Flying to far-flung corners of the globe can be incredibly exciting, but once jet lag hits mid-dinner, all you want to do is to pass out in your noodle bowl. The worst cases of jet lag can make you feel seriously ill—with symptoms ranging from fatigue and insomnia to headaches, nausea, and lack of appetite. Since no one wants to feel so unwell on their first day of vacation (or even worse, on their first day back to work), efficient jet lag remedies are essential to retain a certain level of well-being on long-haul trips.
To uncover the best jet lag remedies available, we chatted with The Points Guy travel editor, Emily McNutt. Having flown over 100,000 miles, or about 250 hours in the last year alone, she knows a thing or two about feeling fresh and rested no matter where she finds herself in the world. Want to try her pro-tricks? Here are the jet lag remedies she swears by.
Choose Your Route
"Traveling westward is usually easier, and sleep is especially important when flying east," says McNutt. "Selecting overnight flights can be helpful in helping to acclimate your internal clock. If you are stuck in economy, prepping yourself for your flight and changing your sleeping habits in advance could help in scoring some solid sleep even in the air."
"Dehydration exacerbates jet lag," warns the travel editor. While the flowing champagne in first-class is tempting, make sure you’re drinking enough water to keep up with it."
Plan Your Sleep
"If you're on an overnight flight, try to sleep then," says McNutt. "But don't sleep when you get to a destination unless its nighttime. If you can, change your sleeping habits before the flight—up to four days in advance—and adjust yourself to the local time of where you're flying, that could also help in reducing jet lag."
Change Your Watch
"Change your watch before getting on the plane to help you acclimate," suggests the travel expert. "This can help keep you mindful of your new time zone."
"Pack your carry-on with all the gear needed for maximum in-flight comfort, especially if you're stuck on a long-haul coach flight," says McNutt. "Neck pillows, travel socks, and hydrating skincare can all help with comfort and sleep. It’s always recommended to put down the devices and get R&R."
"So many hotel spas are offering jet lag treatments, and while they aren't outright proven to help scientifically, the extra R&R can help ease travelers into long flights through practicing self-care," she suggests. This may be all you need to feel fresh when landing in your new destination.
Next up: How to beat jet lag with food in three simple steps.