Flights can leave you feeling dehydrated when you arrive at your destination. This is because the air in an airplane is dry: Usually, cabins are kept at about 20 percent humidity, while people are most comfortable with humidity in the 50 to 70 percent range. This dryness can cause headaches, dry throats and coughs, and rough skin and can even increase the symptoms of motion sickness. However, if you’re mindful about how much – and what – you’re drinking, you can avoid dehydration even on the longest flights.
Start increasing your water intake in the week leading up to your flight. This way, your body will already be well-hydrated when you step on the plane. There’s an extra bonus to this: Many people don’t get enough water each day to begin with. Use this opportunity to begin building a healthy habit to keep with you through and after vacation. Try to drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of water each day in the week before you travel.
If you’re not interested in buying a bottle of water once you clear security, stick an empty reusable water bottle into your carry-on bag. This way, you can refill your bottle once you’ve reached your gate, and don’t have to cave to pricey airport water bottles.
Only Drink Water
Alcohol and caffeinated beverages, like soda, coffee or tea, can actually make you thirstier in the long run. Try to stick to H2O only while you’re in the air and for two or three hours immediately before. If you do decide to have a cup of coffee or a soda, try to drink an additional cup of water along with it, to balance out the dehydrating effect.
Skip Salty Snacks
If the flight attendant offers you a bag of pretzels or peanuts, politely decline. Salty snacks can make you feel even more dehydrated. Instead, pack a baggie full of water-rich fruit like grapes to snack on during the flight.
Protect Your Skin
Bring along a good, hydrating lotion and a reliable lip balm to use before, during and after the flight. Putting these products on before you get into the airplane can help trap in the moisture your body already has. Using them in the air and after you land will help replenish what you’ve lost and keep you feeling fresh.