How to beat jetlag and wake up feeling fresh

17 June 2019

Ah, jetlag. For us Kiwis it's something of a necessary evil if we want to travel anywhere beyond our own backyard. Sometimes it doesn't hit so hard, while other times you arrive at your destination feeling like the plane you've just disembarked from ran over you on the tarmac ten times over.

Here are our top tips for how to beat it and arrive at your destination feeling less like the dying pot plant in your child's flat window and more like a well-hydrated bloom from your backyard.

1. Down that water

Keeping hydrated throughout your journey is one of the most important things you can do to minimise feelings of drowsiness. The plane environment can be very dehydrating, especially when travelling longhaul, so ensure you drink more than you would on the ground to compensate for this.

2. Resist the urge to nap as soon as you arrive

Try to hold off on sleeping when you reach your destination until the early evening if you can, no matter what time you arrive. Napping during the day will probably feel like just what you need, but it will mean you won't adjust as quickly. If you land in the morning, go for a wander and try some of the local coffee to keep yourself alert. If you crash at 5pm that's okay - you'll be better off than if you hopped straight into bed at nine in the morning, and you can slowly adjust to a more normal bed time as your body gets used to the new time zone.

3. Get some fresh air

Try not to plan any museum visits or indoor activities for your first day. Instead, aim to get outside as much as you can - fresh air is great for combating fatigue. Why not go on a cycling tour of the city or walk around the streets and orient yourself? Some light exercise will also tire your body out a bit, making it more likely you'll fall asleep when night does fall.

4. Focus on your destination

Adjusting your watch is a classic tip, but it's preached about for good reason: it really works! As soon as you board the plane, reset your watch to the current time in your destination. This way you'll adapt much faster to your new time zone.

5. Fly prepared

Sometimes jetlag can be made worse if you don't get enough sleep on the plane. Make sure you take anything that might help you get some shut-eye in your carry-on bag, like an eye mask to block out light and ear plugs to minimise noise. It may be tempting to have a glass of wine to help you get to sleep, but too much alcohol can leave you feeling worse when you disembark.

When travelling longhaul it's almost impossible to avoid jetlag completely, but by following these tips you'll be able to reduce how much it impacts you at your destination. After all, you want to get out and about sooner rather than later! For more travel tips talk to our expert agents at your closest World Travellers store.

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