Guys, I dread an international flight; especially, a red-eye. I typically walk off feeling slightly delirious, 100% disheveled, a touch bloated (TMI), and it wreaks havoc on my skin (top travel skin care tips coming soon). While I love to get to a destination (who does not want to walk down the above driveway?), traveling is exhausting, My body is usually yelling at me, “What. Are. You. Doing? Where is my green smoothie? Why are you eating all the scones on the planet? And why am I awake when I should be sleeping?” and so on… I’ve seen a ton of tips out there, but I am sharing a few of my tried and true for keeping “le jet lag” at bay because a reminder never hurts, and the summer travel season has started!
No. 1: Hydration Station
Drink up. On a long flight, I am probably (okay, definitely) going to have a few glasses of wine, but I am all about water. The worst thing you can do is to not drink enough, or any at all. Buy the biggest bottle of water you can find before you depart. Keep the water flowing. That’s going to help alleviate the natural flying bloat most of us get, and leave you feeling a lot more refreshed if you are on a 8+ hour flight. Psst…a few friends I know always remind me that water is free on flights, and it is, but you don’t want to have to wait for a flight attendant to finish serving a 100 passengers when all you need is water, and you need to get to sleep.
No. 2: Timing is Everything
When you get on your flight, set your watch (What? Who wears a watch?) so it’s set to the time zone where you are traveling. You want to do that as soon as you step foot on the flight, and don’t look back. Don’t think about what time it is in Poeghkipski if you are going to Spain. If you don’t wear a watch, pretend.:) And then pretend like you are already in that time zone. If it’s 5 p.m. in the U.S. when you get on the flight and 12 a.m.. wherever you are going, eat dinner, drink lots of water and go to sleep. Try not to stay up and watch all the new movies. They’ll still be there on your way home.
No. 3: Just Say No
On any flight, it’s easy to have a few free drinks, but if you can avoid alcohol, do it. If you are going to drink, a two drink minimum is a really good guide. More than that, and the next day, you are going to feel like the world is ending when you get off the plane. It will leave you dehydrated, run-down and then and you are more likely to sick or get jet-lag.
No. 4: Nap Time is Only for Toddlers (Sorry, guys)
Like Nike says, just do it. In this case, just don’t do it. When you don’t nap, your body adjusts more quickly to the new time zone; especially, if you have already started adjusting on the flight. Napping will discount all the work you did on the flight, and throw off your clock off even more. It will take you a lot longer to adjust to the new time zone and likely leave you super jet-lagged. If you have to nap because you feel like you might keep over, a 15-20 minute power nap(max) is best, but before you nap, see No. 5.
No. 5: Just Do It
After a long flight, your body needs a little wake-up call. Get out and go for a run or a walk. Any form of exercise is better than none. It does not have to be much. A quick 20 min. walk or a little yoga in your room (download Daily Burn before you go on a trip). I am big runner and I love it after a long trip because it wakes me up and gives me a surge of energy, and bonus: it’s fun to explore a new place on foot. You get a breeze-by view of the city, and a chance to scope out your surroundings. And second bonus: photo opps you may not have gotten otherwise.
No. 6: No Sleep Til’ Brooklyn
Just like nap time, you are going to want to go to sleep early. Try not to. The later you can stay up, the better off you will be for the rest of trip. I am not advising you go out until 2 a.m., though I have definitely been there, done that, and lived to regret it the next day, but at least stay up until 10:30-11 p.m. It will help you sleep so much better and your body clock will adjust more easily to the new time zone.
No. 7: Rinse & Repeat
On the way home, repeat and reverse all of the above and you will not feel like you need a vacay after your vacay!