at 30,000 feet, it's drier than death valley
As much as I love traveling, every time I fly I feel like every ounce of water in me evaporates by the time I land.
My eyes get itchy and red, and my skin dries out.
They’re the same symptoms that arrive when Minnesota’s muggy summers turn into arid winters. Only worse.
Considering that ideal indoor humidity levels range from 40 to 60 percent and that humidity levels inside an airplane often hover at 12 percent—lower than in Death Valley and the Sahara Desert—it’s no surprise that passengers often deboard feeling dehydrated, searching for their connecting flight number through bloodshot eyes and rifling for their next boarding pass with parched hands.
To help combat such low levels of moisture in the air, I’ve learned to never leave for the airport without one important item in my carry-on luggage: a water bottle.
Once I’m through security, I fill it up and am able to more easily stay hydrated by having ready access to water on long flights, thus reducing my chances of becoming dehydrated and helping alleviate other symptoms of being stuck in dry air for hours at a time (red and itchy eyes, headaches, tirednes, etc.).
Plus, packing my own bottle means I don’t have to purchase a disposable one at the airport or create waste by using the cups on board the plane. A win-win-win.
Other things that can make low-humidity levels more comfortable while flying include:
- Packing a small bottle of lotion in your 3-1-1 liquids bag to moisturize dry skin
- Using saline nasal spray on irritated nasal passages
- Relieving dry eyes with moisturizing drops (packed in your 3-1-1 liquids bag)
- Wearing eye glasses instead of contacts while flying
Travel tip: Make sure you wait until you are through security before filling up your water bottle. If there is liquid in it prior to being scanned, your bottle will be tossed and you may even be escorted outside of the airport--not a great way to start your honeymoon!