Remember your last hotel stay? Ever wake up with dry skin or a scratchy throat? You’re not alone.
Many travellers complain about dry air in hotel rooms. Travelling means encountering new places and unexpected air conditions not typical at home. Clothes cling with static, and the kids are having too much fun zapping each other with static electricity. A dry room, especially in winter, is likely the culprit. Low humidity during this season can cause these issues and more, like nosebleeds, dry skin, and a higher chance of catching colds and flu.
You can put on your lotion, vaseline, or anything to moisturise your skin, but overall, you still feel irritation from dry air anyway.
This article explains why hotel air is often dry and gives tips on fixing it both in the hotel room and your house or room.
Why are Hotel Rooms Dry?
Hotel air gets dry when humidity is low. Humidity is the amount of water vapour in the air relative to how much it can hold at a specific temperature. According to the EPA, the ideal humidity is between 30% and 50% for comfortable air. Hotels use regulated heating and cooling systems that can dry the air. Factors contributing to dry air in hotels include:
- Air conditioning: Cools the room but reduces water vapour, lowering humidity.
- Dehumidifiers: Used in hotels to prevent mould, dust mites, and other organisms, but they also reduce humidity.
- Closed windows: Most hotels have insulated windows and may keep them closed for safety and climate control, letting air conditioning and dehumidifiers do their thing.
While low humidity reduces mould, it can harm your health, causing frizzy hair, itchy skin, a dry nose, and a scratchy throat. These symptoms weaken your body’s resistance to viruses, and low humidity makes pollutants stay in the air longer. In short, dry air in hotels increases the risk of catching illnesses while travelling.
The good news? There are practical tips to fix dry air during your next hotel stay!
How to Improve Dry Air in Your Hotel Room?
If you want to make your next hotel stay more comfortable, here are some practical tips to combat dry air in your room during your adventure.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink enough water to counteract the effects of dry air. Consider using a collapsible water bottle for easy carrying on your travels.
- Avoid Dehydrating Beverages: Limit consumption of beverages like coffee and alcohol, as they naturally dehydrate the body.
- Use a Travel Humidifier: Bring a portable humidifier with you or check if the hotel provides one as an amenity.
- Adjust the Air Conditioning: Set the hotel room’s air conditioning to a comfortable level to prevent excessive drying. Use the fan if available for better air regulation.
- Increase Humidity with a Shower: Open the bathroom door while showering to let steam spread through the room, increasing overall humidity.
- Leverage Windows: Adjust windows based on the season. In summer, open them for humid air, and in winter, keep them closed to avoid cold drafts.
- Place Water Bowls Near Heat Sources: During colder months, put bowls of water near radiators or heating vents to increase humidity as the water evaporates.
- Use Spray Bottles: Pack a small spray bottle to mist the air in your room, promoting humidity through the fine water mist.
- DIY Humidity Hack with Wet Towels: Strategically place wet towels around your room; as they dry, they release moisture, increasing humidity. For a quick fix, put a wet towel on an ironing board to rapidly boost humidity.
How to Add Moisture to Your Room Without a Humidifier?
While humidifiers are a quick solution, they can be expensive and contribute to high energy bills. Before investing in one, try these eco-friendly and easy methods to increase moisture in your home.
- Get Houseplants:
- Plants naturally release moisture through transpiration, helping to humidify your home. Keep your houseplants well-watered, especially in dry conditions.
- Use Water-Filled Vases:
- Place vases filled with water on sunny window sills. Sunlight will gradually evaporate the water, introducing moisture into the air.
- Cook on the Stovetop:
- Increase stovetop cooking to release incidental moisture. Opt for a tea kettle over the microwave for your morning cup of tea to add more humidity.
- Keep the Door Open While Showering:
- During a steamy shower, leave the bathroom door open to spread moisture to nearby areas. If you prefer baths, let the water cool before draining to utilise the residual heat and enhance humidity.
- Use Bowls of Water on Registers:
- Place metal or ceramic bowls filled with water on heat registers or radiators. This method effectively disperses humidity into the air, especially during cold months when the furnace is running.
- Dry Clothes on Racks:
- Instead of using a dryer, air-dry your clothes on racks at room temperature. It may take a bit longer, but the moisture released during the drying process helps boost the humidity in your home.
Dry air in hotel rooms can be a downer, but with these simple tips, you can turn your next stay into a more enjoyable experience. For frequent travellers, just toss a compact humidifier into your bag. In case you forget, there are plenty of other strategies to try, like using wet towels, taking advantage of hotel showers, adjusting the air conditioning, and more. Keep these tricks in mind for a breath of better air on your next trip.