I don’t do jet lag!

I just returned from an amazing trip to Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria this past weekend which reminded me to share my routine to avoid jet lag.   Anytime I am going to cross 4+ timezones I have a process to avoid jet lag that what works for me.  Keep in mind that everyone is different but this process could become your solution to avoiding jet lag.

When I was living in the UK I would get terrible jet lag from traveling back to the US or vice versa.  Over the years I have learned a few tricks along the way to eliminate the sleepy, dizzy and nauseous feeling so common place with jet lag.    I am not completely immune to jet lag.  There are rare instances when I fall victim to jet lag; for example when returning from Bali to Chicago which involved over 42 hours of travel crossing 14 timezones.

So here is my typical process for US to Europe transatlantic assuming an overnight flight.

24 hours before the flight

  • No caffeine at a minimum of 24 hours before the flight but ideally 36 – 48 hours prior to travel
  • Eat only healthy foods 24 hours before travel; absolutely no sugar, alcohol or heavy meals

Day of departure

  • Get up earlier than normal
  • Get some physical exercise: long walk, bike ride, yoga, etc
  • Keep yourself hydrated and increase amount of water consumed early in the day
  • Consider taking an aspirin an hour before departure; consult your doctor for advice based on your medical history
  • Eat small and light meals or snacks throughout the day.

IMG_7959During the flight

  • Stay hydrated during the flight and bring your own water bottle on the flight.  I never board an airplane without my own water bottle.
  • Wear compression socks
  • Try to keep moving.  It is becoming more difficult to get up and walk around on flights but at a minimum do some leg exercises in your seat just to keep your legs moving
  • Limit your alcohol ideally only 1 drink but definitely stop at 2 drinks
  • Continue to eat small and light meals
  • Bring your earplugs, eye mask, inflatable headrest, etc to attempt sleeping as much as possible on the flight
  • Consider taking some homeopathy pellets to help get your body back on track or even JetZone homeopathy chewable tablets

Upon arrival

  • Keep moving!  It is your first day perhaps in a new city so go for a walk.
  • Continue to eat small and light meals
  • Enjoy some caffeine to help get you through the day
  • Get your body adjusted to local time; stay awake as late as possible on your first day
  • Go swimming if your at a hotel that has a pool and utilize the jacuzzi to loose your muscles or consider taking a bath.

For the return journey from Europe to the US transatlantic I would suggest following the same steps with one very important difference.  On a day flight back to the US do not sleep on the flight except for a brief 20-30 nap.  Be sure to set an alarm to ensure you don’t nap for too long.

Do you have any routines to avoid jet lag that work for you?  Please respond with your comments or send me an email at 1girlwhotravels@gmail.com.

Seek your adventure!

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