The air in the cabin isn't humidified, which leads to that all-too-familiar parched feeling. Lips chap, nasal passages dry out, skin feels papery and the likelihood of blood clots can even increase. Sounds great, right?
But the good news is that all these things can be mitigated by staying hydrated -- simply drinking water. Start early, drinking as much water in the airport gate area as you can hold comfortably for about an hour. That's about how long it typically takes for the seatbelt light to be switched off, allowing you to visit the restroom. Then keep drinking water, about 8 ounces (0.2 liters) every hour or two, while you're in the air. Don't try to substitute coffee, soda or a tiny bottle of booze for water either. Caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate you -- the opposite of what you're trying to achieve.
If you're concerned about the waste of plastic water bottles or the price of buying water in the airport, bring a reusable bottle from home. You can't bring it through the security line full of water (or anything other liquid, for that matter), but you can fill it up at a drinking fountain or a bathroom faucet once you're at your gate.
While you're in the bathroom filling the bottle, don't forget to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to rid yourself of bacteria and viruses. Keep reading for another germ-free tip.