This post was last updated on July 26th, 2016
It’s quite possibly everyone’s least favorite part of travel. I know it’s mine. Jet lag leaves you feeling groggy, agitated and generally not fun to be around. To make the most of your travels you want to be bright eyed and ready to explore when you hop off that plane. Here a couple of tips to help you get on your feet and feeling great after your next long haul flight.
You’re not traveling halfway around the world to stare at the back of your eyelids, are you? You’re traveling to get away and see something new. So do it. Avoid spending too much time in your dark hotel room as this will only make you more tired. Boost your mood by going for a walk and grabbing some sunshine. After all you have been stuck in a giant metal tube for the past several hours. Some fresh air will definitely do you good.
Quite possibly the most important thing you can do to beat jet lag is to get on a normal sleep cycle. Avoid taking a nap when you arrive. 20 minutes of shuteye can easily turn into a 3-hour snooze fest. Try booking an overnight flight and sleep on it. It’s much easier to power yourself through a busy day of travel when you’re tired compared to trying to force yourself to sleep at night.
There are many health benefits to drinking water, but it is especially important to be well hydrated while traveling. It can be tempting to grab a red wine every time the flight attendant walks past, but be sure you’re drinking plenty of water as well. Because of the altitude and lack of moisture in the air, you are much more susceptible to dehydration while flying. Drinking plenty of water will help reduce fatigue and keep your immune system in check. Be sure to check if the tap water is potable when you land or if you’ll need to be purchasing bottled water.
What you put into your body directly affects your mood and energy levels. Along with drinking water be sure you are eating enough and eating well. There is a term we’ve talked about before on the blog about being hangry while traveling. We always carry around a couple of Cliff Bars whenever we travel to keep hangriness at bay. Avoid big meals with heavy foods and sauces. These will only make you feel bloated and make you tired. It’s much better to spread out your meals and snack throughout the day, especially if there is a solid street food or market culture where you are.
Our secret weapon when it comes to jet lag. It takes a bit of confidence and a lot of funny looks, but doing yoga and getting a good stretch along with breathing exercises work wonders for the body. Whether it’s in the airport during a layover or in the back of a crowded long haul flight, a few sun salutations will get blood flow back into those weary legs.