Water, water and more water. Water really does do a body good, especially on long flights and trips. Avoid those sodas (caffeine) and cocktails (alcohol) if you want a head start on beating jet lag. Most airlines are extremely accommodating in providing water on long flights. I usually bring a Nalgene water bottle with me (empty of course to get through security). Most flight attendants will refill it for you several times.
Stay Awake. The majority of flights to Europe are red-eyes. Try to sleep on the plane and when you land – no matter what – stay awake. If you land at 9 AM local time (even though your body says it’s 2 AM), stay awake and start your day. Do NOT go to bed. This makes a huge difference in adjusting to local time and this trick has never failed me.
Put your watch to work. Change your watch to your destination time to help your mind prepare mentally. I usually change mine when I arrive at the airport. Bonus, it gives me something to do while I’m waiting to get through security.
Pad Your Travel Time. I find when I’m arriving on my vacation, it’s not as bad because of all the vacation excitement. But, I always try to add a day or two to the end of my vacation when I get home to help recover and re-adjust to my normal time zone. This extra time has always made a big difference for me.
Expect it. While these tips can help you with some effects of jet lag, the fact remains that crossing multiple time zones can be (and most likely will be) a challenge to your body. Expecting it helps you prepare for it – for example, by using some of the tips we’ve listed for you. Also by expecting it, I can have a more positive attitude about it and try to recover more quickly.
What are your ways to fight jet lag? What’s your best strategy to tip?
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