I travel A LOT. It’s probably my favorite thing to do of all time, travel and eating anything chocolate. And with travel comes a ton of positives…and a few negatives, mainly jet lag.
Jet lag, according to Medical News Today, occurs when people travel rapidly from west to east or east to west in an aircraft. Basically, if you are flying from the States to Europe, you will most likely experience some jet lag. And then you’ll get jet lag again when you fly back from Europe to America. It is always more intense when going from west to east, so going home is worse, which extra sucks because you also have post-vacation blues. Yuck.
So, how do you beat jet lag and enjoy your vacation and get back to normal life quickly? Here are 5 practices I use to fight jet lag while traveling. I hope these help you and if you have any other tips, I’d love to hear them!
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Drink lots of water. I drink water all day long, thanks to my Swell bottle, and just wasn’t implementing that while flying across the Atlantic. I would drink one small airplane glass of water the entire flight and would then be dehydrated and slightly tipsy when I landed. Thanks free alcohol on international flights. My new strategy is to drink only water in the airport and then fill my water bottle up right before boarding and drink that throughout the flight. Then I only order a glass of wine with dinner. Since I started doing this, I have noticed that I feel much better when I land and don’t feel as tired throughout my stay. Water truly is magical.
Exercise. Once I land in my dream location, I try my best to exercise. Even if it’s just a short walk or a 10-minute Tone It Up video, the endorphins help me stay awake and feel refreshed. While we were in Dublin, I brought some resistance bands for a quick, yet effective work out. Resistance bands are perfect for travel because they don’t take up any space, can be used anywhere and you work up a good sweat in no time.
You are not feeling sleepy. Stay awake! Time change isn’t easy, but it is imperative to stay awake as long as possible. I remember landing in Frankfurt after a trip at 5 in the morning only to take a 4 hour nap once we got home two hours later. Then that night I couldn’t fall asleep until 1 AM and took me 3 days to get back to my normal sleeping schedule. After that horrible experience, I started to stay awake as long as possible in the new time zone. This is definitely easier said then done, but even staying up until 8 PM local time will help your body get on track quickly.
Make healthy-ish decisions. In tandem with good sleeping, good eating is also super important when trying to fight jet lag. This starts at the airport, too. Airport food is expensive regardless, but I try to stick with a fruit cup and a salad if we’re eating before we leave and I only eat half of the meal once we actually on the plane. This part is easy because economy food certainly isn’t gourmet. Of course, I enjoy food once we land, hello, this blog has gelato in the title, but I try to balance everything. I try to have some kind of fruit for breakfast and a vegetable at lunch and dinner. It doesn’t always happen but, as with life, eating healthy helps keep you alert, less sluggish and ready to tackle all the sights.
Keep sickness at bay. And last but not least, take some Vitamin C. It will help you fight sickness, which usually happens thanks to the lackluster air quality on planes, and keep your immune system in top shape so you can actually enjoy your vacation instead of needing a tissue every 5 seconds. I definitely notice a difference when I take Vitamin C vs. when I don’t. If I take it, I don’t feel like a cold is coming and honestly feel much more awake throughout the day. Plus, you can put a packet directly into a cup of water on the plane. Super easy.
Moral of the story is that you can do things to overcome jet lag. And being tired during your vacation that you worked hard to plan and finance is no way to enjoy it. I do these things even if we’re only going a few hours away, especially the Vitamin C one, because I don’t want to end up being stuck in the hotel sick when I could be exploring a whole new city. I hope these help on your next international vacation!
Have you ever experienced jet lag? What ways do you try and fight it?
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