As soon as you swap that desk chair for an airplane seat (even if the leg room is tiny), you begin to realize that vacation feels great.
It provides a much-needed break from the general hustle-and-bustle of adulthood. It reinvigorates the body and mind, and is scientifically proven to boost productivity and resilience in the workplace.
However, vacation can turn sour real quick: throngs of tourists, lousy weather, logistical nightmares, and, most of all, a much-higher likelihood of getting sick. When you’re on a vacation that’s supposed to be about rejuvenating your body and mind, you don’t want to get sick.
The good news is that vacation sickness often stems from one issue: dehydration. Headaches, fatigue, confusion, and dizziness are all symptoms of dehydration.
Here are the top 5 ways you can get dehydrated while traveling:
1. Long Distance Travel and Airplane Humidity
When traveling in an airplane, especially on longer flights, the chances of becoming dehydrated are increased. Airplanes circulate air from the outside to provide fresh oxygen, but air at an altitude of 35,000 feet is much less humid than ground-level air. Dryer air leads directly to dehydration since you deplete bodily fluids through respiration more quickly.
This explains why you have a dry nose, mouth and skin when you're on an airplane. You probably won't notice much on short flights, but the longer the flight, the more you will notice some of these symptoms of dehydration. Next time the flight attendant passes your seat with drinks, ask for water instead of soda. You'll definitely notice the difference once you step off the plane!
Don’t hold back with the drinks –after all, it is vacation! Have that beach-beer, wine at dinner, or cocktail at the club. As you probably know, however, alcohol is extremely dehydrating. It removes water and salt from the body. You’ll need to blast your body with preventive electrolytes, which restore the body’s fluid levels, to avoid any unpleasant mornings.
3. Heat Exposure
Love escaping the cold to relax under the sun? Love getting that perfect tan? We’re with you, but one of the most common causes of dehydration is heat exposure. Direct sunlight and high temperatures make you sweat and lose more water than usual. Severe heat exposure could lead to muscle cramps, nausea, and even fainting.
4. Physical Activity
Hiking, biking, sightseeing, swimming, skiing –all of these activities take a toll on body, especially when you’re doing them in an unfamiliar environment. You may not have direct access to water or have the ability to rest and recover your strength. The more physical activity you’re doing, the more your body needs water to stay properly hydrated.
5. Getting Sick
The body is more prone to getting sick when on vacation, mostly due to the change in environment. We’re programmed to stick to a normal routine, and when we’re thrust into an unfamiliar setting with lots of motion and transportation, as well as different people, food, and housing, our bodies experience heightened levels of duress. Being sick while traveling can easily and often lead to dehydration, as even a slight increase in body temperature can cause our metabolism to require more water.
If you’re a backpacker, beach-bum, city explorer, or party-er, chances are you know how much feeling under-the-weather during vacation stinks.
Make the most of your vacation by keeping up a healthy balance of fluids and electrolytes. Next time you pack your bags and ditch your cubicle, don’t forget to bring Hydrant.