For most travellers, jet lag is the necessary evil of taking a long-haul flight. Jet lag is a type of fatigue that can set in when a person travels across different time zones. The problem it is that it can take your body a few days to adjust – thus detracting from your precious holiday time.
So what strategies can you take to ease flyer’s fatigue?
Choose to fly direct
Opting for a plane transfer is a great way to get a cheaper flight and some respite midway through your journey. However, if you think you can manage a direct flight, it will serve you best when it comes to jet lag in the long run.
Try to adapt beforehand
The week before your flight, try your best to partially adjust to the time zone of your destination. You can do this by changing your daily routine slightly to reflect the day time hours of the place in which you’ll be travelling.
Do some exercise the day before
Once you’re seated on the plane, your chance to be active is restricted. Sitting for an extended period of time is uncomfortable, so the day before your flight make sure to give your body (especially your legs) a good workout. Take a power walk, play some tennis or go for a swim. Exercise will help to release the chemicals (lactic acid) from your body and help you to be able to sleep on the flight.
Pick your seat
Whether you’re a lover of the window, aisle or the exit row, try to reserve a seat in which you know you will be able to sleep. This handy guide to choosing the best seat on a plane can help you make the best seat selection for your next flight.
The recycled oxygen on the plane can dehydrate you since it doesn’t contain much moisture, so try to keep hydrated before and during your flight. You would also do best to avoid alcohol, coffee and salty foods. Keep your skin hydrated by moisturising your face and hands each time you go to the bathroom.
Eating well before and during your flight is also important. Try to eat fresh whole foods in the days leading up to your flight and avoid hard to digest foods that will make you gassy and bloated.
Get some sleep
As difficult is sleeping on the plane can be, ensuring your body and mind are well rested will be the largest factor in warding off jet lag. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and pack an eye mask and ear plugs – anything that will help you sleep well during your flight. An innovative travel app called Entrain may also help.
Once you have reached your destination, do you best to adapt to the local time by sleeping and taking meals by the local schedule. You should also try to avoid taking naps and get out in the sunlight.
What tricks do you use to avoid jet lag?