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7 Jet Lag Tips for First Time International Travellers

5 mins. read

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I was once scheduled to fly from Mumbai to New York. And the over-excited person that I am, I booked myself a fun walking tour the very next morning after having arrived in New York. Now, if we are to speak of time zones, New York is a full 9 and a half hours behind our time zone here in Mumbai. Little did I know, that that annoying thing which often kicks in after you have travelled across more than two time zones, will ruin my plans the next day. And that is exactly what happened. I failed to wake up the next day and well missed the walking tour that I had paid in full for. So yup, today’s episode of 5-minute travel tips is about this very thing we call jet lag.

If you are travelling to a destination that is a different time zone than the one you are currently in, it is quite likely that you will suffer from jet lag. Jet lag can certainly make you feel out of sorts due to an abrupt change in your body’s internal clock or circadian sleep rhythms. You may often have a bad headache and difficulty sleeping after you have travelled into a new time-zone.

Like for example, if you are flying from Mumbai to San Francisco for a week-long trip, it is often said that people may sometimes take 6-9 days to fully recover from Jetlag. What do you do when this happens? You need to be aware of some jet lag tips. You certainly don't want to ruin your trip by just sleeping during the day and being awake like an owl at night. This happens because it can take up to a day for each time zone crossed for your body to adjust to the local time. These time zones are known as jet lag time zones.

So, to ensure that we get rid of this annoying Jetlag feeling at the earliest, here are best ways to get over jet lag.

  1. Change your watch to the new time zone as soon as you are on the plane. You must adapt to the new time zone as quickly as possible. Your phone and other technological devices will automatically switch to the new time zone when you arrive. So, our friend here is our manual watch on the wrist.
  2. Now that you have changed your watch to the time zone of your destination, while on the plane, you have to force yourself to start functioning as per this new time zone. So, for example, you hop onto a flight bound for Australia from Mumbai at around 4 or 5 pm, you have to realise that it is already night in Australia. This means it’s time for you to sleep that very moment if you want to reduce the impact of jetlag. And I know after hearing this, you are like, yeah easier said than done! I agree. This is why I learnt this technique the hard way! There is no secret, you just have to force yourself to sleep! No two ways about it. One of the most effective air travel tips to make jet lag time zone recovery easier, you can use noise-cancelling headphones, eye masks, earplugs and comfortable travel pillows and blankets.
  3. Now on the other hand, if you find yourself in a situation that you have to keep yourself awake on the flight because it is the day in the destination that you are about to visit, my best friend in such a situation is caffeine. Coffee, red bull, whatever works for you. Use it, it will certainly help in overcoming jet lag and help you stay up on the plane.
  4. Another important point to remember is that, when you are up in the air, keep drinking a lot of water. Long-distance travel may cause dehydration and proper hydration may help manage jet lag symptoms and travel fatigue.
  5. I always make it a point to carry an empty water bottle through airport security and fill it up once I am in the terminal.
  6. And finally when you arrive at your destination, just drink lots and lots of water. It certainly does help with the time zone jet lag.
  7. If you were to consult your general physician, he or she may also recommend a few medications just in case your jet lag feeling just refuses to let go.

With all of the great things that travel brings, jet lag is certainly something that you have to deal with. Some have it easy, some have it for slightly longer. The more you travel, the easier it gets. So, keep travelling and keep enjoying life, after all, travel is as important as sleep is as we continue celebrating life.

November 17, 2021


Neil Patil
Neil Patil

Founder & Director, Veena World

More Blogs by Neil Patil

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