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Similar to jet lag, you can suffer a kind of ‘weather lag’ when you travel to a location with different weather from your home. It can take some time to adjust to the new weather conditions.
Changes in humidity can be particularly difficult to deal with. At least with temperature, you can bundle up or dress light. Humidity is harder to control. That’s why first time travelers to places like Florida (very humid) or Texas (dry) can find these places very uncomfortable.
These changes in humidity can cause issues like nosebleeds, runny nose, headaches, dehydration, overheating and so on.
Here are some traveling tips to help you cope with humidity challenges, whether it’s too much or too little of it.
1. Research Your Destination
The first step is to figure out how bad things will be where you are going. Don’t just go with what you know about the climate of a particular place. For example, assuming that any place in Texas will be dry.
Even in typically dry or humid areas, there can be significant fluctuations in humidity from season to season. Humidity also varies from place to place. For instance, while most of Arizona has low humidity, some towns like Tusayan can be quite humid.
So look up the weather report for the specific place you’ll be visiting. Check the current weather as well as the weather prediction for the next several days.
Knowing what conditions to expect helps you prepare mentally and it also helps you pack smart.
If the destination humidity is between 30% and 60%, you will likely be fine. No need to take any precautions. But if you expect humidity below 30% or above 60%, you need to prepare for it.
2. Pack Accordingly
Now that you know what to expect, you can pack what you need.
Packing for High Humidity
If you are traveling to a place that’s hot and humid, you’ll need lightweight clothes that wick away sweat. You are going to be sweating a lot and the last thing you want is all that sweat to be stuck on your skin.
Cotton, linen, silk and bamboo are great fabrics for dealing with high humidity. Expose as much of your skin as you can. That means dresses and shorts instead of pants and t-shirts and vests instead of long-sleeved shirts.
Our Hercleon antimicrobial clothing is particularly suited to hot and humid weather. It is highly breathable, wicks moisture well and it is lightweight. The best part is that it does not stink. Normally, sweat causes your clothes to stink. Not so with our apparel that kills odor-causing bacteria. You can wear the HercShirt for days before you need to wash it.
Packing for Low Humidity
If you have the opposite challenge — low humidity — the kind of clothes you pack depends on the temperature of your destination.
In most places, low humidity occurs during winter and fall. So you’ll need to pack warm stuff. Some places like Arizona and Utah experience dry and hot conditions in summer, meaning you have to pack light.
Low humidity can be brutal on your skin and lips, causing cracking, dryness and even fine wrinkles. So pack the right products to protect your skin including lip balm, moisturizer and sunscreen.
3. Consider Buying a Portable Humidifier or Dehumidifier
At home, it is easy to keep your home at the perfect humidity using a humidifier or dehumidifier. When you are on the go, this is more difficult.
The best solution is to get a portable unit that can keep your environment at the right level of humidity.
There are plenty of portable mini humidifiers you can buy online that are battery-operated or can be powered with a USB cable. They are perfect for hotel rooms, at the office, on the train, for your car or even in a camping tent.
Similarly, there are compact portable dehumidifiers that are great for traveling.
4. Hydration is Crucial
Both low and high humidity can lead to dehydration. Low humidity causes our bodies to lose water faster. This can be hard to notice because the cold temperatures which often accompany dry air can mask our natural thirst reflex.
High humidity, on the other hand, causes excessive sweating which depletes fluid levels in your body.
So whether you are traveling to a place with low or high humidity, you need to be careful to avoid getting dehydrated. Carry a large water bottle (carry it empty if flying) and fill it up with water when you get to your destination. Alternatively, buy a water bottle when you arrive to ensure you always have drinking water with you.
Drinking other fluids like tea, coffee, soup, and juicy fruits can also help you stay hydrated.
5. Remember That Air is Usually Dry in Planes
The highest humidity usually gets on airplanes is 20%. But it can go as low as 1% for less crowded cabins and when flying at high altitudes.
So as you prepare for your trip, don't forget to prepare for the dry airplane air. Here are some tips.
- Apply moisturizer generously before and after you fly. On long flights, apply extra moisturizer while still in the air. Don’t forget lip balm as well.
- Stay hydrated. This will help prevent headaches, fatigue and other common symptoms of dehydration that occur during flying. Drinking plenty of water can also help you minimize jet lag.
- The dry airplane air can leave your nose dry and irritated. To prevent that, carry a saline spray and apply it inside your nose. It will make breathing a lot easier and prevent issues like nosebleeds.
- Dry air also causes eye irritation. This can be especially uncomfortable if you wear contacts. If you are planning to fly, consider swapping contacts for glasses. If that’s not an option, be sure to pack contact eye drops to keep your eyes moist.
Once you get to your destination, it will take some time to adjust to local humidity and temperature. So take it easy at first and expect some discomfort as your body acclimates.