Water is your best friend on a theme park visit
Published: June 23, 2010 at 2:14 PM
Water not only helps keep you cool, it protects your skin from damage in the sun. Best of all, it's cheap - even free. Every family visiting a theme park this summer should make water a part of its vacation strategy.
Here are some tips for how you can use water to help you have a more enjoyable theme park vacation.
Start drinking extra water two days before your trip
If you wait until you are thirsty to start drinking, you're already too late. Your body needs to be well-hydrated before you start your theme park day. Drinking extra water a couple days before your visit with help your body to "store up" and get in balance with its water needs.
Select a water bottle to bring to the park
All parks will allow you to bring a water bottle inside the gates. Having your own, resealable water bottle not only saves waste, it allow you to have water whenever and wherever to need it in the park. I use a Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle, because it doesn't affect the taste of water as reusable plastic bottles sometimes can. (See our previous article on packing a backpack or sack for a theme park trip for more tips.)
Fill your bottle with ice on the morning of your trip
The ice melts, giving you a supply of fresh, cold water in the morning before you get to a soda cell or fountain to refill later in the day.
Take advantage of free refills
I've not yet found anyone in a theme park who denied me a chance to refill my water bottle. Some parks, such as Dollywood, take the initiative in pushing free water at their guests on hot days. But any park will allow you to refill at a public soda cell, or a water fountain. If a park's soda fountains are located behind the counter, many park employees still will refill your bottle, if you ask nicely. (Not all, though, so don't get upset if someone says no. Just try elsewhere.)
Drink water with every meal
This is great cost-saving advice for anyone past their teen years. (If you're younger than that, drink milk.) You don't need the calories, caffeine, sweetener (real or fake), or expense of soft drinks, juices, slushies or other sweet drinks. Water will do fine.
You especially don't need the extra expense, dehydrating effect, or brain-numbing of alcohol. If you drink, save it for home or hotel, after your day in the park.
Drink water at least once in between each meal
That means at least once between breakfast and lunch, at least once (ideally two or three times, if it's a hot or sunny day) between lunch and dinner, and at least once more after dinner. Keeping your water intake up throughout the day will not only prevent dehydration, it also helps you to prevent heat exhaustion and even sunburn. But getting all those free refills won't help you if you don't drink it.
Again, don't wait until you are thirsty. Schedule water into your day, and don't forget. By carrying your own bottles, you won't need to take time away from anything else on your schedule to enjoy your water breaks.
Drinking water throughout the day also helps keep tummies full, cutting down on requests for expensive mid-day snacks.
Something that keeps you healthy, happy and saves you money, too? What's not to like? So make water an essential part of your theme park vacation plans this summer.