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What’s more disappointing than heading home from a stellar vacation? The jet lag that affect you for days, sometimes weeks, afterwards. While you experience it when arriving at your destination, the excitement propells you forward. Unfortunately, there’s not much propelling you forward but good ol’ routine when you return home. But, good ol’ routine may be just the ticket for you to combat jet lag.
Rest on the flight. Okay, so there are tons of really great movies and TV shows to catch up on and discover, but you know what’s even better than watching TV for 8-14 hours straight? Sleep! It’ll also help you feel better for your trip and help you change over to the proper time zone.
Use ear plugs (or listen to relaxing music if you can fall asleep that way) and an eye mask to get some proper sleep on a plane. There are even mini meditation sessions on some entertainment systems, now to help you relax and fall into a better sleep. Pack your own pillow and blanket for added comfort.
Here are my favourites:
Infinity travel pillow
Free People eye mask
Drink water. It’s literally what we all need to stay alive. So, keep yourself hydrated. When you’re dehydrated, your body does all kinds of crazy things and isn’t a fan. Airplanes are dry as shit and dehydration can cause migraines (hi! want to know what it’s like to have a migraine and vomit during a 14hour flight? I’ll tell ya about it in a later post) and make you feel worse. Keep yourself hydrated during the flight and after to feel better. This is honestly one of the most important tips in the post as even if I feel tired, if I’m hydrated I feel good enough to go about my day. Drink water on the flight and after.
And, if you don’t believe me, Google hydration and jet lag. It’s found everywhere. Like here and here and here.
Move about the cabin. On my last flight home from Paris I didn’t get up from my seat the entire time. That’s 8 hours of sitting in a seat barely moving. It is NOT good. I don’t need the countless articles telling me about this; I felt like shit, completely drained, and my legs were swollen and painful, hard and hurt to move. Y’all just get up. It’ll get that blood flowing and make you feel so much better once you land. Don’t be afraid to ask your seatmate to move so you can go for a walk, unless they’re sleeping. If they sleep for the whole flight, etiquette allows you to wake them up, especially if you have to use the washroom. Don’t be peeing your seat because you’re too afraid to say ‘excuse me’ to the stranger next to you.
Go about your regular day. As in, if you like to have coffee in the morning, have your coffee. If you like to shower in the morning rather than night, jump in (and, honestly, who doesn’t feel the immediate need for a body scrub and piping hot shower after being in an airplane for more than 3 hours?). Get yourself settled into your regular routine as quickly as possible to trick your brain into thinking that this new time is normal and no, you shouldn’t be sleeping.
Dive into activities. While I don’t advise you to jump into some intense sight-seeing your first day in a new place, get to know the neighbourhood you’re in. Stock up on snacks, go for a leisurely lunch, start your shopping early. Do the relaxing, but fun things that will keep you moving into the evening and most importantly, awake.
Go to bed at a reasonable hour. For some, that could mean 8 or 9pm. Other will hope to stay up until 11 or later, but don’t throw your body into a loop. You want to get onto local time as quickly as possible. Allow yourself to snuggle into sleep at 9-10pm and wake up early to start the next day. It may not be your ideal vacation sleeping schedule, but it’ll get you primed for the rest of your trip. This is what I aim for every single trip I take. If I hit 10pm, I’m ecstatic.
Eat better than you would. I know, I know, it’s vacation, why can’t you just pig out on delicious baked goods and fatty foods? Well, because they’re not good for you and make you feel like shit. While eating healthy isn’t going to combat your confused brain cells on which time zone it is, you’re going to feel a lot better. Don’t worry, you’ll still have time to indulge in a box of macarons later on the trip.