Jet lag. It is a common problem, especially for those that travel across the globe and it can be a serious obstacle in enjoying your vacation time after finding a cheap flight. Who wants to spend a whole day sleeping to catch up with the time? Sometimes, you may just want to. A half or whole day wasted asleep can be a small price to pay to feel rejuvenated and refreshed to continue on your trip. For those of you who would like to avoid it, here are some ways to keep jet lag from interfering with your plans.
Get on schedule. Try to acclimate yourself to your new time zone by changing your sleeping and eating patterns the few days before travel, if possible. This will get you used to the time change and also help you with sleepiness before travel fatigue is thrown into the mix, making it more of a problem. While sleeping for your entire flight seems like a good idea, you will find that in a day or two, it will catch up with you and you will crash and feel like sleeping half the day away.
Drink more water. When in doubt, hydrate. Water never hurt anyone and keeping your body hydrated will certainly help keep you healthy and able to function properly. Drink more than usual on the plane, too, as it will keep you from feeling dried out and tired. You should also carry nutritious snacks in your carry-on, like nuts or fruit. The combination of food and drink will keep your energy up and help you fend off the travel wearies that can often happen on long flights.
Get enough sleep. When on vacation, it can be exciting and make you want to go, go, go! Make sure you slow down and get the rest you require for your body to recharge itself. Eight hours is always good. Those sights and clubs will all be there tomorrow, so be a dud and keep your nights out to a minimum. That way you will feel better in the morning and still want to do the rest of the things you have on your list.
Drink less booze. This goes hand-in-hand with getting enough sleep. Alcohol can completely mess with your sleep function and cause you to sleep badly. Non-continuous sleep does you no good at all, as it saps your energy. Drinking also dehydrates you, which leaves your body open for illness. Limit your imbibing to a few drinks a day and you will find that you feel much better in the morning than if you had a hard-drinking evening. Besides, just because you may never see those people again, does not mean you should be on your worst behavior. It will keep you out of unsavory situations as well. Nobody wants to wake up with a hangover in a foreign jail.
Don’t overplan. If you do not feel like you will have enough time to do everything you want on your trip, either plan to stay longer or come back on another vacation. If you pack everything into the time you have, you will start to feel tired, cranky and run-down. Traveling is fun, but it is also supposed to be relaxing. Nothing can cause you to shut down faster than not stopping to just enjoy where you are. It can also turn your children against you and make your travel partner swear to never go anywhere with you again. Plan to see the most important things and if there is time, dip into your list of optional things to do. You do not want to feel more stressed coming back home than when you left.
Make sure you plan downtime and nourishment into your vacation schedule and remember to take care of yourself. It is a sure way to beat jet lag at its own game and make your trip much more enjoyable. Your destination is not going anywhere, so if you miss anything because you are taking it slower, you can always return in the future to make up for it. If you are sick and tired your whole trip, you will most certainly have no fun at all.
About the Author
Shereen Rayle is author of the blog Shereen Travels Cheap and two budget travel books, including Secrets to Summer Savings. For years she has been planning her own vacations using the Internet to extend her limited budget as far as possible and shares the tips and tricks she has learned, along with useful sites like FareCompare.com, to help others get the most out of their travel dollars. And to further inspire budget travelers everywhere, she finds terrific travel bargains and posts them each day on her Facebook page.