How to Cope with Jetlag & Odd Travel Times During Your Journey

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Everyone knows that feeling of excitement you get on the day a journey finally begins. I get particularly excited about traveling to faraway destinations. Many of us share the opinion that the journey is an essential part of the travel experience, but some of us dread it, because the journey can mean different time zones and dealing with changes to your routine. Granted, traveling can take a toll on our bodies. If you prepare and know what to expect, you can decrease the effects of jet lag.

Thinking Ahead and Preparing Your Body Accordingly

Image via  Flickr  by mcrosacci

Image via Flickr by mcrosacci

Fuel your body and hydrate well days before the journey. Eating a lot of protein and light, nutrient-rich food is important. Staying hydrated is also essential. If possible, avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol at least 12 hours before flying.If you fly west, go to bed slightly later. When heading east, try to go sleep earlier to adjust your body clock gradually. You can apply this trick to your eating schedule as well. Book an overnight flight for the best chance of getting more sleep, or at least look for flights arriving during the daytime at your destination.

Dealing With Long-Haul Flights and Time Zone Hopping

Image via  Flickr  by Sole Treadmill

Image via Flickr by Sole Treadmill

Before takeoff, set your watch to the time at your destination. On long-haul flights, I usually wear compression socks. Since the air is dry, bring hand lotion, refreshing face wipes, and eye drops. For more comfort, wear loose-fitting clothes, bring a scarf, and dress in layers. 

Avoid coffee or alcohol and carry fairly healthy snacks, such as dried fruits and veggies, beef jerky, crackers, trail mix, and Clif Bars. Bring an empty water bottle that you can refill at a water station shortly before boarding the flight.

Tackling a Long Layover

Image via  Flickr  by whitefield_d

Image via Flickr by whitefield_d

Follow a few key layover tips to make the most of your time in the airport. Find yourself a place to sit and reorganize. Engage in a round of people-watching or do some work on your laptop. Books and podcasts also help kill time. Depending on the local time, find some light dinner or breakfast options. If you need a boost of energy, walk around and explore. Get your toothbrush out and brush your teeth, as this helps you feel more refreshed and awake. 

Many airports also have yoga areas and quiet rooms. If your layover is so long that you could actually catch up on a few hours of sleep, look for something like Minute Suites for some privacy.

Fighting Jet Lag Upon Arrival

Image via  Flickr  by Sole Treadmill

Image via Flickr by Sole Treadmill

Once you’ve reached your destination, make sure to stick to the local sleep and eating schedule to adjust quickly. If you happen to arrive during the day, drop off your suitcase and head out to explore. Know your body and what you usually eat. Drink a lot of bottled water and get in a quick bodyweight workout, or get a first glimpse of the new place during a run. The excitement of being somewhere new and having reached your destination will keep you going.

Traveling doesn’t have to be a pain if you know how to prepare. Think ahead and consider a few things in advance, and you’ll be at your destination in no time, ready to enjoy yourself and make lasting memories.

This was written in collaboration with GoDoTrip