Having the ability to travel internationally and explore foreign parts of the world is a luxury. However, that doesn’t mean it comes without its own struggles, namely the accompanying jet lag. Jet lag occurs when you travel to different parts of the world where the time zone is vastly different and you have to struggle to get on this new schedule. It can be uncomfortable, exhausting and cause you to miss out on a significant amount of your vacation. However, jet lag doesn’t have to ruin your trip. There are ways to overcome this travel condition and if you abide these tips, you’ll be able to experience your next vacation free of any time zone fatigue.
Prepare before your flight.
A lot of what it takes to get over jet lag happens before you even step on the airplane. How you prepare for these long flights can determine what kind of condition you are in when you land on the other side. One thing you want to be sure of is getting a good night’s sleep. Starting your travels well-rested helps to avoid adding to the exhaustion. It’s also smart to begin assimilating yourself to the new schedule. Obviously, you can’t do this exactly without completely altering you daily schedule, but small changes, like eating meals an hour or two earlier and going to bed earlier, helps ready yourself for the drastic shift to your schedule. Even doing this the day before you travel can make a big difference.
Pick the right flying schedule.
When travelling on these long flights, sometimes the schedule isn’t entirely up to us. But if you are able to choose you flight schedule, there are a few ways in which it can help to fight your jet lag. Instead of doing a long layover in between, try splitting up the journey a bit and spend an extra day in your layover city. This way you can catch up on whatever sleep you might have missed and recharge your batteries. Also, avoid flights that have you arriving late at night or the early morning hours. This will just mean you’re already off the schedule of current city and will likely take an extra day just trying to sort yourself out. Aim for a late afternoon arrival so you can get settled, eat and get an early bedtime local time.
Drink lots of water and eat healthy.
Staying hydrated is a big factor in fighting against exhaustion. Keep a water bottle with you at the airport (you’ll probably need to ditch it at security, but buy another once you’re through). Keep the water coming on the flight as well. It will keep your energy up and make you feel better. Food is another factor that many travellers handle all wrong. While it’s good to fly on a full stomach, overeating can make you feel uncomfortable and even more tired. Also, avoid the creasy, fast food of airport offerings and go for something more nutritious. This will help you from slowing down anymore than necessary.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sleeping pills.
Some people think they can find some easy aids in fighting against the jet lag, and while there are some effective methods, be wary about self-medicating your travel. Some think alcohol will help them to sleep on the flight. That might be temporarily correct, but you’ll be waking up in a worse state and it will dehydrate you. Caffeine is also one too avoid. While it may keep you up longer, it’s not a substitute for sleep and will just mean your recovery time will be that much longer. Same goes for sleeping pills, which will knock you out but leave you feeling groggy.
Live in local time.
Once you arrive at your destination, your body is going to be on your home schedule. It will want to eat and sleep, but you have to try to live by local schedules. Switch you watch as soon as you get on the plane and stop thinking about what time it is back home. Eat and sleep at the appropriate times. It will be difficult at first but before long you’ll be back to your old self and ready to enjoy your vacation.
Don’t push it at first.
Everyone wants to get the most out of their vacation, jet lag or not. So you might feel the desire to fight your exhaustion and start your vacation plans full-boar. That’s not a fight you’re likely to win. If you try to see everything and do everything as soon as you arrive, without anytime to recover, you’ll find yourself fading fast. If you take it slow for the first day or so, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself so much more and can fully appreciate the more exciting activities later on.