We all know it. We sit in a plane for 12+ hours very excited to finally go on that long-planned vacation. Though once we arrive, we are just feeling like sh*t. The jet leg has hit us hard and you know it’ll probably take you at least two days to adjust. Damn, you two days you basically miss out on your vacation. Though what if I tell you there is a way to prevent jet leg from happening. What if I would show you a few habits you can include into your pre-travel routine that will help you feel fresh and juicy once you arrive.
Sounds good? Okay, let’s do it.
Over the past few years that I’ve been traveling near and far I developed an anti-jet-leg-routine. I have to admit, despite all the long-haul flights I’ve done, I haven’t had a jet leg at all. I wondered how, if everyone else had one, how can it be I have none. So, I looked a bit more into my routine and what could be the reason for me being immune against a jet leg. Then after talking with a lot of travellers I found these few habits as very helpful.
1. Exercise before and after you arrive
When possible I always try to squeeze in a workout before I hop on a plane. Not only because I feel more balanced when I’ve been moving before sitting for 12+ hours. But also, because it keeps my metabolism running and in balance.
Also, when I arrive first thing I do is move, go for a walk or stretch. This way you get your blood flowing and you’ll fell a lot fresher and healthier after.
2. Stay hydrated
Because of all the aircon that dries out your skin you need even more water to stay hydrated. So, make sure you drink enough when flying. And not juice or alcohol, drink plenty of water. I recommend bringing a water bottle so you can ask the flight attendants to fill it up. That way you don’t have to ask for new water to often.
3. Stay away from alcohol
I know, I know, it helps you fall asleep. But jet leg is way more likely when being hangover then when being sober. Trust me.
You don’t want to expose your body even more toxics then the lake of sleep and the confusion of time shifts and stuff. So, keep the unhealthy influences as low as possible.
4. Eat healthy
Before, during and after your flight, try to eat as healthy as possible. Avoid heavy digestible food like fat, huge amounts of carbohydrates or sugar. Bring fresh fruits as snacks and if possible choose a light, vegetarian, maybe even non-dairy meal on the plane.
Through eating healthy you make sure your body has enough vitamins to run properly and you will fell a lot fitter.
5. Calculate your sleep
Lastly, try to calculate yourself time.
Try to find a balance between staying up late in your origin country and going to bed early in your destination country. This example will make it more visual.
Before my flight to Australia I calculated the following:
Origin time of my flight was 12pm, at that time it was 8 pm in my destination country. That meant I had to stay up for about 5 or 6 more hours. Then it would be 6 pm at home and 2 am at destination. After I had to sleep for 6 hours. Then it would be 8am at my destination. A reasonable time to get up. During the rest of the flight I could nap as much as I liked but when arriving at my destination I would make sure to get to bed not before 5 and not after 8 pm so I had a decent amount of sleep.
This obviously looks different depended on the country you are traveling to, though I think the strategy should be clear now.
Just try to get at least 5-6h of sleep at a timeframe that fits to your daily routine in your destination and origin country.
Before I go, I have one last little tip for you that will make flying more convinient. In addition, it will make you feel better once you get off the plane.
Take off your shoes.
I know for most of you that will be nothing one have to tell you but I’m sure there are still some out there, who feel to ashamed to take of their schoes. You really don’t have to. Everyone does and it makes you feel so much better. Your feet won’t get swolen up and your toes have room to move.
Try it, if you not already have. It makes a huge difference.
If you need more tips on how to make flying more convinient, check out the post below. There I have put together a few things that will improve your time up in the air and therefore also help prevent jet leg. Because the more comfortable and convinient your flight is the less likely it will get to suffer from a jet leg after.
That’s it. I hope these tips will help you prevent your jet leg. If they do and you found this post helpful, feel free to share it. I’d love to help more people get rid of this inconvenience.