Much like cold remedies and headache cures, everyone has a different recipe for how to cure jet lag. What really helps, however, is learning how to avoid jet lag as much as possible in the first place, thus sidestepping the need for leeches and tonics (oh wait, that was the Middle Ages…) If insomnia, constipation, fatigue, and confusion—among other fun symptoms—really aren’t your cup of tea, here are some effective ways to prevent and/or help you recover from jet lag.
If you’ll be crossing some major time zones, try pushing your schedule back or forward one hour, depending on you your destination. This will give your body a chance to gradually adjust so your schedule on another continent won’t be quite as much of a shock.
This is definitely one of the top tips you’ll get from any seasoned traveler. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages and fill up on as much water as you can. We highly recommend buying your own bottle as soon as you clear customs, especially on long flights. Turns out many airlines run out of bottled water en route and flight attendants fill the bottles up from the plane’s holding tanks. Ew. No thanks.
Don’t fill up on food
Not that many planes offer food anymore, but when the cart comes around with snacks for purchase, consider what you’re putting in your mouth: namely fats, sugars, and salts. All of which will make you retain water and feel distinctly bloated. Opt for a bag of “bring your own fruit” and stick with the water.
Sleep on the plane—or don’t
If you feel like working, go ahead. A movie, fine. Sleep? Absolutely. What we do recommend is getting up at least a couple of times during the flight and walking around the cabin to get the circulation going in those lets.
If it’s a long flight, try to upgrade
If you’ll be up in the air past your bedtime, a flatter surface would make for a much more comfortable flight. Don’t be that guy drooling on the inflatable triangle balanced on the tray table. It’s not as comfortable as it looks. (Just kidding. It looks appalling.) If a “flying bed” is not an option, try for more legroom.
Once you arrive, act like a local
Stay up—no naps, we mean it! They are the kiss of death. You’ll feel sleepy mid-afternoon (if it’s daylight when you arrive) but avoid the temptation to snooze at all costs. Eat something light, take a walk, admire the scenery, head to the beach/park/museum… Stay up until at least 10 PM. You’ll thank us in the morning.
Depending on the nature of your trip, some jet lag might be unavoidable. Check out this great post on how to beat jet lag for more tips, and don’t forget to contact your Personal Travel Advisor when you’re ready to head across the pond! Sign in today at www.SkyMedTravel.com with your SkyMed Member number or, if you’re not a member, call 800-568-8994 and book your travel with us to get a free SkyMed Essentials Membership!