Being able to fly all over the world is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Simply hopping on a flight for a few hours and landing in a totally different time zone is truly remarkable, but adjusting to your new schedule unfortunately, isn’t so easy.
Whether you’ve got Walt Disney World Resort in Florida tickets and are heading to Orlando or you’re looking to visit distant relatives in Australia, you’re sure to be affected by jetlag. But there are a few things you can do to ease the process and adjust to your new time zone quicker. We spoke to various family and lifestyle bloggers to find out their top tips for beating jet lag.
6 tips for beating jet lag
- Make plans and stay awake until it’s ‘bedtime’
- Go with the flow – everyone copes differently with jet lag
- Fuel your body with healthy food and plenty of water
- Keep naps to a minimum to ensure you don’t sleep the day away
- Rejuvenate tired muscles by doing some stretches or yoga
- Take a red-eye flight so you are fresh when you land
1. Make plans and push through until 'bed time'
Jo from Tea and Cake for the Soul recommends overcoming jetlag by slotting into your new routine as soon as possible.
“The best way to deal with jetlag is to ensure you revert to the new time zone straight away. On arrival, plan evening activities for the day you arrive to keep you awake until a reasonable bedtime. When you return home, go to work or school the next day no matter how tired you think you will feel. You will adjust to your new time zones quicker, even if you feel a bit sluggish at first.”
Emma from Me and B Make Tea also agrees with adjusting straight away by putting off sleep until it’s night-time in your new time zone.
"I often fly to the US for work trips. My top tip for dealing with jet lag is to stay up until it's ‘bedtime’ in that new time zone. Even if you're tired, try to resist going to bed super early. I find if I get to 9pm or 10pm, I tend to have a good night’s sleep and slot into the new time zone much quicker."
Vikki from The Vintage Vik also recommends making plans when you land to keep you stimulated.
“My usual routine works because when I land in the UK from Australia it is usually around 8am. My failsafe jetlag remedy is to go have a coffee with my mum and then insist on dragging her around the shopping centre for hours. The need to be entertained and busy will keep you awake for as long as possible, plus it is a massive distraction and a great excuse to buy clothes!”
Even if you don’t have much planned on the first day, getting out in the sunshine will give you a much-needed Vitamin D boost, says blogger Sarah from Cook With 5 Kids.
“Try to get out in the sun as much as you can the first day. The sun gives your body the energy that you need to beat the jetlag!”
2. Everyone copes differently, particularly children
Staying up for extended periods of time may be easier for us adults, but when it comes to your children, blogger Yasmine Camilla says not to expect them to follow suit as easily.
“When travelling with kids my biggest bit of advice is to keep your expectations low! You know how well your little ones cope when they're tired and there is no one size fits all when it comes to combatting this. My son is fine to stay up for long periods of time, so I can stretch his days out just like I would mine and go to sleep at the new ‘right’ time. My daughter, on the other hand, is a devil without enough sleep. We all have a better time if she is allowed to nap when she needs to! Try and go with the flow.”
Fran from Back With A Bump recommends trying to ease them slowly into their new schedule, encouraging them to sleep when they should be in your new time zone but letting them nap during the day if they need to.
“If you're travelling with little ones, try and gently follow their normal routines while switching to adapt to the change of time zones. If they need a nap to get them through the day because their routine is skewed, then just keep an eye on the time to try and help them get back to a normal bedtime. Quiet time with some calm activities like watching a film, colouring or stories are also a good option for helping them fall asleep more easily.”
To make the transition even smoother, Sara recommends slowly adjusting what time you and your family go to bed each night in the run up to your trip.
“We just travelled to Japan, which is 13 hours ahead of us on the east coast. The week before our trip, we made our bedtime an hour later each night so that when we arrived, the time change was not quite so terrible and much easier to adjust to!”
2. Eat well to give your body extra fuel
Fran also recommends eating healthily during your flight to avoid making yourself feel more tired and sluggish.
“Travelling by itself is really tiring, so my top tips are to drink plenty of water and eat well during your flight, avoiding carb heavy, stodgy foods which can cause you to feel bloated and lethargic.
“You should also avoid alcohol when travelling as this can cause you to feel groggy and dehydrated too. Too much caffeine can equally cause a slump, so try and avoid energy drinks as much as possible.”
Vikki also recommends avoiding the booze and sticking to water during the flight.
”As much as inclusive alcohol sounds like the perfect way to pass the time, it will catch up with you after the flight. In an attempt to keep your body functioning at its best, try and drink as much water as you can whilst travelling. You are likely exacerbating the jet lag if you are both hungover and can’t decide which time zone you are in!”
Blogger Anuradha from Peace Up Life also recommends eating healthily to get your energy levels back up and help you get over your jet lag quicker.
“I understand that looking for a healthy restaurant or a grocery store nearby as soon as you have landed in a new country or city is lot harder than just ordering-in. But to bring your energy levels into a balance, you have got to eat right. Just think more veggies, fruits, complex carbs, healthy fats etc. As snacks, always keep a handful of roasted dry fruits or an apple or banana handy.”
4. Keep naps to a minimum
Although you’ll be in desperate need of a kip at first, Yasmine says the biggest risk of napping when you’re jet-lagged is that you may end up sleeping for much longer than you intended.
“There is often that moment when you go off to chill in your hotel room and think you will just catch 30 minutes to keep you going, then wake 7 hours later having missed the day and not having helped your jet lag at all!
“So, my biggest tip for coping with jet lag is to make sure you have a loud alarm and get up when you hear it - a nap is okay, but you don't want to waste the day.”
Vikki agrees that napping isn’t ideal, and says to listen to the encouragements of friends and family – even though you won’t want to. “Yes, I have been that person getting more irritated when your family and friends are trying to give you that advice but it’s for your own good. Remember, the first day is the trickiest but you will thank yourself for it when you get over the jetlag and enjoy the trip.”
5. Stretch out or do some yoga
Although it may not be the first thing you think of to overcome jetlag, Anuradha recommends doing some yoga stretches to relax and rejuvenate tired muscles.
“When I travel and I’m too tired to go out for a walk or explore, I do a light stretching session right on my bed. Keeping my legs up on the wall, child’s pose, happy baby, butterfly, downward dog and bridge pose are some highly beneficial yoga poses that you can do in your room.
“Even if you have never done yoga before, you can do a light stretching session or play a YouTube video and stretch all your tired muscles out.”
As well as stretching out your muscles, Laura Kate Lucas recommends getting in some light exercise to make yourself tired later on. "If you are struggling to sleep, get in some low-intensity cardio during the day. I tend to go on the cross trainer or go for a jog which will use up my energy and make me feel tired later on. Try not to do it right before bed though, as it could make you feel energised and leave you wide awake!"
6. Get a red-eye flight
Blogger Priya from Glorious Sunrise recommends catching a red-eye flight to reduce jetlag, particularly if you have little ones.
“Travelling with young kids in tow is in itself a feat for parents. It is especially challenging on long flights and the resulting jetlag.
“Over past trips, we have learnt a few tricks to keep our kids happy and keep us sane. The best thing you can do is get a red-eye flight to make sure the kids sleep during travel. This dramatically reduces their discomfort and leaves them fresh when you land.”
Jetlag affects everyone, and although there are some steps you can take to adjust to your new time zone quicker, the best thing to do is not let it get in the way of your adventure. To find out more about Attraction Tickets Direct’s worldwide adventures, visit our homepage now.