See The World
Seek Adventure Travel Happy
Hi there! Skeeter here! So, I'm prepping for a trip to Italy soon...I want to apologize right now, because I have been telling everyone about this trip for MONTHS! But that's the joy of writing a travel blog, is that I get to share all these trips and tips with you. One of the biggest things I hear people complain about when traveling, especially on trans continental flights, is jet lag. Travel can be tiring, and when you've been traveling for hours and hours, and finally get to your destination and it's 8am there when it would be 10pm at home, it can throw your body clock for a loop. All your body wants is sleep, but all you want is to get out there and start exploring. Here are a few tips to arrive refreshed and have a great trip.
1. Adjust your sleep pattern: As early as you can, start adjusting your sleep time closer to your destination's. This isn't always possible, especially if you need to arrive at work not looking like a zombie. You can try and do this on the plane though. So, for my trip to Italy, when I board my last connection (and longest leg of the flight) at 7pm, it's going to be 3am in Italy. At this point, I'm going to take a couple of ZzzQuils and sleep for as long as I can of that 9 hour flight. When we land it will be around 9am Italy time, and I will have hopefully had a descent amount of sleep. I tried some ZzzQuil the other night just to make sure I slept well...I totally did! And it's not habit forming and shouldn't cause you to go sleep driving, like some other sleep aids do. Sleep driving = the worst. But, always try something out first to make sure it agrees with you. For me, I slept all night, and woke up feeling pretty good.
2. Hydration! Drinking plenty of water is always important, but even more so when you fly. The air and elevation really dehydrates you, so drink lots. I know some people avoid drinking water because they want to avoid those tiny sometimes smelly airplane bathrooms. But trust me on this, drink lots of water and don't over do the alcoholic drinks. With the tiny amount of food that they give, the dehydration, and the elevation, it's going to go to your head a lot quicker, add to your dehydration, and make it hard to hit the ground running when you touch down. Also be careful with when you are drinking caffeinated beverages. I'm weird and can fall asleep right after a cup of coffee. Others though will be up for hours later, know yourself and plan around your new sleep schedule.
3. Dress comfortably: The decreased air pressure in a plane makes our bodies expand, so if you're wearing something tight, it's going to get tighter. When I flew to New Zealand, I was wearing tennis shoes. I took them off when I fell asleep, and went to put them back on shortly before landing. I almost couldn't get them on! So, wearing something with a little extra room will help you feel more comfortable while you're sleeping and as you're getting ready to land.
4. Hydration 2.0: Along with drinking plenty of water, don't forget about your skin. Applying lip balm and some light moisturizer can help you feel more like a human after a 15 hour flight.
5. Prep before you depart: Not only do you want to arrive at your destination refreshed, but you want to arrive home feeling great as well. This all comes down to prep. Do some laundry and light house work before you leave. This way, as soon as you get back and are recovering from post vacation grumpies (or is it just me that get those?) you won't have to do laundry before you have to go back to work and you can relax for a couple of days. Don't forget about the smelly items either: take out the trash, do the dishes, don't leave fruit out that will be moldy and gross when you return.
6. Get Comfortable: This is one of the hardest things. Even the window seat where you can rest your head....is not comfortable. But planning ahead can help. I like to us a large scarf to wrap up in and block out some of the light. You can use a sweatshirt as a make shift pillow. I see lots of people toting around neck pillows (which are probably comfortable) and their own blankets. But all I can think of is what a hassle it is to shlep that thing around the world. I am all about minimizing the things I need to carry.
7. Prep your body: If you don't already, start taking a multi-vitamin and vitamin c before you leave and during your trip if you can.
You probably won't be eating like you usually do, and you'll be exposed to a whole host of germs (especially on the plane) so try and avoid getting sick while you're away. And making sure you're getting all your vitamins will help you have more energy as well.
8. Power down: At least an hour before you've schedule yourself to fall asleep, stop using any electronics. Don't watch the in flight movies etc. If you're one of those people that have to finish a book once you start, put it down. Give yourself some time to wind down and prepare to sleep. It's hard doing this on a plane because other people have their lights on, are talking, moving around etc. So eliminating all distractions will help you fall asleep faster.
9. Force yourself into local time: If all of these didn't work, and you find yourself needing sleep when it is day time at your destination. Try your hardest to stay up for a while. Go outside in the sunshine, walk around a bit, and see if you get a second wind. It might make day 1 suck, but it will help the rest of your trip go much better. If you don't make yourself get on the right time, and you keep sleeping when it's night a home, you're going to miss a lot of what you want to do.
But the biggest rule is to just listen to your body and have a great time!
Hi there! I'm Skeeter. I grew up moving a lot and that makes me a bit restless for travel and exploration. I started this blog with my husband Pat when we decided to backpack New Zealand for a year. We are always looking for the next adventure and are loving life. We're just your average couple with two sassy dogs and a love for travel. We're sharing our travels and the tips we pick up along the way.
Hello! I'm Liz. Blogging is very new to me, but I'm so excited to finally write as much as I talk!
"Don't forget to travel happy"-Skeeter & Liz