, dry skin, extreme thirst, dizziness, and a lack of urination.
The Importance of Travel Hydration
Staying hydrated while traveling means much more than not feeling thirsty, especially when you’re traveling. When you become dehydrated, your overall health is put at risk and you are more likely to feel fatigued, have an increased heart rate, and experience confusion.
All of these things can be a recipe for disaster if you’re traveling for work and need to be alert or if you’re trying to navigate an unfamiliar place on vacation. However, maintaining enough water in your system can be effective in preventing blood clots in your lungs or legs while traveling, as well as for preventing heart attacks. When you’re away from home, you won’t have access to doctors who are familiar with your health, and you may have trouble finding the care you need to manage your symptoms.
How to Stay Hydrated on a Trip
Although squeezing through the aisle to use the airplane lavatory may sound like a hassle, try to drink about a cup of water each hour while flying. You should also consume hydrating foods on travel days to prevent dehydration, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and soups. We also suggest brining an electrolyte solution with you.