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Five Travel Tips to Help You Beat Jet Lag

January 15, 2016 | Cathy Smith-Boyd

Did you know there is a medical term for Jet Lag? Desynchronosis happens when travelers travel long distances from east to west or west to east quickly, such as traveling from Winnipeg, Manitoba to somewhere in Kenya. Traveling across multiple time zones confuses your internal body clock. It might be morning when you arrive at your destination, but your body thinks it should be bed time.  Eating and sleeping times, body temperatures, even your digestive system may be off, leaving you feeling exhausted, bloated, and irritable.

At Great Canadian Travel we have seen it all and our travel consultants have some great tips to help you prevent, or at least minimize, jet lag.

  1. Try staying awake. If you arrive at your destination at 8:00am but it’s really night time back in our own home time zone, try to stay awake as long as you can. If you can stay awake until early evening and then go to bed for a good night’s sleep, you’ll wake up in the morning and be better adjusted to take on the day’s adventures.
  2. Travel comfortably. Wear loose fitting clothing when you are on a long flight. You can always use the onboard lavatory to change into sweat pants and loose shoes.  Remember, on long flights many people suffer when their feet swell and their shoes feel tight. Wearing loose clothing is good for your circulation and your overall comfort, and may help you fall asleep on your flight.
  3. Add adjustment days at the beginning. If you are going on a holiday that will be filled with activity, the last thing you want to do is arrive exhausted and head off on your trip.  If your schedule allows it, arrive a day or two ahead of time to acclimatize, adjust to your time zone and explore the area around you at your leisure.   Finally, when you are headed home we recommend an added day at home for rest.   Take your time, adjust to your home schedule and relax.
  4. Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake. When you’re flying a long distance, watch your in-flight cocktails and caffeine intake. You may also want to consider eating lighter, simpler meals before and after your trip.
  5. Get some exercise. A short walk and some fresh air can do wonders to help relax you and clear your head.   If it’s not already included in your trip, we always recommend a hop-on-hop-off tour of the city you’re in.  They’re everywhere and what a great way to get familiar with the area around you at a great value.  Talk to your Great Canadian Travel Company consultant about the local tours available at your destination.

Jet lag happens. But with a few simple steps you can feel much better than expected and have a great adventure!