After 45hours in transit to Colombia (our longest haul to date!) we thought we would share our jetlag and flying survival tips! For before, during and after your flights.
Before you fly
– In our eyes it’s worth paying extra to fly at normal hours so we arrive at normal times in the next time zone. Makes life so much easier! Not everyone has this luxury though and we can’t always afford the extra! If you’re looking for cheap flights take a look here -> http://search.sunsurfsoul.com/en-GB/flights This is how we find our flights 99% of the time!
-Get to the airport early, the earlier you are there the better chance of scoring an exit row. Unless your airline has the option of paying for those seats.
-We always try to have a big meal before we board, even if we do get fed on the plane. Most of the time this means paying an arm and a leg at the airport but it’s worth it. Or if you have time prepare something to eat before you leave for the airport. Although it’s pretty fun sitting in a cafe making up peoples life stories and where they are going 😛
– Buy a bottle of water or take your empty one through security and re-fill it on the other side. Most airports have water fountains to use, ask at a café if not. Don’t do this in countries with dodgy tap water! Staying hydrated on flights is so important! I really hate bugging the cabin crew for cup after cup of water.
– Lots of people like to take a berocca or some sort of vitamin boost prior to flying. Fair enough too, so many germs and cooties on planes! I don’t normally do this but if you are prone to getting sick easily then I recommend it!
-I also used to purposely have a short sleep the night before a long haul flight so I would be tired… I do not do this anymore (if I can help it!). I try to have a good sleep and then roll with whatever the day/flights hold. I’m sure my body appreciates 1 good nights sleep and a broken one rather than a short one and a broken one.
During the flight
– Dan and I have been pescatarians since May 2015 so we request vegetarian meals. Most airlines need at least 24hrs warning. But they always come out first, woop! So we are fed and ready to watch a movie or sleep before the back of the plane has even been tended to.
– I imagine if you could get a decent sleep on a flight then jetlag wouldn’t be such a big issue. But not everyone posses this great skill- Dan doesn’t but I do muaha! I don’t know why but even if I’m not tired the moment I get on a plane 8 times out of 10 I want to sleep. A lot of people take into consideration the time zone they are flying into and plan their plane sleeping around this. I say sleep as much as you can whenever you can. It’s going to be interrupted and broken anyway so just get as much sleep as possible!
– Pack earplugs, or if not use your earphones. If you’re with a nice airline chances are you’ll get a little goodie pack too with socks, an eyemask and a toothbrush+toothpaste.
– Use an eyemask or anything to help. They normally turn the main lights off after the first meal but the darker it is the easier to sleep. I like to cover my whole head with a sarong or jumper haha. I wish I had a photo to share with you ?
– If you really struggle then go to the doctor (maybe when you get your travel vaccines!) and ask for some sleeping pills or valium. We travel with some but rarely use them. Also be careful, Dan once took a sleeping pill at the gate and then our flight was delayed. He was hallucinating while fighting sleep hahaha.
– If you have a long transit in an airport then take something to help get cosy. Check out our set up for our 9hr stop through LAX.
Arriving at your destination
– Hopefully you have sorted accommodation and how you’ll get there prior to arriving. After a long time in transit, do yourself a favor and make it very easy for yourself.
– When you arrive try to just flow with the day at whatever time it is you arrive.Try your hardest to fit in with the new time zone. When we arrived in London it was like 5.30am… and we stayed awake ALL day. It was such a struggle but we did it!
– If you desperately need a nap, don’t go to sleep for more than 1-2hrs, set multiple alarms! We had to have a sleep when we arrived in Colombia..45hrs was way too long. But we still managed to go to sleep at a normal hour that night.
– Get outside into nature and sunlight. Circadian rhythms (our bodies sleeping patterns) are super interesting to read about and sunshine will help reset your body clock. Go for a walk in the local park/beach/wherever you are.
– I always try to do a slow, deep, restorative yoga session and Dan does his stretches. Dan has lower back issues and stretching alleviates the pain. We’ll put together a post on stretches and a post flight sequence to follow soon!
It took us about a week to adjust to the time zone here in Colombia, its almost the complete opposite to NZ/Australia. We would wake at around 6am (a bloody miracle for me!) and at around 5/6pm for the first 5 days we would hit a wall and be super tired all of a sudden.
Hope our tips help! Enjoy your next holiday!!