Long haul travel always excites me as a travel blogger and I love visiting new places and experiencing new cultures, cuisines and seeing all that a country has to offer, and I especially love the flights as you can switch off, detox from social media and put yourself in holiday mode. Last year I did a fair bit of long haul travel visiting Kenya, Hong Kong, Bali, Malaysia and Thailand, as well as lots of short haul trips.
The one thing I constantly suffer with when it comes to visiting destinations with different time zones is the jet lag. It was particularly bad when I visited Thailand and Hong Kong last year. I remember landing and feeling absolutely exhausted and disoriented and when I landed back in the UK I felt the same again and it took me quite a few days to recover and get back into my routine of decent sleep and energy levels.
According to North West Cherries:
Just under half of jet lagged Brits have spent the whole night awake after getting back from a long-haul destination. And on average, Brits reckon jet lag sets them back nine hours of sleep each time they suffer a case of it.
During my travels I have found some great ways of dealing with it to ensure you aren’t feeling fatigued and lacking energy when there is so much to discover in a destination, or feeling absolutely exhausted when you land back in your home country. Here are my top tips.
- Try and get as much sleep as you can during the flight. I made this mistake on my flight to Hong Kong and it severely hindered me when it came to my first day exploring in Hong Kong. All I could think about was going to bed! My strategy now is to tire myself out before my flight so that sleep comes easily.
- Resist the temptation to drink alcohol or caffeine on the plane and instead make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after the flight.
- Eat fresh cherries before and after the flight. Not only are they absolutely delicious, they are proven to help with sleep because they are one of the only natural sources of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep pattern. I love snacking on them as well as chopping them up into yoghurt for a fruit burst! It is also a great reason to pick some up from a local grocery store or fruit and vegetable store if your breakfast buffet at your hotel doesn’t have them. My favourite type that are in season right now are the North West Cherries or Washington Cherries. You can find out more about them here.
- If your phone lets you have dual times, keep one of the times set to your home/normal time whilst on your holiday. This really helps me manage the time mentally as sometimes it can get really confusing being in a different time zone.
- On the day you land back, resist the urge to sleep all day and instead carry on with your day as normal and go to bed at your usual time. Also avoid reliance on caffeine during this time. Instead opt for lots of water. You can also infuse your water with cherries so that it has the double advantage of hydrating you as well as helping you get a decent night’s sleep when it is bedtime.
I have found that these tips, especially staying hydrated, resisting the urge to have Mojitos and snacking on lots of fresh fruit, especially cherries, have really helped me in terms of dealing with that dreaded jet lag that comes part and parcel of long haul travel.
In the next few months I will be embarking on more long haul travel to India, as well as re-visiting Bali and Thailand and so I will be getting myself prepared with these tips so that I am full of energy and raring to go!
If you are travelling soon I highly recommend adopting some of these tips, and the North West Cherries are absolutely delicious even if you just fancy trying them. They are particularly great for picnics and snack boxes, so look out for them in stores.
Find out more about North West Cherries here: http://www.northwestcherries.net/
What are your tips for dealing with jet lag? I would love to know in the comments section below xx