Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or only travel occasionally, you’re likely to experience jet lag at some point. But it doesn’t need to ruin your trip. Here are some tips from Skyscanner Australia to help minimise the impact of jet lag.
Jetlag is a necessary evil of international travel, but it doesn’t need to ruin your trip!
With a bit of planning and a few handy hints you’ll be able to beat jet lag quickly and get on with the business of enjoying your holiday. Here are some ways you can beat jet lag.
1. Adjust your sleeping times.
In the lead up to your trip, think about adjusting your normal sleeping habits to your destination. Go to sleep an hour earlier or later or wake up an hour earlier or later each day. This will help minimise the shock to your system when you reach your destination.
2. Don’t stay up late.
It may seem logical to stay up all night before a flight. But in reality a late night bed time before a flight is just going to exhaust you. Try and get a good sleep before a flight and don’t stay up packing into the early hours.
3. Book the right flight.
There is a reason you feel the jet lag more on some flights. The flight path you take can significantly impact your circadian rhythms. It’s best to try and book a flight that flies from east to west. Travelling east will go against your body’s usual routine, meaning you’re more likely to feel jet lag.
4. Arrive in the morning.
If you can manage it, book a flight that will arrive in the morning. Arriving in daylight will help you stay awake and avoid the temptation of falling into your bed straight away upon arrival.
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5. Consider a stop over.
Take advantage of the layover and book yourself into a hotel for the night. Breaking up the trip with a stopover will help your body to adjust and is also a great chance to freshen up and sleep horizontally for a little while.
6. Stay away from booze.
As cute as the mini liquor bottles are, it’s best to stay away from alcohol when on a plane. The altitude will cause you to feel the effects of alcohol much more than when you’re on the ground. A hangover plus jetlag isn’t pretty. Don’t do it to yourself.
7. Water is your friend.
Staying hydrated is crucial when you travel. The importance of water in avoiding feeling like rubbish at the end of your flight should not be underestimated, so drink up.
8. Sleeping pills are a bad idea.
It may seem like a good idea to pop some sleeping tablets on your flight, but it’s best to only do so on advice from your doctor. Some sleeping tablets can make you feel groggy long after you’ve landed, which will make it even harder to get over jetlag.
9. Say no to coffee.
Drinks high in caffeine are not your friend when you travel. Coffee, caffeinated drinks like energy drinks and soft drinks will keep you awake and make it hard for you to recover from jetlag quickly. Swap the coffee for a herbal tea or a big glass of water.
10. Change your watch.
Once you’re on board your flight, set your watch to the same time as your destination. This will help your mind adjust to where you’re going and ease the transition for your arrival.
11. Get up and stretch.
Stretching exercises are an important way to avoid DVT and improve circulation. Jet lag can cause slow circulation, so get up and get the blood pumping.
12. Head towards the light.
The sun is going to be your best friend when you land. Even if it’s overcast, get outside and expose your body to as much light as possible. This will help “re-set” your brain to your new time zone and make combating jetlag much easier.
13. Do some light exercise once you arrive.
There’s no need to do a marathon, but some stretches and a gentle walk is a great way to refresh after your flight. Exercise also gives you an energy boost from endorphins.
14. Establish a normal sleeping pattern.
Try as hard as you can to avoid falling into bed as soon as your arrive at your accommodation. Staying awake through the day for as long as you can will help you get a good sleep on your first night and will set the tone for the rest of your trip.
15. Do the maths.
When adjusting to a new time zone, it is believed the body needs around one day for each hour of time zone changes. So if you’re in a radically different time zone, expect to feel a little out of it for a while.
16. Be patient.
Jetlag affects everyone differently, but will go away eventually with the right approach. Do your best to get out and see things, eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water and you’ll feel back to normal in no time.
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