Planning a trip overseas? In addition to deciding what to pack, it’s also a good idea to start thinking about how you can avoid jet lag. You want to enjoy your vacation, not spend it struggling with staying awake.
To help you avoid sleepiness during the day, insomnia at night, and hunger pains at odd times, we offer up these tips.
Before You Leave
Adjust your Inner Clock
Several days before you leave, gradually shift your schedule to more closely match where you are going. While a complete change is probably unrealistic, if you can adjust your schedule a few hours or so, you’ll be surprised how much it helps.
We recommend downloading JetLag Genie. This clever app will help you gradually alter your sleeping habits before you leave. Input your travel dates, destination and usual sleeping times and it’ll come back with personalized alarm clocks.
Limit Your Coffee and Alcohol Intake
For 12 hours before you leave, try to limit your coffee and alcohol and avoid overeating. You want to feel as comfortable as possible during your flight and coffee jitters or a full belly won’t help.
Book Overnight Flights
You’ll have a greater chance of sleeping during the night than if you were on a daytime flight. Plus, you’ll arrive at your destination during the morning or afternoon and can immediately move into a normal schedule.
Pack a Pillow and Headphones
To create a calming and relaxing environment during your flight, pack a travel pillow and headphones. The more relaxed you are, the better you’ll feel when you land.
During Your Flight
Sleep on the Plane
Travel is tiring and the more sleep you get on the plane, the better you’ll be able to handle the stresses of jet lag. Get out your travel pillow and headphones and get cozy.
Drink Lots of Water
Cabin air can dehydrate you, so drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Consuming up to 8 ounces every hour is not unreasonable. Spritz your face with a hydrating spray that includes essential oils like lavender.
If you wear contact lenses, use eye drops, and consider removing them while sleeping during the flight.
Don’t Drink Lots of Coffee or Alcohol
Limit your intake of coffee and alcohol. They can interrupt your sleep, leaving you feeling restless instead of rested. And altitude changes can quicken the effects of alcohol. One cocktail in the air is equivalent to two or three on the ground.
Stretch Your Legs
Take a walk down the aisle a few times during your flight to stretch your legs. It will help get the kinks out and the blood flowing.
Set Your Watch
If you wear a watch, adjust the time to where you will be and start thinking in that time zone and not the one you’re leaving. You’ll be amazed at how your body starts to synch to the new time zone.
Once You Arrive
Avoid Sleeping Right Away
Try to hold off sleeping until it is reasonably close to bedtime. You might feel a strong urge to take a nap, but if you can help it, don’t. If you need a nap, opt for a quick 20-minute pick-me-up and not a several hour slumber.
Spend time outside as soon as you can after you arrive. The sunlight will not only feel good, but it will help your body reset its inner clock to coincide with your new location.
Tip: If you have our Pocket WiFi tucked in your pocket or bag, you can access the Internet wherever you are, indoors or outdoors, and it connects all your smart devices!