Wellness travel is on the rise and for good reason: nothing says relaxation and adventure like a retreat in an exotic location. From meditation with monks to wilderness explorations, travel can bring so many different benefits to our busy lives. The only drawback to a relaxing holiday is the dreaded onset of jet lag when you arrive, but there are ways to ease your travel fatigue. Follow the below jet lag prevention tips to head into your next trip well rested and ready to discover the world.
- Slowly shift your sleeping patterns prior to departure. If heading west, go to bed an hour later than usual for a few days before you leave. If traveling east, try to sleep one hour earlier than normal for a couple of days beforehand.
- If you have time before your flight leaves, start off your day with a high-intensity workout. If you have an early morning flight, try to fit in a few quick laps around the block or some vigorous stretching exercises before you head to the airport.
- Download a few guided meditations to your phone and stock your carry-on bag with a neck pillow, light blanket or throw, noise-cancelling headphones or ear plugs, an eye mask, and some lavender-scented lotion. If you can’t sleep on the plane, at least you can relax and enjoy the spa-like serenity you’ve created.
- To prevent dehydration and disruption of your sleep schedule, avoid caffeine and alcohol the day before you fly, during your flight, and the day after you arrive at your destination. Instead, drink at least 8 ounces of water for every hour you’re in the air.
- During your flight, get out of your seat every hour or so and take a walk down the aisle to stretch your legs. If you are unable to get out of your seat due to seat belt restrictions, exercise in place by bending your knees, doing a few glute squeezes, and moving your legs back and forth and up and down.
- If you arrive at your destination during the day, immediately get outside and embark in some light exercise to reset your body’s natural time clock. Even a brief walk around the hotel grounds or the neighborhood where you’re staying will do. If it’s nighttime, either head to the hotel gym or do some aerobics indoors.
- Check out Jetlag Rooster, a free online website that designs tailor-made travel plans to help shift your body clock and reduce jet lag symptoms. The site also sells items that might lessen the effects of jet lag, such as portable light boxes, blue-blocker sunglasses, and melatonin.