To Pee or Not to Pee
April 29, 2010 7:30 AM   Subscribe

How can I stay hydrated while travelling (with limited bathroom access)?

I like drinking water during the day and definitely notice negative changes if I haven't had enough. However, I usually end up having to go to the bathroom about once an hour.

I will be travelling soon in both Eastern and Western Europe and while it is possible to pop into a cafe or something to use their bathroom, I would rather not have to do this often. Are there any tricks to avoiding this, like not drinking more than a certain amount at a time? Should I map my routes so that there's alway easy access to a restroom? Is the convenience of not drinking water all day worth dehydration?
posted by amicamentis to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
For me, being dehydrated is way worse than stopping into places to use their bathroom. When I'm traveling, I drink some water before bed (so I feel hydrated in the morning, but can pee before I set out for the day), and make sure to drink just before or at the beginning of my time at places where I know a bathroom will be available (right before I go into an art museum or somesuch, for example—I'll then use their restroom before I leave to move on to the next thing).

The biggest difference in how I drink when I travel is that I don't drink continuously throughout the day, and so avoid frequent need for a bathroom. Rather, I drink more water fewer times, at times as described above. I also use the bathroom when it's easily available, even if I don't really need to all that much.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:47 AM on April 29, 2010

All I have on this is that you should consider limiting alcohol intake, since that exacerbates the restroom issue.

And also, empty your bladder every chance you get, whether you need to or not, as ocherdraco says.
posted by Danf at 7:50 AM on April 29, 2010

No caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:52 AM on April 29, 2010

Electrolytes also help prevent dehydration, so taking a mild electrolyte solution with a slightly smaller volume of water might help (gatorade is a popular electrolyte solution but I think it's nasty stuff; there are other tastier ones)
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 7:53 AM on April 29, 2010

Note that drinking fountains are extremely rare in Europe, so maybe you won't be able to hydrate as often as you're accustomed to.

Also, I never eat there but the golden arches are my international sign for the restroom. Cafe and other public restrooms in Europe are frequently inhabited by a nasty old person I call the Troll, who can demand up to a Euro for entrance; but McDonald's and other fast food restrooms are thankfully troll-free.
posted by Rash at 10:35 AM on April 29, 2010

If you can carry some fresh fruits or vegetables with you to snack on, that would help, as they will have a hydrating effect.

Also, I know it sounds kind of gimmicky right now, but there are some legitimate recent studies showing how coconut water helps with hydration. This might be a way to get more bang for your buck than just plain water.
posted by smalls at 11:14 AM on April 29, 2010

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