Attention all travelholics: if you’re worried about jet lag, worry no more! Let me share with you my five tips on surviving jet lag after making the foolish mistake in not believing in it.
My first trip to Europe I wasn’t prepared for what jet lag truly feels like. Thankfully I travelled with a friend who had been to London multiple times and had a few tips and tricks to share with me. Since then, after multiple trips not only across the Atlantic but also across multiple time zones (or multiple layovers), jet lag doesn’t affect me as much as it used to.
A little word of warning: nothing completely gets rid of jet lag, but there are things you can do to help ease it.
My Five Tips
No matter how long you are in an airplane, the dry and pressurized cabins do a number on your system. Thanks to the dehydration you’ll experience, you’ll feel tired and the last thing you want is to walk off that plane exhausted. Drink water. Bring your own water bottle that you picked up at the coffee shop or convenience store in the airport, take the water the hostesses offer you and drink some more as soon as you’re off the plane. The hydration will help with the fatigue you’re bound to feel as soon as you land.
Change your Clock
If you’re headed overseas, the moment you get on the plane, change your clock. If you can mentally prepare yourself for the time change then you’re ahead of the game.
I can’t say this enough. Sleep on the plane. Bring earplugs and an eye mask if you need to. Request that blanket and get as comfortable as you can in your seat. Even if you only sleep for a few hours, it will help your body adjust – especially when you land in London and it’s mid morning and you’ve go the whole day ahead of you to tour or attend meetings. Also, when they serve breakfast before you land, take it. Eat as much of it as you can as it’ll help your body adjust to the idea that it is indeed morning.
Remember when I mentioned hydrating yourself with water? Alcohol won’t help even though that glass of wine might ease the stress of being on a plane for countless hours. If you must drink that wine, add more glasses of water to it and then close your eyes and rest.
The first hour or two of landing I was energized and ready to go…until we made it to the hotel and I saw the bed. The moment I sat down all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep…except that friend I was traveling with…she wouldn’t let me. Don’t do it. Trust me…don’t do it. Leave your luggage, freshen up and then get back outside. Go for a walk, take a walking tour, see the sights if you’re on vacation. Do. Not. Stop. Grab a bite to eat, some coffee and don’t think about that bed or what time it is for everyone at home. If you’re on a business trip, try to take a quick walk around the block or find a park…the fresh air will do your body good.
Your first night you’ll want to head to bed early if you can and then set your alarm to get up early. Don’t sleep in if you can help it. Stay on the local time zone and enjoy it to the fullest. Drink that water. Get that exercise. Explore your surroundings.
And good luck!