Guest Post: Global Journeys
No one wants to sacrifice the first day or two of their holidays to jet lag. With limited time, you want to hit the ground running and start exploring rather than begrudgingly dragging yourself around feeling fatigued and frustrated. However, after a long flight (or three!) across multiple time zones, it is normal to feel anything but normal. The good news is, there are some things you can do to lessen the effects of jet lag. Here are some of them.
Plan for your flight
There are plenty of factors that come into play when booking your flights. Price, flight time, airline preferences, frequent flyer programs, and whether to choose the aisle or the window. Choosing flight times that help with your transition into a different time zone can also provide some relief from jet lag. For example, choosing an itinerary that has you waking up in your destination in the morning can help with the adjustment, particularly if you are an in-flight sleeper. Or, think about arriving at night so you can sleep and awake refreshed to start the new day if you are not. There are also some aircrafts that have advanced systems to control humidity and lighting to curtail the impacts of jet lag.
Set your watch
While planning your flight schedule to suit your destination’s time zone can help, chances are your body is still going to be pretty confused. A great way to get a head start on resetting your body clock is to initiate the adjustment early. Before leaving home, set your watch to the time in your destination, and start to work your inflight sleep pattern (where possible) around it. Don’t forget to keep a clock with the current time on you though so you can keep track of your flights and transit times!
Add a stopover
Breaking up a long journey can help you arrive at your ultimate destination feeling more refreshed. Not only does it let you catch up on some rest en route, but it allows your body to adjust more gradually. Adding a stopover will give you a chance to catch up along the way, adapting to a time zone in between your origin and destination meaning that you (and your body clock!) can take it one step at a time making the transition easier and less disruptive.
It is easy to lose track of your fluid intake as you travel – your routine is disrupted, and your habits can be thrown completely. It is important to keep drinking water and stay hydrated to help overcome jet lag and that sense of fatigue that many people get when travelling long haul. Pack a reusable bottle in your carryon luggage and steer clear of things that will dehydrate you further, such as coffee and alcohol.
Hold out for night time
So, you’ve arrived a little bedraggled after 30 hours of travel, tentatively propping open your eyelids with your forefinger. If you’ve arrived in the daytime your first instinct may be to draw the blinds and hit the pillow hard. Don’t! Fight against every sleepy fibre of your being and force yourself to stay up during the day. Hopefully exploring until nightfall will tire you out enough to sleep through the first night on your new time – then bingo! If you just can’t, set your alarm then allow yourself a short nap, but when the alarm goes off don’t hit snooze or you’ll likely struggle to get to sleep when night time truly falls.
Catch some rays
If you’re not up for sightseeing on arrival, it is still important to get outdoors. Go for a gentle walk or a swim. Perhaps make yourself at home in a terrace café, soaking up the sunshine and watching the world go by. Melatonin levels help regulate your body clock, and the secretion of melatonin is influenced by the body’s exposure to light and dark. A great way to tell your body that day and night has flipped is to get outside and catch some rays, bringing your body’s hormones into line quicker. It’s also good to limit the use of electronics at night, as the blue light from screens can manipulate your body’s melatonin production and confuse your body further.
Give yourself time
Taking these steps can assist in curbing the effects of jet lag and travel fatigue, however, rarely will you have no symptoms at all (unless you’re one of the lucky ones!). If you have the time, it is good to allow a couple of days at the start of your holiday to take things a little easy. If you are joining a tour or river cruise, arriving early means you will be able to rest a little and find your feet in your new destination (and time zone) before your itinerary kicks off. If you are taking an independent journey then avoid planning too many activities for the first day or two – save your highlight activities for a few days into the journey when you are feeling up to really enjoying them. Taking some extra time out to adjust not only helps your body recuperate but gives you a little ‘me’ time – you are on holidays after all!
About Global Journeys
Global Journeys is an Online Travel Agency based in Noosa, Queensland, Australia that offers multi-day tours, cruises and river cruises. With a dedicated team of travel consultants and leading technology, Global Journeys partners with the world’s best travel operators to offer their clients over 5,000 trips to choose from worldwide.
General Enquiries: [email protected]
Media Contact: Barb Durance – PR & Marketing Manager
Barb Durance – PR & Marketing Manager, (07) 5474 8003