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8 Steps to Avoiding Jetlag on Your Next International Trip

Written by Mary Zakheim

This blog post was updated on November 15, 2022.

Jetlag. Possibly the worst part of international or long round trip flights. We all know the drill: months of excited anticipation, frenzied packing, fervent planning, restless flying, and then… Boom! You lay down for a short cat nap and you wake up a week later to board the plane home. Luckily for you all, we’re travel connoisseurs who know exactly how to avoid this dreaded situation. So listen up and enjoy your next international vacation…jetlag free!

Be “Time Zone Savvy” When Booking Flights

On your way there, book an overnight flight that arrives in the morning — sleep on the plane so that when you wake up and land, it’s like you’re waking up for a new day! On your way back, book a flight that arrives at night — watch movies the entire time and try to stay awake so that you can get a good night’s sleep in your own bed.

Set Your Watches Ahead Before Your Flight

When you board the plane, set your watches to the time zone you’re headed to. This will automatically cause you to alter your behavior according to the time of your destination — when you see that it’s 3 a.m. in Sydney, it’ll remind you to get some shut-eye.

Invest in a Sleep Kit

Yup. Swallow your pride and get a neck pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs. Cocoon yourself with those airline blankets and you’ll never sleep more soundly!

Water is Your Best Friend in the Air

Flying tends to dehydrate you, so drink tons of water before, during, and after your flight to avoid the negative effects of dehydration — like feeling tired and sluggish once you land.

Espresso is Your Best Friend on the Ground

Okay, so you’re hydrated and on the ground… Now down a couple shots of espresso to keep you afloat!

Keep Yourself Busy

If you followed our first piece of advice, you now have a full day to stay awake for. This is good…if you play it right, you can ignore jetlag on the first day once and for all! Plan an itinerary that will keep you active, engaged, and on your feet for most of the day. If you don’t allow yourself to get tired, you’ll forget that you should be.

You may also like: Tips to Book on the Least Busy Days to Fly

Allow Yourself a Solid 12 Hours of Sleep

Night has fallen and your eyes are getting droopy. This is to be expected. Our rule of thumb is that, once it gets dark, you’re allowed to hit the hay. We like to go to sleep around 8 p.m. on our first night and sleep ’till 8 a.m. You’ll wake up surprisingly refreshed!

Congrats, You’ve Made it! Now Go Have Fun

Feels good, huh? Now start looking for cheap flights so you can explore even more!

About the author

Mary Zakheim

When she is not figuring out what the middle button on her headphones is for, explaining the difference between Washington State and Washington D.C., arriving to the airport too early or refusing to use the Oxford comma, you can usually find Mary in the mountains, at a show or on her couch.

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