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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

How To Avoid Jet Lag

So, it's been 3 years since I've traveled far enough to have to deal with jet lag in any form. We'll be doing a double jump this time: Spending the day in Baltimore (a 3-hour time difference) then heading on to Paris (a 9-hour time difference). This means I need a good strategy for our flights. 

Knowing how I've been able to avoid jet lag in the past is going to be a big help for us on this trip & we've already talked strategies.

Knowing how I've been able to avoid jet lag in the past is going to be a big help for us on this trip, as Eric and I have already talked about our ideal flight plans.

If nothing else, we know how to sleep on a plane

Adjust Your Schedule
The sooner you can get on your new schedule, the better. If you can do so before you leave home, that's optimal, but if you have to work and can't really do that, then start on your plane ride. Immediately set your watch to what the local time will be and do what you normally do at that time. If it's time to sleep, then sleep, but if it's not, make yourself stay awake as much as possible. I take a quick nap, but occupy myself reading, watching a movie, playing a game or coming up with new post ideas (maybe you journal instead). If you are traveling with someone, break out a card game and make them play with you. In other words, keep your brain busy. 

When you get to your destination, stay on schedule. If it's daytime, do some sightseeing. If it's nighttime, then go to bed. Simple! And don't forget to eat on time. Have problems getting on a new schedule? Try a time adjusting app!

Since we'll be flying overnight, our plan is to stay up on our Portland to Seattle leg, then sleep as much of the flight from Seattle to Baltimore as possible, since we'll be arriving at 6am. 5-6 hours is just enough sleep to be awake and not feel like we're going to drag in the middle of the day. We'll have something like 8 hours to walk around and sightsee, giving us the exercise we need to tire us out. 

The flight from Baltimore to Iceland (where we basically have enough time to change planes) is 6 hours. We'll be flying on a budget airline without any extras, so napping most of that flight shouldn't be difficult and fairly ideal. The next 3 1/2 hours to Paris are a toss-up. I will use part of that time to eat something and maybe zone out listening to a podcast or audio book.

Stay Hydrated
Not getting enough liquids in your body can cause you to be sluggish. Bring a big bottle of water with you on the plane, avoid dehydrating drinks like soda and alcohol, and continue drinking extra of water for the first couple of days of your trip. This can also keep you from getting sick. A great alternative to water is tomato juice. It's known to be one of the best beverages for flying, because it's hydrating and full of vitamins. If you're thinking this sounds super gross, just try it. The altitude from flying dulls your taste buds a bit, so it's actually tastier than you think.

Because we have to pay for any of our beverages or snacks on Play!, we'll be bringing two reusable insulated water bottles. I'll be drinking a lot of water on the plane, possibly with flavoring, because it's easy and hydrating, and if I don't drink it all on the plane, it travels fine. 

Eat Light and Healthy
Eating is really important, but you don't want to eat a huge meal before getting on the plane. You also don't want to eat fried and junk food. Find something light and healthy (or as much as possible) to eat before your flight that'll keep your going, but not weigh you down and make you sleepy. You'll also want to bring snacks. Protein-packed, healthy foods like nuts or fruit are great options. If you want to know more about a jet lag "diet", see my post here

I've already decided we'll be bringing a bag of snacks with us on our trip, including an insulated container of cheese and fruit. I might grab a few bananas in Baltimore, but we'll also be nomming on some lobster rolls before we get back on the plane. Those should be light-ish, but filling enough to get us through to another decent meal...that we'll have to snag on our way between flights, and probably eat on the plane. 

We'll be arriving in Paris at local lunch time and may grab a light meal before we get on the train to our rental, before we leave the airport. A quick sushi lunch may be perfect and should keep us energized until dinnertime, since we have tickets to a museum when we get in and hope to hit up another small one after. After dinner, we will probably call it a night and go back to our place to chill for the rest of the evening.

I've lost almost a whole day from jet lag in the past. What's your worst experience with jet lag?

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