There is nothing worse than an anti-climax and unless you take steps to minimize your jet lag, this is usually how a new destination will appear after a long haul flight. Travel is a tiring process but when you take into account the change of time zones, it can be downright exhausting.
In many ways it’s impossible not to feel tired in some way after a long day or night travelling but save yourself from suffering an anti-climax on your next trip and use the following simple hacks to minimize your jetlag.
5 easy hacks to minimize your jetlag
1. Book red-eye flights
You may not have any option should the price be too high but usually an overnight flight is the perfect way to minimize your jet lag. Whether you depart early or late, it does not matter; you can choose to sleep early or late on an overnight flight to coincide with the time in your chosen destination.
Just keep in mind when you step of the plane, it’s unlikely you will feel instantly refreshed and in unison with the new time zone but it most definitely makes the adjustment smoother and the transition a lot easier for the first couple of days traveling.
2. Avoid coffee and alcohol
Some recommend coffee as a means of minimizing jetlag as it allows you to stay awake longer on flights and use this time to adjust. However, you must also keep in mind how this caffeine boost does little more than trick the body clock and confuse it during a period when you are supposed to be winding down. A better option is to avoid it altogether and by staying awake in a more natural state, you will fall asleep a lot easier with no side or after effects.
In a similar sense, alcohol does not minimize jetlag or help in terms of the transition from one time zone to another. In fact, as with any time you consume alcohol, you are likely to feel more tired during your travels, not to mention the next day when you wake up.
3. Arrive during the day or include stopovers
Stopovers are often a schedule of choice these days with airlines offering fantastic connections which allow you to explore another location en-route to your final destination. Whether it’s an overnight stay in a European city or a weekend on the beach, this micro adventure is perfect for helping to ease you into changing time zones.
At the same time, if there is ever an option for you to arrive in a destination during the day instead of after dark, take it. Exposure to natural daylight will help minimize jetlag as this is the best indicator for your body to start adjusting to a new timezone.
4. Do not take sleeping pills
Simply put, sleeping pills will not help you adjust or minimize jetlag. Yes, a sleeping pill will send you to sleep like a baby but as always, the after effect of this type of medication will leave you feeling drowsy and even more tired than when you went to sleep.
Instead of relying on a drug to get some well needed rest on a long haul flight, use natural methods to fall asleep such as herbal tea or a glass of milk. Rest assured, having avoided the temptation of taking a sleeping pill, you should wake up feeling refreshed and ready to explore.
5. Exercise and diet
The best ways to minimize jetlag are always the most natural kind and in this sense, retaining a regular diet and partaking in some exercise will help you adjust to your new time zone. As soon as possible, you should start eating meals to coincide with breakfast, lunch and dinner in your future destination which will allow for your body to adapt gradually as opposed to any sudden change when you arrive.
At the same time, diet is often meaningless without regular exercise and you should try to be active from the moment of arrival. It might only seem like a quick stroll in the city or a micro workout in the hotel gym, but the act of doing so will boost endorphins and brush away the remnants of cobwebs after a long haul flight.