5 Tips for Beating Jet Lag

5 Tips for Beating Jet Lag

There is no end of tips for beating jet lag to be read on the internet, found in travel books or told to you by family and friends. But do they really work?

It seems to be a really individual thing, and then it can be different from flight to flight. But from my experiences of jet lag – here are my top five tips to help you perhaps not totally beat jet lag, but at least feel a bit more human when you start your trip.

Tip #1: Are You a Night-Flyer or Not?

If you are really keen to avoid jet lag on your long haul flights, you might consider this in your planning stages. You need to determine if you are good at sleeping on planes or not. Then you’ve got two choices: if you can sleep like a baby in your seat, then you can time your flight to include an “overnight” leg, which means one that arrives at your destination in the morning (you will then need to stay awake all day – see Tip #3)

If you never get more than a few winks of sleep then you should on the plane then go for a “daytime” flight that lands in the late afternoon or evening.  At this time, you will be so exhausted from prolonged lack of sleep that you’ll be asleep the minute your head hits the pillow at the correct time in your new destination.

Tip #2: Get It Right While You’re Still on the Plane

The experts, whoever they may be, are always saying that you should drink lots of water, not too much alcohol and get up and move around the plane regularly. They are definitely on the right track with this advice. As tempting as it can be to indulge in that free wine on a long flight, if you must have wine try to limit it to one small glass with a meal. This one glass may help you sleep if that is a problem for you.  Jet lag recovery time should definitely decrease following these simple suggestions.

Tip #3: No Sleep Until Bedtime

If you do nothing else, do this. No matter what time you arrive at your destination, don’t go to bed until it’s night time there. This can be a big difficult especially if you arrive really early morning and need to survive the whole day. You might want to sleep desperately, but be disciplined, stay busy, take a long walk, do whatever it takes so that your body can start adjusting to the new time zone as soon as possible.

At the very least, last until around nine in the evening before you hit the sack, or if you absolutely must take a nap, make it a quick power nap no longer than an hour. Likewise, if your body clock doesn’t want to go to bed, make it. Don’t stay up past midnight even if you’re not tired. It’s all about getting used into the new time zone as quickly as possible.

Tip #4: Don’t Lie Awake For Hours

Your body clock might think that the middle of the night is actually morning and you should wake up. Personally, I think the worst thing you can do when that happens is to lie there for hours trying to get back to sleep, you will just feel more exhausted in the morning.

Perhaps get up, make a warm cup of tea or hot chocolate and try to sleep again till morning. If you do get up, don’t make the room too light, or your body will think it was right about it being morning already.

Aromatherapy to the rescue: Lavender and geranium (in oils and body creams) help some people sleep. If, on the other hand you need something to keep you energised try rosemary and eucalyptus oils. Shops specializing in aromatherapy products also offer a variety of blends.

Tip #5: Think Positive …

Jet lag seems to be more apparent if you travel from east to west and unless you have the luxury of planning an around the world trip and choosing the direction you start then this is not always an option.

Many people have said that jet lag is more noticeable when you return home than when you head off on your journey.  So, does that mean that a portion of jet lag is purely psychological – when you are excited to get out and explore in a new destination means that feeling a bit tired and out of sorts doesn’t bother you half as much?

There are also dozens of natural or herbal remedies, over the counter medications or magic drinks that advertise they can help – if you find one that works for you then go for it, but there’s definitely no cure-all.

Stay active, stay positive, get back into your time zone and normal routine as quickly as you can and don’t dwell on your jet lag – it may just disappear that bit faster!

Happy Travels

Julie Warner

W: juliewarnertravelplans.com

10 Travel Uses for Ziploc Bags

Too often when away on a trip everything has a habit of becoming a bit disorganised, particularly if you are on the move and regularly packing and un-packing your bags every few days.  One way to help combat this is to try and have a place for everything which allows you to find things quickly when you need to and makes more space in your suitcase when packing.  The best way I have found to do this is with plastic bags and ziploc ones work exceptionally well as they secure items easily and are fairly durable.  I always carry various sizes of ziplocs and use them in a multitude of ways no matter what style of holiday we have.

I use these when on trips to store anything that may leak in my handbag/backpack (depending on what style of trip) like; sunscreen, insect repellent and hand sanitiser as well as holding all those smaller items that fall to the bottom and take forever to locate, especially when you are in a hurry.  They are also great for carrying a variety of snack items that help keep hungry children happy for that little bit longer whilst making your way to a destination.

Here are 10 more travel uses for ziplocs that you might find handy on your next trip:

1. Travel Hamper — Bring an XL ziploc and keep your dirty clothes zipped up tight and away from the clean ones.

2. Laundry Detergent –Use a small sandwich sized ziploc to hold some launder powder for any emergency clothes washing you may need to do.

3. Fragile Souvenir Protector — Pack fragile souvenirs in your suitcase, surrounded by two or three ziplocs, filled with air.

4. Camera Poncho — A gallon-sized ziploc is a great way to protect your camera in the rain. Wrap it around the body of your camera and shoot with the lens peeking out of the opening.

5. Waterproof Document Holder — Ever get stuck in a rainstorm with your passport in your pocket? Believe me, it comes out pretty wrinkly when it dries and attracts a lot of sidelong looks from border guards. Keep your passport, money, and other precious documents dry by storing them neatly in a sandwich-sized ziploc.

6. Space Saver — Get an XXL-sized ziploc and fill it with all of the clothes you’re bringing on your trip. Then roll or squeeze the air out from the bottom up, and seal.

7. Earring Keeper — Put earrings, pills, or other small items into a snack-sized ziploc and slip it into your bathroom bag. It’ll save your more precious items from getting lost or scratched.

8. Day Starter Kit — Make a coffee kit with your favourite tea, instant coffee, sugar etc. and skip the coffee provided by the hotel.

9. Electronics Packet — Store all of your electronics, wires, chargers, MP3 players, etc. in a large sized ziploc. You can see what’s in it while it’s closed and it’ll keep your things from getting lost in the nooks and crannies of your suitcase.

10. Swimsuit Bag — Put wet swimsuits into XL sized ziplocs until you get home or back to the hotel. Works great for other wet clothes, too, like wet socks when you get caught in a rain storm.