Jet lag… two words that cause even the most seasoned of travellers to shudder. But with a little bit of planning, you can kick the jet lag and jump into the local time within 36 hours. Here are my tried and true tips for conquering jet lag in record time.
Step 1: Arrange an early check-in. After the long journey to your new destination if feels great to head right to your room and settle in. Take some time to get checked-in, un-pack and freshen up before heading out to explore
Tip: Now is also the time to splurge on a hotel. You naturally spend more time around the hotel when acclimatizing to a new time zone, so make it enjoyable. Sofitel often tops our list when traveling for their stunning architecture and relaxing ambiance.
Step 2: Head to a local coffee shop. This is what caffeine was invented for! Once you’ve made yourself at home and freshened up, head out to a local coffee shop for something hot and strong. Take some time to sip on the local brew and soak in the ambiance. People watching is one of my favourite ways to get acquainted with a new destination.
Step 3: Start walking. Put that caffeine to good use and start exploring. You don’t need a destination, just start walking. It’s amazing how quickly a few hours will fly by once you start exploring on foot and get that blood flowing.
Step 4: Have a snack. I try to avoid large heavy meals during the first day as it’s a sure fire way to put me to sleep. However, snacking your way through the local fair is a great way to keep your energy up. Beware – it’s hard to stay healthy when you’re travel weary. Be prepared for an onslaught of sugary treats.
Step 5: Head to the spa. By the last half of the day the goal really is to stay up for a few more hours before giving in to sleep. By this time I find it hard to focus on anything or find the energy to continue exploring. Heading to the hotel’s spa is the perfect remedy for this. A long flight also wreaks havoc in the skin so I tend to gravitate towards a facial or massage.
Step 6: Give in to a good night of sleep. Once you’ve hit late afternoon or early evening, it’s finally time to draw the shades, set the alarm and give in to sleep.
Tip: Avoid drinking alcohol on your first night. By this time you have lots of sleep to catch up on and alcohol is known to prevent the deep sleep that your body desperately needs.
Step 7: Start with exercise. Start the day by getting your endorphins going. I highly recommend heading out for a run in the morning. It’s the perfect way to explore your new destination on foot and getting outdoors into the sun will help your body calibrate it’s internal clock. It may feel hard to get going, but even 20 minute of good cardio exercise will leave you feeling like a new person.
Step 8: Coffee time. The last tool in my jet leg recovering arsenal is good old caffeine. Indulge in a cup or two with breakfast and hit the town running.
Tip: Cut the caffeine off at noon. Over caffeinating during the day will leave you tossing and turning while you try to adjust at night.