A jumbo flight to a far-flung destination is an exciting journey for a traveller. But it can also be gruelling thanks to the problem of jet lag. It doesn’t hurt to do a bit of research on the subject before you fly.
There are some well known facts about it and various do’s and don’ts but I can’t say I have seen much mention of them in in-flight magazines on the long haul flights I have taken. Maybe it might dent bar sales if it was broadcast that alcohol is a no-no.
Possibly the worst jet lag of all is going in to the next day as you head for somewhere like southeast Asia. This is where a stopover can make a huge difference for the traveller.
There are plenty of other things you can do and for those who suffer severely on long flights, there is always the option of a trip to the doctor before the flight. Here’s a Globe Wanderer guide to help you enjoy your world travelling all the more.
1 Copy the birds. Fly south if you can and you won’t suffer jet lag because you don’t cross time zones. Same applies to flying north. 2 Fly west and expect to suffer jet lag depending on the number of time zones you cross but it’s manageable. You gain time so it’s a bit like staying up late to see in New Year. 3 Fly east and expect the worst jet lag of all – because you lose time and are moving in to the next day – but taking precautions in advance and during the flight can ease its effects. 4 Jet lag’s medical name is desynchronosis. Look it up before you fly. You will find all kinds of ways to combat it, including medication. 5 Jet lag is related to the number of time zones you cross. Generally it really starts to kick in for people flying across three or more time zones. 6 Two main factors are your body clock and how it copes with new time zones and fatigue resulting from long stints in a cramped seat. 7 Time your travel well. Rest on the night before you go and book a daytime flight if you can. Aim for an evening arrival if heading east. 8 Eat light, drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol. 9 Prepare for a long haul flight by adjusting your bedtime. Try to get to bed earlier in the days before you fly. 10 Book a stopover if you can.