You’ve looked forward to that vacation to a destination far far away for months. You’ve planned, prepped and packed. Have you also thought about how to address the inevitable jet lag that often plagues travelers who cross multiple time zones? Have you created a plan of attack to keep jet lag from interfering with your plans?
Jet lag has been on my mind lately, seeing as we are about to embark on our own far far away summer vacation. Our final destination is six hours of time zones ahead of our home base, and our travel includes an overnight flight. So what’s a girl to do who dreads red-eye flights? Seek out options to kick jet lag to the curb, that’s it!
My Jet Lag Strategy
Ok. I admit it. I completely dread overnight flights! I try my best to avoid them. But sometimes a red-eye flight is the only way to get from Point A to Point B, and for our far-away vacation, an overnight flight was our best option. It’s not our first overnight flight, so I’ve developed a few of my own strategies to combat the inevitable jet lag sure to hit our family.
Before We Go
I spend time reading up on the latest tips to minimize Jet Lag effects! And I do my best to keep my stress level down in the days prior to our flight. I also make sure the whole family is well hydrated in the hours leading up to departure.
Day-of and During Our Overnight Flight
With an early evening departure from home, and an early morning arrival at our destination, our flight presents some challenges for quick acclimation to the local time zone. A few adjustments can go a long way for our in-flight comfort and rest. I will be following each of the following tips for our own flight.
- Wear comfortable clothes conducive to sleeping in uncomfortable seats.
- Wear shoes that are not too tight or can be unlaces. Feet swell on these long flights!
- Pack ear plugs and an eye mask to block out noise and light.
- Stash an extra layer in your carry-on for warmth. Don’t count on an airline blanket!
- Bring a water bottle topped off before boarding and a few light, healthy snacks.
- Avoid dehydrating drinks like alcohol.
Sadly we are not flying First Class, which means we are relegated to Coach and those uncomfortably cramped seats. We will certainly try to get some rest, but it will be a challenge!
Upon Arrival at our Destination
With a six hour time difference and an exhausting overnight flight, our next jet lag challenge presents itself at our hotel. Though we may drop our luggage off, we will not be able to check in until early afternoon. We will need to keep busy, but not overly busy, until check in. For that initial day at our destination, our plans are as follows.
- No booked tours, keeping the day free of scheduled or structured activities.
- Take a short mid-afternoon nap once checked into the hotel.
- Set an alarm! Sleeping too long won’t help adjusting to the local time zone.
- Seek out the sun! We hope for a sunny day to find a bench, relax, and “people watch.”
- Make it an early evening with a light dinner, nothing too heavy.
And yes, we’ll probably all be sound asleep by 8:00pm local time, and up by 5:00am the next day, but that’s ok! We booked an 8:00am tour since we’ll be wide awake and ready to roll!
More Tips to Help Beat Jet Lag
Jet lag happens to even the most seasoned travelers. Preparing a strategy that suits your travel style can help your own acclimation to the local time zone be a little less interruptive. You’ve read some of my tips. Here’s more to help vanquish that dreaded side effect of traveling far and wide.