Everyone loves to travel, but no one likes jet lag. Jet lag is like that acquaintance you didn’t invite to your party, but crashed anyway. In 2015, you’d think there’d be a pill for this. But alas, we’ve had to find our own remedy. Skip feeling like an ogre on your next timezone-crossing adventure by following these easy steps.
BEFORE THE FLIGHT
1. Book Your Flight Strategically: Instead of cursing the time gods because of how tired you feel when land, book a flight that’ll minimize your jet lag. If you are flying west, book an afternoon flight. If you are flying east, book a morning flight. Passengers traveling west experience lighter effects than passengers traveling east, because east runs the opposite direction of the internal body clock. While this all makes sense, we think a reset button would be easier. Just sayin’.
2. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule: A few days before your flight, adjust your sleep pattern to mirror the local time of your destination. If you are flying west, you should move your bedtime later. If you are flying east, you should move it earlier. This will make it much easier for your body to adjust to the new time when you arrive.
3. Pack Long Before Flight: Stress is like a crying baby on a flight: It’s a situation that no one wants to deal with. Reduce your stress by packing a few days before you leave. Not only will this save you worry, but it’ll also keep you from the oh-no-I-forgot-to-pack dance three hours before your flight. We’ve all been there.
4. Adjust Your Watch: After you get through security, adjust your watch to your destination’s local time to help you mentally prepare before you even land.
DURING YOUR FLIGHT
5. Drink Water: Flying for a long period of time isn’t the greatest thing for your body. The cabin air pressure is dehydrating, which won’t help your travel hangover. To make up for it, drink eight ounces of water. Whatever you do: Don’t. Drink. Alcohol. Sorry for the bad news, but alcohol and coffee will only dehydrate you more.
6. Drink Ginger Tea: If you are looking for a more natural remedy, try drinking ginger tea on your next flight. Not only does it relax your muscles, but it also keeps your blood circulating. The catch is that it has to be fresh ginger root — none of that powder stuff here, folks. Just add sliced root and lemon to a tumbler, and ask for hot water while you are in flight. (Photo + recipe via Minimalist Baker)
7. Eat Light: While your mind might already be in vacation mode, eat light on your flight. Heavy meals will disrupt you from getting that much-needed rest. Stick to protein and plant-based foods (like this gorg green goddess kale salad via Clara Persis!) to elevate those jet-lag blues.
8. Sleep on Plane: One of the best things you can do is get some sleep on your flight. Bring an eye mask and ask for a pillow and earplugs to unplug from the rest of the world. Ideally, you should time your sleep to when it’s night time in your destination city. This will help you feel fresh and ready to go when you arrive. (Photo via Wildfox)
9. Walk Around: Keep the blood flowing by doing mini stretches in your seat. This will help prevent muscle aches and keep you relaxed. We’re not saying you should do a full-on Richard Simmons workout routine, but minor leg and arm rotations will do. (Photo via Eva Air)
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
10. Expose Yourself to Daylight: Sunlight is your best friend when you need to reset your internal clock. If you arrive at your destination during the day, get as much light exposure as you possibly can. The more light you receive, the quicker you’ll get over jet lag.
11. Rest at Sundown: Try not to sleep if there’s light out after you land. Push through your fatigue by doing activities to stay awake. Then once the sun is setting, head back to your hotel for a glorious night of rest. (Photo via AirHelp)
12. Warm Bath: Not everyone can easily fall asleep after a long flight. Instead of taking sleeping pills, draw a warm bath in the hotel and get comfortable. If you don’t have access to a tub, drink a lukewarm glass of milk. Save the wine for the following night, once you’re feeling better than ever.
What are your remedies for jet lag? Tell us in the comments below!