Beat Jet Lag like a Pro: Tips & tricks for no jet lag

Travel is magical. Minus the heavy suitcases, currency being reduced by 1/80th and no jet lag!

I think I can call myself a veteran of long distance travel. Considering the fact that most of my family lives abroad, the opposite side of the planet from me, meaning that I have the pleasure of taking 14-hour flights every summer. Ok, I’m not that selfless. I go to escape the heat in India and the quintessential “What’s your plan for the summer?” crowd too. But with no jet lag including kids?! Too good to be true?

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You need a well-stocked arsenal to beat jet long on a long haul flight.

Nope, without trying to make this sound like it should be in some geek publication, here is a fun fact. You rarely get jet lag when you reach your vacation destination. Provided you’re travelling westward. So, other than a single day of battling sleep, you’re good.

When you’re back, travelling east, that’s a whole different story. Other than battling the depression of the vacation bubble being burst, every evening, you feel like curling into a ball and sleeping at a very wrong hour, just to wake up at 3am and wonder why you did that to yourself. Ha.

So that’s why, I got you covered with some great tips for almost no jet lag. Here’s what you should do to stay ahead of the game and beat jet lag like a pro!

Pre-flight tips for no jet lag

Here’s where your ground work starts.

First step is to Relax. Getting worked up about how many things you have to manage as soon as you get home won’t help. Stress has, and will always, be the enemy of your body.

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Pick convenient flight timings as far as possible.

Consider flights that are at convenient times. Like one that takes off in the evening and lands back home at a sane hour. A point in case? Flights that take off from Europe in the morning or afternoon and land in India at night. Perfect time to hit the sack.

Eat wisely. There’s a diet that gives you feast and fast days pre travel, so your body is better prepared. But I’m not such a hardout. My only advice is to eat a lot of fibre. 

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It is essential to limit caffeine intake.

Caffeine can be your best friend. And your worst enemy. So limit intake before you get on board, and don’t glug those diet sodas indiscriminately. This will really go a long way in getting no jet lag.

On-board tips for beating jet lag

Comfortable clothing is a must. I understand that you need to come off the plane looking like a celebrity. But, boots and a Burberry trench aren’t made for chilling. I am talking from experience. I wore boots once like an idiot, then my feet decided to balloon on the flight, so I could barely zip them back up when we landed home. It was not fun! So, more like sneakers (the cool kind), a comfortable T-shirt, tights or tracks, and layers. Something that will let you nap without cutting off circulation to your lower body. 

Hydrate. Duh!! The oldest rule in the book. Water, tomato juice, apple juice, whatever you fancy. This will work wonders with jet lag for kids as well.

Alcohol is not your friend in keeping jet lag away. It dehydrates your already parched body and disrupts your sleep cycle. The rule of thumb here? One in the air equals two or three on the ground.

So if you must, please cap it off with a glass of wine.

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Try and eat healthy on board a flight.

Again, fibre is your friend. Eating salad won’t just make you look like you’re committed to a fit body, it will actually help your system stay on track and eliminate the bloat that a high-carb meal can bring.

Nap on a long haul flight according to when you land. No point in sleeping 12 hours in a 14-hour flight, only to land home at 10 pm, and then, well, you just messed up a whole bunch.

And do some basic exercise, walk about a little, without annoying the heck out of the air hostess and fellow passengers ofcourse.  A few stretches and arm and leg exercises will mean you don’t hobble off the plane looking like you just learnt how to walk.

Post-flight tips for no jet lag

Meet your friend, Melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep supplement, not like your old school alprax, so chill. It just tell your body that it’s time to catch some zzz’s. And it’s going to help you sleep a whole lot better when your body is resisting sleep the most. So next time make sure it exists in your arsenal.

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At times, you need melatonin to force your body to sleep.

For people still skeptical, lavender oil has long been known to relax ones nerves and induce sleep. Chamomile tea is also brilliant.

Spend time outdoors, in natural light, at the time you’re most likely to fall asleep. It naturally encourages your body to keep awake.

And the most old school of them all? Battle your sleep. Rough it out. And stay awake till bed time.

Quick tricks for jet lag in kids

I see parents struggling with screaming kids on long flights, and my heart goes out to them. Please pre-plan naps, play time, and let them run the length of the airport to tire them out.

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Jet lag can be easily avoided in kids as well.

In my experience, the best way to attune your kid(s) to the new time zones, in on board. If you’re going to do one thing for no jet lag with kids, it should be timing naps on board. 

Some of the tricks like comfortable clothes and hydration applies to all including kids. I also use homeopathic, doctor approved, sleep supplements (but you should check with your doctor). And in addition to that, lavender spray. Actually, a lot of Indian wellness brands now make sleep and relaxation sprays, so spritz away!

I’m pretty sure with these in your arsenal, jet lag will soon just be something you won’t worry before a long haul flight.

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An arsenal of tips and tricks - from pre-flight to on board to post flight - for ensuring no jet lag. Some tips for keeping jet lag away for kids as well. #howtodealwithjetlag #jetlaginkids #familytravel #nojetlag           An arsenal of tips and tricks - from pre-flight to on board to post flight - for ensuring no jet lag. Some tips for keeping jet lag away for kids as well. #howtodealwithjetlag #jetlaginkids #familytravel #nojetlag

This is a guest post by Priyanka Chaudhery.

Priyanka left the corporate world behind to raise her son and eventually pursue a career in wine. She now enjoys blogging at Princess SmartyPants and exploring passions like travel, food and yoga.

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22 thoughts

  1. These tips are much appreciated as I’ll soon be taking a long flight to Asia and dread having jet lag. I haven’t used lavender oil before, so that’s something that I’ll keep in mind.

  2. I think you’ve covered pretty much everything there is to cover to beat jet lag. I’d have to agree with taking a bit of a walk inside the plane, moving your limbs, keeping yourself hydrated, sleeping but not too much, these are all tricks even I would recommend to people. I hate long flights though!

  3. I really need to revamp my whole flying behavior. These tips are really helpful. Will consider the hydration bit next time. I think I do drink very little while on the flight.

  4. Nothing works for my jet lag. I’ve just got to wait it out. I’ve tried everything you mentioned except lavender oil. I’ll give it a shot!

  5. So helpful! I agree with you. when I have a long flight I avoid drinking coffee. You are right I should avoid any stress, but sometimes it is impossible so I try to do other things 🙂

  6. This is so helpful. It’s amazing that there are just simple little things that can make a huge difference. Alcohol is a big one for sure. I always feel 10x worse if I have wine on the flight (although it helps my anxiety in-flight) so I try to limit it.

  7. Great advice, especially for people traveling with small kids. We are South Africans living in Austria with close family in Australia. So we know all about long flights to the other side of the world to see family and friends. I find that if you’re on a long flight that lands at your destination in the morning, it’s best not to take a nap during the day no matter how tired you are.

  8. My husband and I have been making long overseas journeys for years. We barely had jet lag when we were younger, but it seems to get harder every year now! We just flew from the US to Thailand this week and have been in a jet lag funk. Just like you said, we’ve been falling asleep too early and getting up wide awake in the middle of the night. More fibre, more water and no caffeine are tips we’ll definitely be employing the next time we take a big flight. Cheers!

  9. It sounds as though fibre is very important in all this! Not something I’d have considered, but it makes a lot of sense. As for comfortable clothing – I’ve long since trying to give up looking elegant while flying. It’s comfort all the way for me!

  10. These are great tips! I often try to travel only westwards – ie. fly UK>US>NZ>Asia>UK. Any excuse to go round the world 😉 I’ve heard Melatonin is great, although I’ve never tried it – I will buy some before my next long haul!

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