Whether going to Europe or returning from Europe, knowing how to deal with jet lag is always a concern. Changing multiple time zones or even several hours can make your internal clock out of whack.
Over the years of heading to Paris, I’ve figured out several ways that have helped me deal with jet lag and keep life going as usual.
I especially followed these 5 tips during our trip to Paris, Provence, and London where we changed time zones a few times.
Here are the ways which have worked for me and may help you as well, but understand every individual is different.
These suggestions can be used for either heading on your trip or when returning home from your trip.
It should also be noted these tips can also apply to kids as well especially if this is their first time traveling abroad. London took a few more days than us to get back on track from our European adventure, but for the most part, did very well going and returning.
Just keep in mind, that first day your child might be a little more tired than usual so keep that in mind when making plans for the day.
1. Good Night’s Rest
Anytime, I am heading on a big trip I always try and get a good night’s rest a few days before I am leaving. I know this can be difficult, especially when preparing to go out of town. Last-minute errands and late-night packing usually take over but I try and get all this done a few days ahead of time.
That way, I can focus on getting a good night’s rest before my trip and I am not too tired going into the trip. The last thing I want is to get to my destination exhausted before the fun has even begun.
When I am flying to Europe on an overnight flight, I will take a melatonin to help with sleeping on the plane. As long as I can get 4-5 hours of sleep then I feel good when we land.
2. Lots Of Water
Drink as much water as you can before, during, and after the plane ride. I drink a lot of water anyway, but I always try and drink double the amount a day before I am flying somewhere.
As odd as it may sound, staying hydrated can help how you deal with jet lag. Airplane cabins have low humidity levels which is why they feel dry. Keeping your body hydrated can help with this.
I always pack a refillable water bottle to take on planes. These days most airports have refillable water stations with filtered water. Make sure to fill that up before you get on the plane. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the flight crew to fill up your water with the bottled water they provide.
This is hard but try and stay away from coffee and alcohol if you can because those obviously dehydrate you. If you do indulge in some wine with your meal on the plane, make sure you’re drinking water as well.
I also carry these liquid IV packs with me and will use a few of those on the plane. One other tip in regards to dehydration, carry some lotion with you. My hands always get incredibly dehydrated so I make sure to take a hand cream in my carry-on with me.
3. Make Sure To Move
Another way I try and deal with jet lag is by moving my body. I always make sure to walk around the plane several times during the flight, especially if it’s over 4 hours.
As soon as I get to my destination, I immediately head outside to walk around. Or, if I am returning from a trip then I make sure to go for a run the morning after. My mind might be too tired to do this but it honestly helps reset my body and also gets the endorphins going as well, which always helps.
4. Eat Properly
As tempting as it always is, I try not to take a bunch of candy to eat on the plane. First, the sugar will dehydrate you and secondly, it won’t provide you with any energy when you arrive and will only make things worse.
I also try not to eat airplane food either if I can help it because it’s usually full of sodium which is also dehydrating and makes me feel bloated.
Usually, I try and take some healthy snacks and either make something to take or I will grab a salad from somewhere during my connection to take on board.
5. Adjust To Time Zone
When I get on the plane, I immediately put my mind to Europe time. When I land, I keep going for the day and don’t nap at all, which can be hard but it’s worse if I decide to nap.
Usually, this first day will involve an early dinner and bedtime but I am okay with that. I feel much more rested on day 2 if I do this.
I always say just go about life as normal to try and deal with jet lag, don’t think about what time it is where you just came from. Just think about the time zone you’re in and what you should be doing.
After returning from Europe sometimes I will need to take a power nap or two for a few days, but I make sure the naps aren’t any longer than 15 minutes.
Hopefully, these tips have provided some help on how to deal with jet lag for your next long trip abroad. Remember, everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you, but hopefully, these 5 tips can provide some help. If you have a different tip you’d recommend, I would love to hear.
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