When you head for the airport remember you cannot take bottles of water through airport security. But you can take an empty water bottle.

Chrystal clear water poured out of a bottle

Why is it important to take water when you fly? Air travel tends to dehydrate you due to the low humidity levels inside the airplane. You need to replenish this water loss.

Dehydration can also contribute to jet lag and/or make it worse. What does dehydration do to your body? It can cause, in addition to jet lag, chapped skin, wrinkles, dry eyes, dry mouth, headaches, constipation, tiredness, lightheadedness, AND more. Yes, you need to hydrate while traveling!

It is recommended to drink at least 8 ounces or more water per hour while in the air. Yes per hour. And sorry, alcohol is not water. Alcohol will only add to your dehydration.

A recent report that was released in October 2013, says that 12% of airplane drinking water is “frequently contaminated” with ‘coliform bacteria.’ That sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it?

So let’s get to the tip I was going to mention before I got into the why.

Tip one, Since you can’t take a partial or full bottle of water through airport security take an “empty” water bottle. It can be fancy or just reusing another bottle of water you have finished.

Yes, you can buy bottles of water at the gift stores after security and before you board the plane, but this is usually expensive.

Tip two is when you go to fill the bottle, go to one of the fast-food restaurants or somewhere where there is a soda fountain. In addition to soda there normally is an option to get just water – so don’t get a soda if you didn’t pay for it. You are just using the water option to fill the bottle.

Drinking Fountain at an airport

Drinking Fountain

Another option is to use a drinking fountain. Sometimes it is a little harder to use because of the angle and having to push the button down to get the water. In Colorado, the drinking fountains actually have a “bottle” refill that is hands-free. I hope we see more of these across the country soon.

If you are early to an airport and plan on eating at one of the restaurants, past security, you can try asking your server to fill your bottle for you. Usually, they will look at you funny then say “sure.”

Help yourself and help your body by drinking water on any flight. Have a great trip.


Photos by Tom Graham, Kate Ter Harr, and Joanna Poe.