Sitting down and strapping in for a long-haul flight is always exciting. It means you’re off somewhere. Adventure. But if there’s one thing to put a dampener on your holiday, it’s losing precious time to jet lag. Here’s how you avoid the curse of modern travelling.
- Make the switch over to local time ASAP
One of the tried and tested rules for fighting jet lag is to switch over to the local time of your destination as soon as you’re seated on the plane. The sooner you can adapt your natural body clock to the local time by way of eating and sleeping, the sooner you’ll shake off any symptoms. For example, if the local time in Tahiti is 11pm, which is normally around your bedtime, try watching a slow movie to lure yourself to sleep.
- Stay hydrated
Jet lag isn’t purely based on your body’s confusion from crossing time zones – symptoms can also occur from dehydration caused by sitting on a plane for such a long amount of time. The best way to combat this is by drinking water regularly and limiting consumption of sugary drinks and alcohol.
- Prepare for comfort
Since you may need to catch some sleep during your long-haul flight (always a good idea, as it makes the flight go much faster), make sure to pack your carry-on bag with items that will help you nod off. For example, a neck pillow is more comfortable than an economy seat headrest and headphones help block out noise.
- Eat light
Falling asleep on a plane doesn’t come easily to most, so avoiding big, heavy meals prior to or during the flight will aid in preventing indigestion or a funny tummy – something you’ll thank yourself for later when sleep beckons!
- Have a stopover strategy
Make the most of stopovers, even if all you’ve got time for is a quick stop at the bathroom to freshen up with a wet wipe and tooth brush. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel. Plan ahead by packing your carry-on bag with little refreshers like face wipes, toothpaste and deodorant.
- Plan ahead
If you’re flying abroad to attend an event, try to allow yourself at least a day or so prior to get used to the new schedule. You might not want to use up extra annual leave, but you’ll thank yourself later when you are refreshed and well-rested enough to properly enjoy whatever you travelled so far to attend.
- Don’t Give In
Finally, once you’ve landed at your destination, collected your luggage and made your way to your hotel, it can seem all too tempting to nip back to your room for a few hours’ sleep. But unless it’s actually bedtime, you won’t be doing yourself any favours, and will actually just prolong the jet lag. Have something planned to keep you occupied until bedtime, and treat yourself to some caffeine-f