Congratulations, you’ve done the hard part. You’ve flown across the globe and you are far from home in a brilliantly new environment. You read and used my tips on getting through the long haul flight and you are ready for your epic adventure.
… or are you? Don’t you feel a little tired, like someone leaped into your backpack while in transit and is sitting there right on your back. That’s jetlag by the way and he will be following you wherever you go for the first few days. What a free loader, right? But getting rid of him is easier than you think.
In our first article we told you to avoid the airport or breakfast coffees. There is no need for them as the caffeine will trick your system. Swap that brown cup of deliciousness for one simple thing: water. Hydrate as much as possible, even if it means using the restrooms every 10 minutes (that’s a great way to keep your legs stretching too) Also avoid those sugary coke’s and drinks in general, because these just do not help jet lag.
The wonderful thing about the ban on carrying water on board is that the rule totally forgot fruit: nature’s very own flavoured water bomb. I tend to pack bananas as they are not messy and do your body the world of good due they fact that they are stuffed with Vitamin B and magnesium. They work wonders on our digestion system and help us prevent muscle cramps, which happens to some people when flying.
All fruits will benefit flying but I tend to go for the more “user friendly” ones that don’t spill, or leave a mess. One pro tip: If you are going to take Kiwis, don’t bother peeling them: their peel is literally stuffed with nutrients. The skin is literally loaded with even more fibre than the meat of the fruit so get it down you, even if it feels fuzzy and furry in your mouth!
It’s all healthy so far, with lots of fruit and water, so help yourself to the inflight meal, but avoid those deceiving artificial sugars and alcohol (sorry, don’t hate me forever… but this is kind of obvious) This might be the best way to start your trip: nice and healthy.
Many flyers like to adjust their body clocks before they fly, so literally live in the time zone of your destination for those two days before your trip. This way when you land, you are sort of pre-loaded with the time zone. It’s tough due to the fact that we have to break from routine, but you might like it.
If you can’t do this, no worries just change your watches in the early part of the flight and this will trick your brain that little bit extra.
During the flight, don’t sit still. If like me you have springs in your feet, use them. Use that plane as your gym, move around and stretch as often as possible. This really does help keep your body from cramping up and you will feel better when stretched. Some inflight or airport yoga will also help shake those blues.
To keep our muscles nice and relaxed head for a hot bath right after the flight. This will really relax your muscles and the switch in temperature when coming out will make your body sleepy, and if you do manage to sleep straight after the flight – happy days you will wake up almost fully adjusted.
I tend to keep day one of my trip quite relaxed and free so I can invest my time in what my body needs that little bit of rest and adjusting period to the new setting. No harm done in in a little chill time. If you can’t get to sleep easily, grab your earplugs and a sleeping mask and snooze away!
We mentioned the ear plugs in our earlier article on long haul flying, and they can come in handy again here!
In summary, beating jet lag is not as hard as you think, but it happens in stages:
Pre Flight, In Flight, Post Flight
Prepare, wean off your coffee and alcohol from days before to break routine. Try out your new time zone at home
In flight, rest and hydrate… eat your fruit and try to relax. Stretch often.
Post Flight: Hot bath and sleep. Light exposure might help if you are rushing around and cannot head to sleep immediately.
I’ll be using these tips for my trip to Peru next week, so stay tuned for more updates
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