5 Ways to Stay Hydrated on a Plane

One of the best ways to stay healthy on a plane (and to feel like a human when you land) is to stay hydrated while you’re flying. Airplane air is actually drier than many deserts. The humidity on airplanes is usually less than 20% (oftentimes as low as 10%) – for comparison, we usually keep our houses at 30% humidity.

No wonder our eyes feel bloodshot and scratchy when we land. It can take our skin several days to recover after a long flight. To mitigate these responses, you can be proactive in the choices you make while flying. With only a little preparation, you can have a much healthier, happier flight.

Here are 5 ways you can stay hydrated on an airplane.

1. Bring your own bottle of water and sip it.

Either bring a reusable bottle or purchase a bottle of water after security at the airport. Flight attendants will refill your water bottle on the plane (ask nicely!), but make sure it’s full before you board. Try to drink at least 8 ounces of water for every hour of the flight. Sipping water, instead of gulping it, will help you retain more of it.

2. Don’t drink the booze (I know, I know!)

Drinking alcohol on a plane does dehydrate you much faster than drinking on the ground. I know, I like to drink the plane champagne too, but it’s not worth the possible headache and the extra dehydration.

3. Bring veggie snacks

Plane food has a pretty poor reputation, sometimes for very good reasons, which is why I like to travel with my own snacks. It’s easy to pack dried fruit and nuts, but if you’re looking for a little extra hydration – pack some chopped cucumbers and carrots or any other water-rich produce you like.

4. Pack some liquid tears.

Lubricant eye drops can be a lifesaver on a plane. Apply a few drops every few hours and your tired, dry eyes will thank you. Just make sure your eye drops bottle is less than 100 ml (3.4 ounces) so it makes it past security!

5. Apply a face mask or moisturizing lotion.

As long as you aren’t encroaching on the space of your seatmate and you aren’t using heavily scented products, you should feel the freedom to treat yourself on the plane. If you’re embarrassed to put on a sheet mask, apply a little moisturizing lotion or essential oil.


Are you a frequent flyer? If so, check out our post on carbon offsetting your air travel.