It was an hour into my first ever flight to South Africa when I realized that I had not packed anything to help me sleep. No dramamine, no advil pm, no zzz-quil. Nothing! This was mildly inconvenient as I’m not often able to sleep well on flights without some help from my friends (my current favorite is this).
For the first eight hours of the flight (from JFK to Dakar) I really needed to log some sleep. So I did what any reasonable person would, I imbibed in the free (yes, free) wine that they were serving with dinner. 3 mini bottles later and I was sleeping with my mouth open. Embarrassing. True. I thought I had brilliantly negotiated hours of blissful in-flight sleep.
And I had… that is until I woke up with one of the worst headaches I have ever experienced. Being woken by pain is not ideal in the best of times. But it is particularly annoying and inconvenient when in the middle of an international flight. This is what I did: I made my way to the back of the plane and chugged 4 bottles of water while the flight attendants watched. I couldn’t help it. I needed relief. Dehydration is a bitch.
Listen, I’m all for calming pre-flight (or in-flight) nerves with a glass of wine. Or just enjoying one or two while in transit. I mean, there’s not much else to do and it does take some of the irritation out of the modern travel experience. But here’s the thing, flying is an incredibly dehydrating experience. And I’ve found that drinking water isn’t enough to combat all of the moisture draining elements that one faces while in the air.
Preventing dehydration is particularly important during travel because it will help you recover from jet lag more quickly, it will give you more energy, and of course, will help your skin look it’s best. Not to mention how much it helps your system function regularly.
The solution I offer to combat dehydration is simple: powdered electrolyte packs. These give you added electrolytes that help keep you hydrated. The powder mixes easily in a glass or bottle of water and voila, no more dehydration headaches. When I’m traveling I like to use the Emergen-C packs as it also gives a bit of an immune boost… or it makes feel like I’m getting an immune boost at the very least. But you can also use pedialyte or the rehydrate brand. **Pro tip – these are also great for post-holiday party revelry or any Friday night, really. For long flights, I’ll drink two: one as the flight takes takes off and one as it lands. For shorter flights, one will do.
Happy Hydration! And happy holiday travels!
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