Don’t Be So Dry, How to Keep Humidity in Hotels

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For the occasion hotel stayer, this may not be an issue for you,  but for those of us who spend a significant amount of time in hotels, there is a recurring issue: humidity.

Most hotels today are climate controlled, not too hot or cold. But depending on the type of heating or cooling a hotel uses, this comes at a cost, dry, dry rooms. Plus, many hotels don’t even let you open the window anymore.

You know the feeling when you wake up: dry mouth and throat, nose, lips and skin.  Pretty uncomfortable. Even those who drink plenty of water and use moisturizers suffer. Take a look at these simple hacks below. Check out my #1 frequent traveller tool to fight dry air at the bottom.

How to combat the dry


First of all, stay hydrated. Not drinking enough water will only exacerbate the situation. There is lots of guidance about how much water to drink daily, so I won’t get into that. Just remember that travelling can change the amount of water you normally need to intake. If you took a flight or are travelling to a dryer climate, you will need to drink more water than usual. If drinking hotel tap water or expensive bottled water is not for you, why not try a water bottle with a built-in filter? Find a water bottle with a filter here.

Avoid dehydrating drinks

You’re on vacation or in a different time zone. A nice cocktail in the evening and a large coffee in the morning sounds great. The problem is these types of drinks tend to speed up dehydration. If you can’t avoid these types of drinks, remember to drink extra water.

Turn the heating/cooling off

This is not always an option, but turning off, or at least turning down, the heating/cooling in your room can help. If you are staying in a cold climate, please remember to turn the heat back on when you leave to avoid freezing pipes.

Add humidity

As simple as this sounds, adding humidity is a good solution. The first option I suggest is to ask the hotel if they have humidifiers available. If they do, make sure you check that it’s clean. Dirty humidifiers can push mould into the air and make you sick.

If you are looking for a temporary solution to help clear your sinuses, try running a hot shower for a few minutes while taking slow deep breaths. Whatever you do, don’t leave a hot shower running unattended. This is pretty wasteful, and there is always a chance of flooding.

A damp towel over an ironing board can really help add humidity.

An easy and quick solution I use often is soaking a towel in water and wringing it out just enough to stop the dripping. Then I place the damp towel over the ironing board and place another towel under to catch any drips.

#1 humidity trip – travel humidifier

If you are a frequent traveller staying in dry hotels, you must get a travel humidifier. There are tons of different types out there, but they are pretty decent in price. Amazon has a huge selection.

Here are my thoughts on three types of travel humidifiers.

Stand Alone Wand Humidifiers
This is my favourite type of travel humidifier. They are very simple, not very expensive, and very compact. You drop them in a glass of water and plug them in.

Find This Humidifier on Amazon
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-very compact and light
-only need a glass of water

-not great in big spaces
-water can be used up before the end of the night
Bottle Humidifiers
This is my second choice for a travel humidifier. Again, very simple, not as compact as the wand-type, but a good choice for aircrew. The challenge with this type is you have to have a bottle of water.

Find This Humidifier on Amazon
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-large water supply lasts a long time

-need to have or buy a bottle of water
All-in-one Humidifier
These are great mini humidifiers. They have a self-contained water tank, but they are a bit bigger and heavier than the other types. If you are like me, space in my carry-on bag is limited.

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-very effective
-larger water supply

-heavy and not compact

4 Responses

  1. Agreed I am in a hotel room in San Antonio and the humidity is only 44% and you can’t open the windows. Thanks I’ve left bowls of water around the room. Your tip for an ice bucket is good. I will also look for a travel humidifier. Thanks for your tips.

  2. Most hotel rooms have cold air turns that run 24/7. Take a piece of paper and place it over the grill. The air force will keep it in place. If these are not covered, any moisture put into the air will quickly be whisked away.

  3. Thank you very much for this helpful information. I will definitely use it today. I’ve been in a hotel room for 1.5 days and have drunk 12 half-liter bottles of water.

  4. You can also fill a kettle uk half way and turn it on with the lid open for 5 min, it’s probably a fair bit of energy and only a short fix but effective.