It’s easy to get caught up with the flow of trying to make it through airport security or catch a departing plane, bus, or train, but it’s important to remember that staying hydrated isn’t just for field exercises and sweltering summer days. Dehydration combined with the sedentary nature of airplanes can make it seem like drinking enough fluids can take a backseat for the day. But, it is those exact circumstances that can lead to deep vein thrombosis, a dangerous drop in blood pressure, or even a heart attack if the conditions line up in a perfect storm. Despite the regulations that surround liquids and getting through security, it’s surprisingly easy to keep yourself hydrated while traveling. All it takes is a bit of preparation.
Empty Hydration Pouch
Most airlines allow a larger carry-on and one personal item, such as a laptop or purse. Consider bringing a trusted empty hydration pouch or Camelbak as your personal item. Keep it empty through security and refill at one of the many water fountains or bottle-filling stations that now dot airline terminals. As an added bonus, hiking models of hydration packs often have extra pouches that can hold wallets, keys, travel identification, and smaller electronics, freeing them from your pockets and making security checkpoints a breeze. Just make sure that they are as dry as possible, perhaps even hand-dried, before taking them through any checkpoints.
Collapsible Water Bottles
Although they can’t double as storage, a collapsible canteen or water bottle makes an easy addition to your travel hydration needs. Most have a carabiner that can be conveniently attached to other luggage and expand to a size big enough to supplement the hydration needs of frequent fliers. They’re simple, low-profile, and perform great
Wide-Mouth BPA-Free Bottle
Many travelers and hikers have long relied on a 1.5L Nalgene or similar product for their all-purpose, high volume water supply. Unlike the other items on this list, there’s little you can do to cheat the size that these bottles command except by using them as additional storage prior to filling them. However, most are advertised as being nearly indestructible, safe in all reasonable conditions, and tend to be good at remaining watertight.
Remember that it’s better to constantly sip rather than chug your daily H2O requirements all at once. Also, frequent fliers are no stranger to the idea of alcohol in airports and the salty snacks that accompany nearly any long trip. Make sure to account for dehydrating foods and any alcohol you consume by drinking extra liquids – 30,000 feet above sea level is a place nobody wants to be battling a hangover.
Finally, if you catch yourself in a rush and forget to pack something to fill with clean water, don’t hesitate to buy a few bottled waters from a store or vending machine. While it will cost you a few extra dollars, maintaining your fluids helps you remain alert, curbs jet lag, and can stave off some deadly disorders that come with being dehydrated. Many airports across the US and Europe now even offer integrity-based water bottle stands for as little as 25 cents each. There’s little excuse to find yourself miles away and parched; take time to plan ahead and save some heartache later!
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.