Jet lag and I aren’t the best of friends.
It’s the worst feeling in the world when you are sleepy during the day, eyes wide open at night, counting sheep and wishing that you can just get a few hours of shut eye before the first ray of sunshine bursts through those windows.
I’m not the biggest fan of these unpleasant side effects of long-haul travelling. Over time, I have learned a few hacks that will make the next flight a little bit more comfortable and minimise that horrible jet lag as much as possible.
As a test, I tried these on my recent 12 hours trip to the Far East and reflected on the results below. Let me know if you had similar experiences!
Tip #1: Book an overnight flight if possible.
Most airlines will provide dinner at the regular time on an overnight flight. This will make falling asleep after dinner more likely than if you were to fly during the day.
On both of my trips to Singapore/Malaysia and Hong Kong, I have opted for the overnighter. It may not be the healthiest to sleep right after I have stuffed myself full of snacks and also an in-flight meal. But that after meal coma sure came in handy to knock me out to dream land! 😀
Tip #2: Hydrate. Hydrate. And hydrate some more!
I usually take an empty water bottle with me to the airport and fill it up as soon as I get through security. If not, I’ll make sure to get a large bottle in the airport shops and start hydrating before I get on the plane. Did you know that we need around 200ml of water for every hour in the air?
On the Hong Kong flight, the flight attendants did give me some interesting looks as I finished about 2.5 litres of water throughout the 12 hours. However, I have to say, it worked. And a beauty bonus of avoiding dry skin and chapped lips!
P.S. Just make sure to be in a seat close to the toilet.
Tip #3: Avoid or limit alcohol during the flight.
This was a hard one. How tempting it was to have a glass of wine with the meal? The ability to say no meant that I avoided dehydration during the flight, which was already unavoidable with the cabin air. Apparently, the high altitude can also magnify the effect of alcohol, so my one glass can be the equivalent of 2 or more on the ground. Yikes!
Instead, I received a lovely vino welcome at the hotel on arrival and shared a bottle with Mr. New Yorker!
Tip #4: Get some outdoor time after arrival at the destination.
Some fresh air is always good. But it is especially good after a long period wrapped up like a cocoon on a flight.
I arrived towards the end of the afternoon, and took a walk in the area adjacent to my hotel to wake myself up. The natural daylight was really refreshing which helped to reset my body’s timing from London to Hong Kong’s local time. Plus, I had the time to scout out some tantalising foodie spots for the next few days!
Tip #5: Sleep as close to the local bed time as possible.
After the walk, I made sure to snooze off at an appropriate bed time. Although, I really really wanted to take that nap. It felt terrible during those few hours but it was worth it. I slept through the first night until 6:30am, which was definitely better than my normal 4am insomnia during previous long-haul travels.
Hope this was useful! Let me know if you have any tips to share and if you had success with any of these hacks above.
Update on the current trip coming soon…:-D
In the mean time, I’ll be sharing the latest moments on Instagram here: http://instagram.com/lauriewang_