When you feel good in the airplane, you're naturally going to enjoy airline travel more. But if you don't take proper precautions, your trip won't go as smoothly as you hoped. One of the quickest ways to ruin a trip is by not staying hydrated.
Dehydration is painful. It's the most common cause of headaches, airsickness and general discomfort during travel. The airplane's air filtration system is designed to filter out germs and bacteria, but it also sucks a lot of the moisture out of the air. Combine this with running through the airport and the stress of getting around and it's easy to get dehydrated fast.
There are a few ways to stay properly hydrated on the plane. Surprisingly, water isn't always the best choice.
Yes, you should drink plenty of water before you get on the plane (just make sure you go to the bathroom before boarding because you can't get out of your seat during the taxi or for the first 10 minutes of the flight). And you should keep drinking water, about one cup every 2 hours during the flight. But you shouldn't only drink water.
Orange juice is a great choice because of its natural vitamin content. During your first beverage service, order two drinks (it's allowed). Ask for a cup of juice and a cup of water.
There are also drinks you should avoid. If you're a coffee lover like me, this is going to be hard to hear, but coffee is the worst thing you can drink when you're trying to stay hydrated. Tea is the better option.
In most cases you should avoid sugary soft drinks but there is an exception. If your stomach starts to feel queasy, drinking a cup of 7-up or Ginger Ale will go a long way in calming it down. In this case, water can actually aggravate the situation and make you feel worse.
If you start to feel sick, stick with carbonated beverages. This is the best option because it helps keep the contents of your stomach down. Vomiting leads very quickly to dehydration and will make you feel worse in the long run.
So to walk through it again- Drink water before you get on the plane. Drink juice and water while on board. Drink tea instead of coffee. And drink carbonated soft drinks if you start to feel sick or queasy.
Henry Bingaman is a writer and working flight attendant for one of the world's largest airlines. For more tips on airline travel without the hassle, check out his e-book, The Insider's Guide to Stress Free Flying http://www.guide-to-stress-free-flying.com/e-book.