It's summertime! You just landed in Greece. But you're struggling to keep your eyes open.
Right now, the only thing you can think of is sleep. The next day, you're on a catamaran in the Aegean Sea, but you're feeling fatigued and sluggish. You want to eat, but your stomach is a little funny. You're still adjusting to the time change and working to get over that long, exhausting flight.
Say hello to jet lag, a condition travelers face after flying across multiple time zones in a short amount of time.
(Photo by Gualtiero Boffi/Shutterstock)
Unfortunately, even the most experienced international travelers or frequent fliers deal with jet lag. While these symptoms are all too familiar and expected, no one likes experiencing jet lag, especially when you're in Greece. That's no fun!
Now that it's summer, airports will be flooded with travelers. Are you getting ready for a vacation of a lifetime? Are you traveling overseas to visit some of the world's most exotic destinations?
While there's really no way to avoid jet lag altogether, here are some strategies that could help lessen the effects and allow you to enjoy time away from the real world a lot more.
- Arrive early: If you have several tours planned, get to your destination spot ahead of time so you have a few days to recover and adjust to the new time.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight. Drink more than the recommended amount you should be getting. This will give you sustained energy throughout your travels.
- Get exercise: Get up frequently during your flight. Before you leave, keep your body moving. When you get off the plane, do some walking before you go to sleep. Stretch out. Keep the blood pumping.
- Adjust your clock: Wearing a watch? Have your phone on you? Change the settings to the correct time of the place where you're going. This seems rather psychological, but it definitely forces your mind and body into a new routine. If it's night when you land, sleep at night. If it's morning, don't go to bed until the evening. This is very difficult, but pushing through will help you beat jet lag much faster.
- Eat light: Don't overeat on an airplane. Because that bloating won't be going away anytime soon. Eat healthy, light and sensibly. Snack during the flight. Eating in different time zones back-to-back can be disruptive for the stomach.
- Take meds: Don't resort to this unless you really have to. Have your doctor prescribe you sleep medications if the struggle continues to persist. Ain't no way you're paying all the money to travel across the world and feel like dog crap! Sometimes, you got to do what you got to do!
Sarah Francis is a half-Palestinian journalism junkie, a proud Charlotte, NC native with an oversized sweet tooth, and an active world traveler. Ask her where she's headed next. (@Sarah_Francis25)