I don’t really enjoy travelling, I mean I enjoy the whole idea of a vacation, sipping on a refreshing ice cold cocktail on the beach with the ocean waves splashing on your sun kissed feet. BUT the part I don’t love and actually tend to dread is the part before that, the journey getting me from A to B.
For me generally long haul travel = the dreaded jet lag
It can be stressful and your body doesn’t really agree with this whole staying in the one place for a long time. Queue Circadian rhythm confusion!
After researching the many ways to get over Jet Lag I narrowed it down to five simple steps that you can take prior to (and during) your flight to help with the many annoying situations you will find yourself facing on your long haul journey across the seas.
1. Stiff Legs? Choose your seat wisely.
Many airline operators have the option of choosing your seat as you are checking in online or during your booking. It may cost a little more but if you are one of the lucky ones you will be able to reserve a pretty nifty seat with the extra legroom, spacious arm rests, on the aisle, and sometimes they even might have that really cute personal television screen that pops out from the rest (there’s definitely something exclusive feeling about them!). It’s kind of cheating the system with an upgrade that doesn’t break the bank! More legroom equals less squished legs and more movement for your tired limbs! Combine this with some light stretching and aisle walking and you can wave goodbye to DVT :)
Bonus tip: The website Seatguru.com can help you find your perfect seat on a flight. Check it out!
2. Change up your sleep routine before you travel
The saying West is best, East is a beast is so true. If you are travelling East it is advised that a couple of days before travelling go to sleep 30-60 minutes earlier to bed than your normal routine. You should also wake up 30 minutes earlier each morning so your body will start to adjust better to the difference in time zones.
Bonus tip: Set your watch to the time zone you will be landing in during the flight. You’ll feel much more prepared mentally!
3. Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine and basically anything indulgent (sorry to be the party pooper!)
That celebratory pint at the airport, or glass of red wine to celebrate your vacay… sorry it’s not going to help you with your journey ahead no matter how delicious and tempting it is.
Also avoiding caffeine two hours before boarding can help avoid restlessness during the flight. Yes, many of us have a red wine to feel relaxed, and sometimes it does help you get to sleep. But it is well known that alcohol and caffeine are not great for your body when you are travelling, especially when you are travelling for a long period of time. The key thing is to hydrate. Think water, low sugar fruit juices, decaffeinated teas all of these will help your body feel refreshed and hydrated during our travels and not make you feel bloated or thirsty.
Bonus tip: Take a bottle of water with you on your flight. During the journey ask your flight attendant to refill your bottle. They will happily do this for you and it means you will be able to hydrate throughout the trip without waiting on service times.
4. Top up on your vital vitamins
If you experience motion sickness often when you are traveling, then taking ginger tablets or ginger drinks can help remedy this. It has not been proven but it is a traditional method that has been linked to alleviating motion sickness. Get as much Vitamin C in you as possible, it’s not always the easiest to get your 5 a day when you are flying so taking these vitamins can help with that short term.
Boost yourself with some B12. This vitamin is great for travelling as it boosts your energy, possibly a nice accompaniment to your breakfast during a flight as you can tend to lag in energy very quickly when you are on the go.
5. Battle grogginess and tiredness
It can be difficult and confusing arranging some kind of sleep schedule when you are on the go. It’s been said that the best time to sleep is two hours after you have eaten a meal. So after you’ve had the delight of indulging on an airplane tray dinner, watch a film or read a book for a couple of hours thereafter then start your nap routine. Take as many regular naps when you can on your journey try upgrading your napping routine with a Trtl Pillow. Ergonomically designed to hold your head and neck in a better position and to help you gain a comfortable rest on your travels. So why wouldn’t you want that?
You can buy your own Trtl Pillow here
Also recline your chair if you can. Let’s face it, you’re there to have as comfortable a journey as possible and if this means reclining and getting some temporary eye daggers then I say go for it. Just politely mention to the passenger behind that you will be reclining your chair as you’ve heard this will give you a better night’s sleep and maybe they should do it too!