As much as I love holidays to Walt Disney World, I don’t enjoy the flight and the jet lag that comes with it. I have mastered keeping myself entertained during the long haul flight, but I don’t always manage to avoid jet lag, especially on the journey home.
This year has been the best in terms of learning how to avoid jet lag, and it didn’t take me too long to recover and get back to normal compared to the other long haul flights I have been on. Travelling back from the USA to the UK is always an overnight flight, which is the best way to help avoid jet lag, as travelling East is worse than travelling West, North or South.
Set Your Clock Immediately On The Journey Home
As soon as you get on the plane to take off, set your clock to your new time zone. Travelling back from the USA, we usually take off at around 6-7pm EST time, so we somehow have to start thinking it’s 11pm – 12am GMT. We haven’t had our dinner yet so that can be a little strange eating our meal in the early hours of the morning.
Rest On The Flight
It’s not always easy to sleep on the plane, it’s something I struggle with quite a lot. We usually stay awake until the meal has been cleared away and then turn all screens off to try and get some rest. Any rest is better than nothing, but staring at the screens for the whole flight and the whole night won’t do you any good. I find a good travel pillow can help, as does a nice blanket and thick wooly socks.
It’s never a good idea to have alcohol during the flight home, or even for a few days after you get home. Alcohol can dehydrate you and can also act as a stimulant so you won’t sleep even if you think it’ll relax you.
A very good tip is to drink more water, both on the flight home and also when you return home. Staying hydrated will help your body return to feeling normal a lot quicker than drinking sugary drinks.
Don’t Sleep During The Day
Returning home and needing sleep is almost a given, however it’s important not to sleep during the day. Try to keep yourself wake until a respectable bed time, even if it is earlier than you normally go to bed. That’s better than sleeping during the day and throwing your body clock even more out of sync.
I didn’t sleep at all on the flight home this time, and despite feeling very hot, sweaty and a little sick all through the day we arrived home, I managed to stay awake until 8.30pm which was enough for me to then sleep all through the night and reset my body clock.
I found that I was hungry but yet not very hungry when returning home from holiday. What did work to avoid jet lag for me was to eat sensible and eat little and often. I could tell my body was telling my I needed food, however the thought of food was making me feel sick.
Get Some Fresh Air
Fresh air and sun light always makes you feel a little more awake when you need to be, and also it can be quite refreshing.
Warm Bath Before Bed
Having a warm bath before bed can relax you enough to let your body think it’s bed time and hopefully allow you to have a good nights sleep.
Stay In Bed During The Night
If jet lag hits in the middle of the night and you find yourself away at 3am, don’t get out of bed. The quicker you get your body into it’s normal routine the better it’ll be.
Return To Your Daily Routine
As soon as possible return to your daily routine. We took two days to have lazy days and thankfully that was enough to feel human again. Going back to what you generally do in a day whether that be going to the gym, work etc will help you reset into your normal daily routine.
Read how Karen’s kids coped with jet lag on their return flight from Florida to the UK.