One of my favorite things to do is travel. It’s a great opportunity to experience different cultures such as food, music, art and history. Just like anything else, traveling has pros and cons. One of those cons is jet lag when traveling abroad. If not prepared, the first few days of a trip and the return can be very exhausting. Many people have certain ways that help them get over jet lag. Over the years I’ve learned what to do and what not to do, especially when traveling for work. I found my most difficult jet lag situations are the 6-7-hour time difference to Europe and the 12-13-hour time difference to Asia. Some of these tips might be useful for your future travels!
Start adapting to your new time zone before the trip and during the flight.
A few nights before traveling, I try to go to bed earlier and to be well rested. There are some situations when that doesn’t always happen but it does help. When I was younger, I thought staying up all night was a good idea but I just found myself more exhausted. Having meals earlier can also help adapt the appetite for the new time zone. I’m currently overseas as I’m writing this and only had one “heavy” meal today because the times that I’m use to eating are very different.
Getting sleep during long flights is also extremely helpful. I use to have issues sleeping on planes but this a great way to help jet lag. I’ve known some people who take sleeping pills to help sleep inflight. I haven’t tried this but what works for some might not work for everyone else. I do find that minimizing sleep distractions helps such as using earplugs and eye masks. This is also essential when arriving to the destination as the lighting will be different in various time zones.
Physical activity inflight is also extremely important, not just for jet lag but also for your health. I’ve known of people getting blood clots in the legs because they stay seated during the 7 to 16-hour trip. This is extremely dangerous. Walking around, stretching and doing static exercises on the plane can help avoid this. When arriving at the destination, I try to stay away from heavy workouts close to bedtime as it can delay sleeping.
Drinking water before, during and after the flight can help combat dehydration. I love coffee and wine but I try to avoid drinking them before I sleep on the plane even though the wine is free!
I try arriving at my destination a few days early for several reasons. Getting adjusted to the time zone and dealing with the things that come with travel such as delays or even cancellations. This helps me to be on top of my game. There is nothing worse than having to work physically and mentally exhausted.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Happy traveling!!