A common problem when traveling by air over a long distance is to experience jet lag, which is what happens to your internal clock when your body leaps across several time zones in a very short span of time. This confuses your body and it will take a bit of time to figure out what has happened and get back on schedule. Here are a few airline travel tips to make your next cross-country vacation a little easier.
Try to sleep on the plane if you can. Even though you are just sitting there, traveling on a plane is quite tiring. Sleeping as much as possible, especially on a nighttime flight or when flying from west to east, is helpful in reducing jet lag and making the transition a little easier once you arrive. If you are flying much farther than 5 or 6 hours, make every attempt to upgrade your seat to business or first class, as it will be a much more comfortable flight and you’ll find it easier to rest.
To make sleeping on the plane easier, make a specific effort to fly through the night. As an added bonus, fares for these flights are usually a bit lower. If you are traveling from east to west, try taking a short nap when you arrive. But don’t sleep too long or you will really disrupt your sleep schedule.
Speaking of sleep, you may actually find it difficult to fall asleep on the first few nights of your trip. This can be due to the excitement or stress of traveling, uncomfortable or unfamiliar beds, or even a noisy hotel room. If you think this may be a problem, bring along ear plugs or a sleeping eye mask.
Once you board the plane, go ahead and set your watch to the new time. This is a tricky way to get your mind used to the new time and it often works quite well. If you can convince your brain that this is the actual time, it will help you to get over jet lag quicker. When you arrive at your destination, try to spend some time outside in the sun if possible. This will help your body reset its internal clock.
Remember that some lucky people never experience jet lag. If your traveling partner is one of these people, you can retaliate by having them carry your bags (since they are so energetic!). Use these airline travel tips to help overcome jet lag on your next cross country flight.