In a few weeks the new group of Up with People participants will arrive in Denver, Colorado to begin their adventure. They are coming from all over the world and will jump right into their gap year and study abroad adventures when they arrive. This means no time for jet lag!
Symptoms of jet lag include extreme tiredness, insomnia, anxiety, headache and irritability. The amount of time it takes to recover from jet lag usually depends on the number of time zones one has crossed, but fear not! There are things you can do to avoid jet lag altogether. We asked some of Up with People’s most seasoned travelers how they avoid jet lag. Before your next big trip consider the following advice and you might just avoid the effects of jet lag!
How To Avoid Jet Lag
Travel as if you’re in the time zone of your destination. Up with People road warrior and Associate Director of Enrollment Shawna Reed says, “If it’s midnight where you are, but 6am where you’re going, STAY AWAKE, and push to get through that first day on THEIR schedule.”
Drink lots of water! Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to stave off the effects of jet lag and one of the most common recommendations from overseas travelers.
Try to get rest on the flight. Up with People Alumna Jennifer Gifford says that during a period when she was on the road for work 100% of the time she learned a thing or two about jet lag. “Try to get rest on the flight there,” she explained. “Even a short nap during your travel will help get you through the first day.”
Immediately get a on a schedule. Jennifer’s rule of thumb is to stay up until 11pm on the first day explaining, “For me, that keeps me awake long enough that I’ll have no problem being able to sleep through the night.”
Avoid napping during the day. If you just can’t help yourself make sure it’s for no more than 20 minutes.
Take a shower when you arrive. Cleaning up and changing your clothes will make you feel like you are ready for the day and give you more energy.
Try to book flights that arrive in the morning/daylight. Chelsey Panchot spends a lot of time on the road for Up with People as the Director of Sales in the United States. Chelsey says, “I try to book my flights to arrive in the morning/daylight – it makes me want to get out, check out the city and go exploring. It helps me adjust to the local time and go to sleep after it’s gotten dark outside.”
Stay active. Almost everyone agrees that staying active when you arrive is key to avoiding jet lag. If possible, have ideas planned ahead of time so you can jump right in and start exploring.
Pack for success. Chelsey says among her must haves she, “rarely leaves home without…
- Emergen-C: I drink a couple on the plane and one a day on my trips – the vitamins, the citrusy goodness and the little bit of fizz help me feel more alert and ready for the day while my body is adjusting to a new time zone.
- Multi-vitamin: I take one daily and pack them for all of my trips.
- Refreshing/energizing, face mist: It feels great to give myself a little spritz after sitting on a plane for hours and as a mid-day refresher after being out and about exploring. I use it as a wake-up and a pick-me-up tool.
- Herbal Tea Bags: Hooray for free-hot water – in flight?! An herbal nighttime tea and an herbal energizing tea are my go-to’s. I’d stay away from coffee and sugary energy drinks…your body will crash and it’ll be tough to get on the local schedule.
- Blanket, Memory Foam Neck Pillow & Slipper Socks (for the long flights): I LOVE cozy-ing up on the airplane and sleeping when it’s night time at my destination to try to get a jump-start on getting my body set on the local time. The more comfy I can get on the plane for a good snooze, the easier it is for me to adjust when I arrive.”
Get on a normal meal schedule as soon as possible. Normal eating can be a challenge while traveling, so the first day try to eat smaller meals at the proper meal times and small snacks in between until your body gets used to the new meal schedule.
“Journey on, Journey on
You can’t stay where you are for very long.
Don’t give up, find the strength you need to journey on.
‘cause in the end, it’s not just where we go,
But how we get there and who we’ve known
On this long walk, together we will journey on.”
Journey On © Up with People
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Topics: "On The Road"
Up with People is a global education organization which aims to bring the world together through service and music. The unique combination of international travel, service learning, leadership development and performing arts offers young adults an unparalleled study abroad experience and a pathway to make a difference in the world, one community at a time. Click here to learn more about the internationally acclaimed program, Up with People.