Ever feel frazzled stepping off a flight, with a new time zone sending your mind and body into a spin? Well, in a bid to help travellers stave off symptoms of jet lag a globetrotter has shared ten of her expert tips. Collette Reitz from Chicago recently travelled through five time zones in two weeks.
Despite her whirlwind itinerary Collette – who works as a journalist – managed to avoid jetlag and ‘really enjoy the places I visited.’ Fly down to learn about some of her remedial tricks.
1. Try your best to sleep on the plane – For those travelling in business and first class, sleeping is much easier but in the economy, the travel pro says it’s essential to try and ‘snag a fully open row of seats to stretch out or book the emergency exit row for more legroom.’
2. Don’t sleep when you land – unless it’s nighttime – The frequent flyer suggests booking an activity, as a way of forcing yourself to stay awake.
3. Create an itinerary before you travel – She explains: ‘Having something to look forward to usually helps me push past drowsiness, and I suggest you pick out some must-see sights for your first couple of days.’
4. Don’t force early morning activities to begin with – Collette says it’s best to avoid forcing early morning activities to begin with as it will take your body a couple of days to acclimatize. Even if you are an early riser, the traveller recommends straying from your standard routine.
5. Do some exercise and soak up the daylight – In every city she visits, Collette says she loves going for a run. Not only is this a great way of exploring new places but she points out that ‘according to the Mayo Clinic, exposing yourself to daylight at certain times can ease your body into the new time zone.’
6. Listen to your body – She explains that, according to the Mayo Clinic, ‘your ‘sleep-wake’ cycle can go out of sync when you switch time zones, so sometimes you need to give yourself grace.’
7. Be flexible – While you might feel like you’re missing out by taking some ‘shut eye’ in the middle of the day, it’s always possible to reschedule things and Collette tells travellers: ‘Don’t let your schedule prevent you from being in the moment.’
8. Drink plenty of water – A golden rule among the travel community when it comes to flying is to stay hydrated.
9. Don’t depend on caffeine too much – Sometimes having caffeine later in the day can affect sleep patterns. Instead of relying on shots of espresso to pull you through, Collette suggests having an early dinner and bedtime.
10. Don’t plan too much for your return – Ideally, she says it is good to book an extra vacation day for when you get home so you can get your energy levels back on track.