Not a frequent traveler, but want to pack like one? See the tips below to help you pack lighter to avoid paying extra baggage fees and to ensure you move through security checkpoints with ease.
Being smart about your surroundings will ensure your travels are safe. See the tips below to help keep you protected and out of harm’s way.
Traveling abroad is an exhilarating experience and one that requires extra preparation. See the tips below for special planning that may be needed for your travel overseas.
Feeling well is an important part of your trip; you want to enjoy your travels for the entire duration and to the fullest. See the tips below to keep your health on track while traveling.
How to Reduce the Effects of Jet Lag
1. Prepare your body for the change in time zones
Every week, push your schedule one hour back or forward, depending on where you're going. The more time zones you're flying across, the earlier you'll need to start. This will give your body a chance to gradually adjust to your new time zone.
On the day of your flight, drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration is one of the symptoms of jet lag, and the dry, cabin air on the plane doesn't help. Stay away from any beverages with alcohol or caffeine in them, as the side effects of dehydration can do more harm than good.
3. Set your watch to the time at your destination as soon as you begin your flight
This helps you to mentally prepare for the new time zone.
4. Sleep (or stay awake) like you're already there
If it's daylight at your destination, try to avoid sleeping on the plane. If it's nighttime at your destination when you're on the plane, try to sleep. Use earplugs, eye shades, and turn on the air-conditioning valve (cooler temperatures may help you to fall asleep faster).
5. On a long flight, flat bed seats may be worth the upgrade
The quality of your sleep is far superior.
6. Ask your physician for short-acting sleeping medication if you are on a long flight.
Many people find this is helpful. If you'll be needing sleep while on the plane, try to book a roomier seat. In a narrow economy seat with little leg room, your body will produce an adrenaline-like substance to keep blood flowing up to your brain, which generally prevents you from being able to sleep. The availability of more leg room in first class or business class seats helps the passenger to sleep.
7. Eat like you're already there
Avoid eating airplane food, since it's generally served on a schedule that's consistent with the time zone you're leaving, not the one you're going to. If you're hungry, snack lightly until you arrive at your destination, and eat during what would be mealtimes there.
At your destination
1. Play or exercise, preferably in the sun
If it's daytime at your destination, spend as much time outside as you can. The exposure to sunlight will help your brain adjust to the new time zone.
Not only is your sleep cycle adjusting, but so is your digestive routine. Large, rich meals will make it all the more difficult for your body to adapt, and symptoms like constipation and diarrhea will put a damper on your vacation.
3. Exercise early in the evening and in the morning
It'll help you get better sleep by tiring you out before going to bed (as long as you exercise a few hours before bed, so that the body has time to calm down) and it'll help make you feel more awake in the morning by getting your blood flowing.
4. Have a protein-rich breakfast the morning after you arrive.
It'll help with alertness.
5. Consider taking melatonin
Melatonin is the hormone your body naturally creates around the time you usually go to bed. So taking it at the time you want to tell your body to go to bed, may help your internal clock to adjust to the new time zone.
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