Many of our tour guests who travel from afar or from overseas have trouble to adjust to the new time difference in their destination city. Here are some tips on how to avoid jet lag.
When you travel to another time zone, your internal clock is off – that’s what you call jet lag. Usually getting over jet lag should take 3-4 days depending on how far you have traveled from. Flying eastwards will make it a bit harder to adjust to the new time zone, then when you are flying westwards. That is because our body accepts it better if you are staying up a little later, then having to go to bed much earlier than usual. In addition, if you are used to getting up rather early, flying eastwards is a little bit easier than for people who generally stay up late. And vice versa, if you are a night owl, you will have less trouble adjusting, if you were traveling westwards.
How can I avoid jet lag or at least minimize it?
- Start to adjust your internal clock several days before you fly, by staying up later (if traveling westwards) or getting to bed earlier (if travelling eastwards).
- Once you are in the plane, act like you are in your destination time zone already e.g. change your clock, take a nap, eat moderately or skip a meal and avoid alcohol.
- Be healthy and well rested. The more you rest before your big travel, the easier it will be to adjust to your new time zone.
- If you are travelling overseas, on the day of your flight, try to sleep in or sleep as long as you can. This goes for either direction, as you will likely skip a night travelling eastwards, or you will have to stay up much longer when you arrive travelling westwards.
- Bring a neck pillow and nap on the plane. Even if you don’t fall asleep into a deep slumber, your body will thank you later for each little 20 minute nap you do on the plane.
- Stay hydrated. It’s best to purchase a bottle of water at the airport (after you are through security), so you don’t have to get the stewardess attention every time.
- Once you arrive, don’t nap more than 30 minutes or go to bed immediately if it’s not bedtime yet. Stay up till at least 9 pm. This discipline on your first day of arrival, will get you over jetlag much faster.
Other things to consider when travelling to different time zones and jet lag:
When flying westwards, e.g. from Europe to New York, or from Washington DC to San Francisco: Don’t make any late evening plans the first couple of nights. You might think you are up to it, but your body will tell you otherwise. If you are booking our walking tours, stick to the morning and daytime tours, and avoid the evening tours.
When flying eastwards, e.g. from California to New York, or from Boston to London: Don’t make any morning plans the first couple of days. Instead plan more things to do in the afternoon and evenings. If you are booking our walking tours, avoid the early 10 am tours, and go for the afternoon or evening tours.
+++We hope you have safe and enjoyable travels without much jet lag and we look forward to having you on our famous pay-what-you-like walking tours soon.+++