Let's be real: travel is anything but a perfect experience.
Thankfully, experts agree upon the one easy (and cheap!) thing you can do to make every flight infinitely better.
Because as it turns out, not doing so could make you more susceptible to some less-than-pleasant (and, in rare cases, dangerous) health issues that would seriously ruin your trip. Mainly, cabin air can dry up the mucus membranes in your mouth, nose and lungs. This could contribute to real illness, according to Dr. David Greuner, Director of NYC Surgical Associates.
"Your mucus membranes have antibodies that fight infection," Greuner says. "If they dry out, your immune system is not very effective." What's more, dehydration thickens your blood. This, combined with long periods of sitting, makes it even easier for dangerous (though rare) blood clots to form mid-flight.
Oh, and that vacation constipation? It's also caused by airplane dehydration, Greuner says. As your body scrambles to retain water on a flight, it gets harder for waste to move through your digestive tract. The result can be days of a no-go feeling that turns anyone into a party "poop"er (or NOT a pooper, in this case).
The easy answer is drinking water. Greuner recommends sipping until your urine is light in color and making sure it stays that way for the duration of your flight. (Just don't drink the tap water on the plane!) Avoid alcohol, too, which only slows the hydration process.
And for all the discomfort it prevents, water adds a nice benefit: Flight attendants say hydration is their number-one beauty rule. They credit extra-large water bottles with their ability to stay fresh-faced during flights and appear bushy-tailed upon landing.
So drink up, and have a beautiful trip.