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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fixes for Common Travel Problems Part 1

When you go on vacation there are some things you just can't avoid. It seems the further you travel the more likely these things become evident, like jet lag, swollen feet and dry skin. After many years of travel, I have learned a lot of things and have yet to master some others. As you know, practice makes perfect, so I decided to pass on some tips to you to help you travel better, too. 

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Combating Jet Lag

Jet lag is the worst. Nobody wants to get all excited for a trip and then lose a day or more because of the time difference and jet lag crash. It's happened to me. Maybe it' even happened to you. The point is that we need to nip it in the bud so we can enjoy our whole vacation.
  • Adjust to the new time as early as possible. If it is before you leave that's even better. If you are flying, try to sleep if it's nighttime where you are going or stay awake if it's daytime. Don't do what I did and try to sleep as much as possible on the way overseas when it was the middle of the day there. After Day 2 in London, I crashed hard and lost another half day.
  • On the other side, make sure you get enough sleep once at your destination. Staying up way too late or getting up way too early is not a good plan. If you have issues falling asleep, try a natural sleep aid like melatonin or even Dream Water. You may not sleep a full 8 hours, but the sleep you get will be quality and you'll wake up rested.
  • Don't overplan. Make sure your first couple days are relaxed ones, though you don't want to tax yourself on the rest of your vacation either so you can enjoy your time away, but the first couple days of adjustment are crucial.
  • Hydrate! Water is so important. On your plane ride, try to avoid alcohol, coffee and soda, as these can dehydrate you and cause you to crash, tire out easily and sap your energy. 
  • Eat! get on a routine and stick with it. Choose veggies at each meal and try to avoid overdoing the fried foods and desserts. I know it's vacation, but sometimes too much of a good thing is just too much, you know? Below is a fun infographic from Heathrow's website giving a diet plan for the days leading up to your trip. I don't know if it works, but I'm definitely going to try it on my overseas flight and will report back after. If anyone else has tried it, I would love to hear your results:

I'm all for a new food routine and maybe I'll just continue to aim for a balance. Even though I'll be traveling for a longer time in the fall than I did last time I visited London and Paris, I still don't want to lose any time when i could be soaking up everything those places have to offer. Already we are doing a better job planning, just having the previous experience and all the travel experiences in between then and now, which means I'll have a great loose itinerary in place before we go. How do you combat against jet lag?

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