How To Beat Jet Lag

Going on a big vacation far away seems so exciting but there’s always that one thing looming over your plans waiting to ruin them: jet lag.  If you have to fly for an excessive amount of hours or have entire days dedicated to travelling to your destination, odds are you will experience jet lag.  No one likes it, but it's just part of the deal. There are ways to make it a little less terrible though, and maybe even beat it entirely. Below I’ve outlined my best tips to beat jet lag and save your trip.

 

Choose your flights carefully

When deciding which flights to take you may think to yourself, “if I fly overnight I can just sleep the entire time”. Wrong. So wrong. You may think you will sleep for the entire flight, but odds are you will only sneak in a few hours unless you are one of the rare insanely lucky people who snooze the entire time.  Even if you are, you may be awoken by one of your row-mates needing to use the toilet. Bite the bullet and take a day to fly and catch up on movies. The food is better during these flights anyways.  This way you’ll arrive in the evening and be able to have a nice dinner or head straight to bed depending on what time you land.

 

Buy a neck pillow

If you’re contemplating whether or not purchasing a neck pillow is worth it; it is. It will make your trip so much more enjoyable and give your neck the support it needs for all the weird positions you will inevitably put your body in.

 

Sleep, sleep, sleep!

Do not make the mistake I did when travelling to Australia from the states and think that if you stay up for a long time leading up to your flight, then you will sleep better on the flight.  Nope. Not true. Big trips cause excitement, anxiety, and plenty of other emotions that will make it ten times harder to sleep. Therefore, sleep as much as you can before your trip so that if you end up wide awake throughout the flight, you will have at least gotten some rest prior to leaving.  If you are travelling with other people, take turns napping in terminals during layovers to catch up on sleep as well.

 

Stay awake when you arrive

When you arrive at your destination and it isn’t night time then don’t go to sleep.  Fight the urge to nap and stay awake until it is a reasonable time to go to bed. This will help adjust your body to the new time zone for the remainder of your trip.

 

Make caffeine your best friend

Not a big coffee drinker? Become one.  You will need caffeine to combat how badly your body needs and wants sleep. Caffeine will be your saviour to happily get up the day after travelling and not feel like death.

 

Don’t get stuck in a middle seat

I know this isn’t always completely up to you, but do your best to avoid it.  You won’t be comfortable regardless, but sitting in the middle seat is like being suffocated. You have no space to yourself and nowhere to turn. If you are on the window you can lean against it to sleep and if you have the aisle you can get up and walk around as much as you want.

 

Exercise

Going for a run is probably the last thing you will feel like doing when you land, however it will help your jet lag so much.  Getting your body moving, even if it's just a few laps walking around your new accommodation, will help your body recover.

 

Stay Positive

When you’re super jetlagged it is easy to become cranky and get snippy with people.  Take a second to remind yourself that you are lucky to be travelling at all and that the jet lag will soon pass.

 

Jet lag sucks, but it’ll suck less if you use some of these tips to help combat it.

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