I know what you’re thinking. If I say it, the jinx fairy will come crashing down and sprinkle its mystical dust all over your upcoming holiday. But alas, it must be said. Are you ready? Jet lag; the bane of any traveller’s existence. Whether you are frequent road warrior or have ever planned a holiday to a distant location, you would have experienced He Who Must Not Be Named (yes, Jetlag you’re right up there with Voldemort!)


For those playing at home, jet lag occurs when there is a misalignment between the actual time zone and your circadian clock. Jumping across time zones adversely affects your ability to sleep, levels of alertness and your immune system. Jet lag generally wears off within a couple of days, however if you neglect your bodies demands, your fun-filled trip will only be enjoyed from the comfort of your hotel bed.

Rest assured, there are ways to manage jetlag and even speed up the time it takes to recover. All you need to do is follow these easy steps.

Adjust your Internal Clock

Even if you are travelling through more than five time zones, slowly adjusting your internal body clock in the lead up to your trip will make a significant difference. In the weeks leading up to your holiday, push your daily schedule ahead or back an hour depending on the destination you are going. As you get closer to the flight date, you should ideally be three or four hours different to your own country. Alternatively, you can adjust your eating times to further suit the location you are travelling to.

Select an Overnight Flight

If sleep scheduling seems a bit excessive you can also opt for an overnight flight that allows you to rest up on the plane. Depending on your destination, flying at night time guarantees a morning or afternoon arrival which makes regulating your normal schedule easier. Find that overnighters are more expensive? Team up with a travel management company like http://www.au.fcm.travel/ to organise a better deal.

Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Junk Food

These are the three biggest no-nos when it comes to avoiding jetlag. Why? Imagine how your body feels when you consume one of these on the ground. Got that pictured? Good. Now times that by three and that’s how you’ll feel. For every alcoholic beverage you guzzle, the affects will be similar to drinking three. If coffee leaves your heart fluttering, that feeling will be heightened. And if junk food makes you feel uneasy, on a plane, you’ll want to join a family of sloths.

Stay Hydrated

You know that old saying, if you’re thirsty, it’s already too late. Even if the thought of approaching the toilets mid-flight send shudders down your spine, keep yourself hydrated by consuming at least 250mls per hour you’re in the air. Water isn’t the only thing to keep yourself fresh during a long-haul, eyedrops will contain any irritable eyes, moisturiser will keep your face from drying out and lip balm will stop your lips from becoming a chapped nightmare.

Do you travel regularly? How do you minimise the dreaded jet lag?

Written by Keryn Thomson