You’ve booked the flight, you’re packed for the trip and your itinerary is all set. Now the only thing left to do is to depart for your destination! If you’re taking a long haul flight and heading to another timezone, you’re going to need to pack along some tips to overcome jet lag.
Before the Flight
If you’re still looking at flights or in the process of planning a trip, you should book a flight that will arrive during the daytime. Our bodies are naturally attuned to sunlight, meaning our circadian rhythms are synced with the sun. If you have the flexibility of time, you can also squeeze in a stopover on your way to your destination, so you can acclimate and adapt to the time difference slowly.
You can also adjust your schedule ahead of time if you can. If you start priming your body clock this way, it will be easier for you to adjust to your new timezone when you get there. Those flying east should sleep earlier while those who will be flying west should sleep later.
Lastly, remember to skip the alcohol before your flight. Alcohol can leave you dehydrated, making it more difficult for your body to cope with the changes in the environment. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking water instead.
During the Flight
It’s easy to get tempted by coffee, soda or even energy drinks while you’re onboard your flight, but again, it’s better to opt for water. Caffeine will only make you feel rough later on, affecting your ability to recover from jet lag faster. You should also choose to eat smarter by picking the healthier stuff on the flight menu, as overly processed meals and food laden with carbohydrates will also put a dent on your recovery.
When you’re done eating, try to keep your body moving from time to time by stretching your legs, standing up and walking along the aisle. This will help your blood circulation which is important in battling body soreness and can also help prevent deep vein thrombosis.
You might be planning on catching up on sleep while you’re on your flight, but it’s also important to take note that you should use these inflight hours to sync your body clock with your new timezone. If you’re flying while it’s daytime in your destination, try to stay awake and keep yourself entertained instead by reading or watching a movie.
After the Flight
Upon arrival, you can help your body get acquainted by adjusting your mealtime based on the destination’s timezone. You can also help reset your circadian rhythm by not giving in to fatigue and getting some form of exercise into your routine – even a simple walk around your hotel can help lift both your energy and your mood. When all else fails, try some breathing exercises to help you get back into the groove.
For more travel tips and inspiration, check out the rest of our blog at www.travelwithaccess.com/journal.