When you’re travelling on long flights and flying through multiple time zones, jet lag can wreak havoc on your body. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination, groggy, tired and cranky. It’s no wonder airport taxi drivers add on a little extra to airport fares- wouldn’t you if you were always dealing with moody, off-form travellers? There are some simple steps you can take to minimise jet lag and ensure that you arrive ready at your destination. That way you’ll be ready to explore the area when you arrive, full of energy and you might even surprise those airport taxi drivers by greeting them with a smile instead of that grumpy face they’ve become accustomed to. We share some tips for avoiding jet lag that we gave picked up from over 10 years of travel.
Why Do We Suffer From Jet Lag?
Our bodies get used to doing certain things within a 24-hour period like eating, sleeping, exercising, etc. When we travel long distances at high speed our body’s natural rhythm is thrown out of kilter to the point that it doesn’t really know what’s going on. Changing time zones is the easiest way to confuse our bodies, and how do they answer? Jet lag. We feel tired, cranky and irritable. We suffer a loss of appetite, can have problems with our concentration and generally feel less than 100%.
The good news is all is not lost. We have a few tips for avoiding jetlag and there are a few ways you can try to combat it on your next long-distance flight.
9 Tips For Avoiding Jet Lag
Rest Before You Fly
One of the biggest tips for avoiding jet lag is getting a few good nights sleep before you set off on your next adventure can make a big difference in how you feel when you arrive. There’s nothing worse than crawling onto the plane hungover and sleep-deprived, trust us, we know! An all-nighter sculling pints, dancing ’til your feet are raw and telling your friends how much you love them, surprisingly, isn’t the best preparation for a long journey. Plan your going away party a week, or more before you leave and reap the rewards when you get to where you’re going.
Get On Local Time Right Away
As soon as you take your seat on the plane, change your watch to local time. The flight crew always announces the time at your destination in their ‘welcome messages’. Don’t forget to change your phone, tablet, laptop and any other devices you might have too if they don’ do it automatically. Getting on local time straight away allows you more time to adjust to the new time zone as soon as possible.
Avoiding Jet Lag With Supplements Like 1Above
Bad plane food, forgetting to drink enough water and grabbing a less than nutritious microwaved burger as you run for your flight ends with you feeling like death warmed up! 1Above helps you fight this feeling, providing you with all 6 essential electrolytes, B vitamins and Pycnogenol you need to arrive ready. This excellent product is the only one of it’s kind and will help you battle not just jet lag but it helps improve circulation and gives your immune system a serious boost too! Drop one of the effervescent tablets into a bottle of water, shake and you’re good to go. Drink before, during and after your flight for optimal results. Airport security is no problem with a choice of effervescent tablets (in 10,25 or 50hour packs) or the convenient 100ml concentrate bottle. And on top of all that, it tastes good too!
Ok, we know when you’re getting on and off buses and trains you might not be so keen to drink too much water. We get it; nobody wants to have to hold it until “we get to the next rest-stop”. But, this is a plane we’re talking about. There’s a bathroom up there and another few back there. One of the biggest tips for avoiding jet lag is to drink plenty of fluids throughout your flight. 1Above counts towards your hydration but remember coffee and alcohol don’t. Which brings us nicely onto our next point.
Limit Alcohol And Caffeine
It can be incredibly tempting to take advantage of the free alcohol on a long-distance flight but try to resist. Alcohol is your worst enemy on a flight. If you want to have a glass of wine with dinner, to help you drift off to sleep, go for it, but try and limit it to just one. The same goes for coffee. If your flight touches down early in the morning then have a coffee with breakfast but if you’re trying to get a good nights sleep on the flight then maybe say no to that espresso. Alcohol and caffeine will both dehydrate you and that’s the last thing you need. Save your alcohol for your first night at the local bars and the coffee to wake you up the morning after.
Stretch And Walk Around During The Flight
You don’t need to roll out your yoga mat and do 100 sun salutations but doing a little stretching will help you arrive fresh. It’s easy to stretch in your seat but we find getting up for a walk around the cabin is more enjoyable. Take a few minutes to gently stretch out your legs, neck and arms at the back of the aircraft. Then continue your walk to get the blood moving and see what everyone else on the flight is up to – just be careful not to get caught being too nosey!
Be Comfortable On The Flight
Dress for a flight like you will be sitting at home on the couch on a Saturday night watching movies (fellas, make sure you have your trousers on!). Seriously, don’t wear uncomfortable, clingy clothes. Make sure you are wearing something airy and comfortable. Choose shoes you can easily slip out of when you sit down and keep a light blanket to hand in case you feel cold. The aeroplane is not the time to show how fashion forward you are, save the catwalk fashion for when you touch down, flight time is all about comfort.
Avoid Jet Lag By Getting Some Sleep
Aeroplane seats are not known for their extreme comfort levels but you can change that. Keep a sleeping kit in your carry-on luggage, where you can easily access it. Think about bringing a sleeping mask, earplugs and a neck pillow to make yourself more comfortable. This gives you the chance to get some real sleep, even if the person next to you insists on snoring louder than the jet engines outside.
Get Onto The New Time Zone Immediately On Arrival
One more thing; the final secret to beating jet lag is to get on the local time immediately. If it’s 11 pm at your destination, then go to bed. If it’s 8:30 am go and grab some breakfast. In order for your body to get back to normal as quickly as possible, it has to get used to doing what it normally does at this time. Even if you don’t feel like a croissant for breakfast because your mind is screaming for a burger for dinner, fight the urge and do what’s best for your body. You’ll be glad you did.
If you’ve followed our advice, you should arrive at your destination feeling pretty good. Sip on another 1Above while you’re waiting for your luggage to replenish your body with extra nutrients and minerals, change into your most fashionable clothes and strut.
Over To You – What Are Your Tips For Avoiding Jet Lag?
Do you have any tips for avoiding jet lag? Let us know in the comments below.
Brian is a travel writer, photographer, blogger, travel addict and adventure-junkie. Being outdoors, getting off the beaten track and outside his comfort zone is what makes him tick. Brian’s the dreamer in the relationship; when he’s not travelling, he’s dreaming about it! Keeping fit, cooking, music and red wine take up the rest of his time.
Sign up for our free travel photography Ebook "Faces of Nepal" and you'll also receive our monthly newsletter.
Great thoughts! I agree with so much of what you say, especially about adjust right away to the new time zone. It makes such a big difference! Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Rachel. Yes, adjusting to the right time as quickly as possible makes all the difference we think! 🙂
Few very good tips to get over the lags that we incur in the journey, hope to try these out and get rid of these lags, being a frequent traveler.
Hi Edward. Thanks- great that you found our post helpful! 🙂
A great way to adjust to the new time zone, having done what you have already suggested is to go for a short run- maybe 5km. Not sure what the science behind it is, but it certainly works and it is a useful way toget your bearings in your new destination.
Great advice Kieran. Going for a jog is definitely a great way to orientate yourself with the area. Haven’t tried a run after a long flight but will give it a go next time! 🙂