7 Reasons You Smell Bad When Traveling

Caroline Morse, April 17, 2015
Fares from Washington DC:

    Ever been stuck next to that person on the plane who has a powerful body odor? What if that smelly flyer is you? Here are some reasons that you might smell bad while traveling, plus tips on what to do about it.


    Traveling—and flying especially—can make you dehydrated. You may be walking more, or simply forgetting to drink the same amount of water you sip when you're sitting at your desk. Dehydration is not only unhealthy, it is a major cause of bad breath, too. So be sure to drink plenty of water when you're on the road. (Coffee doesn't count—caffeinated drinks also contribute to bad breath.)

    Your Shoes

    Wearing the same shoes every day (which is common while traveling, due to limited space), can increase foot odor. Try wearing one pair and packing another, so you can switch off and give one pair time to air out. Wearing moisture-wicking socks can also help, as can applying foot powder.

    Related: Worst Shoes for Travel

    Stress Sweat

    Traveling can be stressful. Unfortunately, your body can react to rough situations with sweat. Making matters even worse, stress-induced sweating is smellier than regular perspiration. When you're anxious, your body produces sweat from the apocrine glands, which attracts more odor-causing bacteria than sweat caused by heat or workouts. Try packing a stronger deodorant for your trip, especially if you anticipate stressful situations.

    You're Sick

    It's easy to get sick while traveling: You can get run down, plus planes are germ factories. If you've picked up a cold (or are suffering from allergies), you may find yourself with a stuffy nose and bad breath. That foul breath is caused by post nasal drip in the back of your mouth. Staying healthy is always the first line of defense, but if you are sick, be sure to up your teeth-brushing/mouth-washing/gum-chewing game.

    Different Diet

    Eating a new type of cuisine can mess with your body odor, turning it from sweet to sour. Watch out for bad B.O. culprits like cruciferous vegetables, red meat, fish, and processed junk foods, all of which can cause a bad olfactory turn.

    Related:  7 Foods You Should Eat Before Flying

    Skipping Meals

    Maybe you're too busy to eat or just trying to save money by skipping lunch while traveling in an expensive destination. You might wind up with hunger pains and bad breath, as not eating can cause a breakdown in body chemicals known as Ketoacidosis, which results in stinky smells. Beat this by packing some healthy snacks to bring with you on your trip.

    Overindulging in Local Drinks

    There's nothing wrong with wanting to try one or two of the special local cocktails or brews while you're traveling. But if you drink too much alcohol, you might still smell like the bar the next morning. According to Men's Health, stouts and other dark alcohols cause more of a stench than clearer spirits, like vodka.

    Related:  10 Travel Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Life

    Read the original story: You Smell: 7 Reasons You Stink While Traveling by Caroline Morse, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.

    (Photo:  Thinkstock/iStock