Keep your body odour in check while travelling

Travel is a joy, but let’s face it, there are some less-than-appealing aspects of the journey and one of those can be your own body odour.

What are the common causes and what can you do about it?


That tired saying you are what you eat has a lot to answer for here.

When you eat foods such as garlic, onions and spicy food, and your body digests them, certain compounds are produced and released through your pores.

Other culprits are the cruciferous vegetable family, such as broccoli, cabbages, kale and radishes.

And some food such as chillis can simply make you sweat more. Haven’t we all experienced ordering regret, especially in Asia, when we happily picked out a curry on a menu, only to find it hotter than lava? The sweat levels can be impressive as we power on, determined to be that westerners-can’t-eat-hot-food cliché.

Drinks with a lot of caffeine in them will also make you sweat more. And there’s always the morning-after sweats to deal with as well.


You are probably drinking a fair bit of weird stuff, especially if you are travelling in a very different culture to your own.

This, of course, can affect your smell. You remember how you used to smell after a big night out, right?

A good guide is the darker the drink – stouts and red wines – the more of a stench the next day. Stick to clearer spirits like vodka if you can.

But not raki, never drink raki. If some very nice Turkish person offers you raki, walk swiftly in the other direction.

Keep it clean

It’s no picnic keeping your clothing and footwear clean while on holiday but for the sake of your fellow travellers, at the very least, try to make an effort.

If you are staying at a hotel or resort, ask at reception if there are public washing machines or do a quick online search.

It’s always a good idea to pack some washing powder to do some handwashing to keep at least a few things fresh.

Your footwear can take an absolute pounding on holiday, so pay particular attention to their care.

If you are prone to foot odour, make sure to air your shoes out as much as you can, wear moisture-wicking socks and consider using foot powder or deodorant.

A well of unwellness

Travel and sickness are often unwelcome bedfellows, especially on planes. All that enclosed space with plenty of other bodies.

If you develop a head cold, quite often part of the collection of symptoms is a sore throat and runny nose. These combined can add up to bad breath.

Good dental hygiene is vital to the first line of defence, but if it’s a fully fledged infection try to gargle with salt water and keep up the tooth brushing.

Bad breath can also be caused by skipping meals and becoming dehydrated, so be sure to keep up the fluids and food.

Dry argument

A lot of body odour is due to bacteria on the skin, so good basic hygiene is essential to keep the stink away. So shower at least once a day, and more if you are in a humid location.

It can be hard on holiday, especially if you are in a remote location, so it’s a good idea to pack some antibacterial wipes to give yourself the once over if you need to.

Do you worry about keeping your clothes clean while on holiday? How do you do your travel laundry? Why not share your tips in the comments section below?

Also read: Look out for these travel scams

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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