Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How can I deal with jet lag traveling from the US to Europe?

Time is your most valuable asset when traveling.  Getting over jet lag can eat up a lot of valuable time unnecessarily.  If I plan ahead I can usually be over jet lag in two days, and you can too.  I've tried quite a few other methods and this is the one that works every time.

The nice thing about flying from the west coast of the US to Europe is that there are usually quite a few evening/night flights to choose from.  If you can get a flight that leaves around 5 or 6 in the evening and arrives at your destination around noon, I have found that it's a good way to start.  Even if you're like me and can't sleep very well on a plane, you should be able to get some sleep in a flight like this, especially if you tell yourself that it's already the middle of the night where you're going.  Even a few hours can help.

When you arrive at your destination immediately set your phone or watch to the local time and carry on.  In other words, if it's lunchtime, drop your bags at the hotel or apartment (unless you're lucky enough to get early check-in) and go out to lunch.  Ideally you should be able to get a little walk in, then have a nice lunch.  Around three or four I'm usually extremely sleepy but I want to retire as close to my normal bedtime as possible, so I'll take a short nap.  One hour is all I'll allow myself.  Set an alarm and MAKE YOURSELF GET UP!  Don't succumb to the temptation to just go to bed because believe me, you'll end up waking up at 11 or midnight and then you're sunk.  Get up after an hour and go outside again.  Walk and window shop and get as much fresh air and exercise as you can for another couple of hours.  Then stop for a cocktail (or two) and have an early dinner.  Even with the best of intentions, you're going to want to go to bed on the early side and you'll need it.  Traveling is tiring.

Most likely you'll wake up early on the first night but don't get up.  Make yourself stay in bed as long as you can.  If you can last until 7 or 8, that's good.  This is day two and you'll have plenty to do on your first full day.  Keep active and again, around 3 or so, allow yourself another little nap.  If you follow the same routine as the day before by the third day you should be right in tune with the current time zone.

Let me know if this works for you.

Monday, May 11, 2015

How can I be a wiser traveler?

What's the secret to successful and wise travel?  Preparation and flexibility.