Jet lag is one of the hardest parts about traveling, especially when going overseas. While drastic time zone changes and long flights can’t be avoided, there’s plenty of steps you can take to feel your best. Read these tips for avoiding jet lag before your next trip to be on your way to exploring your new destination!
Start Your Trip Rested
This is a huge one because it sets the pace for how the beginning of your trip will go. Make sure you’ve printed off any documents you need and packed well ahead of time to minimize stress. Get a good night’s sleep the night before you leave so you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. Making a packing list in advance will take the stress out of last minute packing.
Buy a Giant Water Bottle
It’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re rushing through security and trying to find your gate. Once you get settled in, head to one of the stores in the airport to buy the biggest bottle of water you can find. Being on the plane will dehydrate you, so you’ll want to be able to drink water all throughout your flight. Let’s face it – those tiny cups the stewardess gives you aren’t very helpful.
To save money, bring your own (empty) water bottle with you. I’ve been using this Clearly Filtered water bottle on all my trips this year to stay hydrated throughout my travels. Not only does it store a decent amount of water, but it has a filter so you don’t have to worry about where your water is coming from.
Sorry to ruin the party, but drinking alcohol on the plane is one of the worst things you can do for your body. When I first started traveling, I was guilty of ordering a beer or two to celebrate my trip. The problem is it dehydrates you further, and you can say goodbye to getting a restful sleep later. Just stick to water and wait until you get to your destination. Trust me, having a Peroni in Italy will taste way better than in a cup on your flight.
Sleep According to the Time Zone
If it’s bedtime at your new destination, go ahead and try to sleep during your flight. If the flight’s over 7 hours, you can take a natural sleep aid such as melatonin to help you. If it’s the middle of the day where you’re headed, I recommend trying to stay up. This makes sure you’ll be plenty tired when it’s actually time to go to bed.
Don’t Go to Sleep Right Away
Once you get to your destination, you’re going to be exhausted. To get in your new routine as quickly as possible, stay up for as long as you can until 8 or 9 PM. You’ll thank yourself you didn’t go to bed in the early afternoon, only to wake up wide awake at midnight (although that might happen for the first few nights regardless). Distract yourself by grabbing a coffee and going out for a walk to explore the area.
Get Back to Normal Afterwards
Take a rest day or two when you come back, but try to get back in the swing of things. I had one day to rest on my last trip and then started work again. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and get back into your fitness routine if you have one. You’ll be tired at first, but try to go to bed and wake up when you normally do. The sooner you get back in your normal routine, the better you’ll feel.
What tips would you add to this?
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