Written by Hobbitish Team 7:45 PM Travel

How to Avoid Jet Lag When Traveling Long Distances | 10 Ways to Minimize

How to avoid jet lag when traveling long distances

Jet lag, that pesky traveler’s companion, can turn the excitement of an adventure into a battle against exhaustion. Picture this: you’ve just landed in a new destination, eager to explore, but your body insists it’s time for a midnight snooze. That’s the work of jet lag. It’s like your internal clock got lost in transit. So, how to avoid jet lag when traveling long distances? We will tell you that in this article.

Jet lag’s impact is no joke. It can leave you feeling like a drowsy zombie, struggling to keep up with the whirlwind of new experiences. But fear not, for conquering jet lag isn’t an impossible feat. By unlocking the secrets to overcoming this travel fatigue, you’ll be well on your way to reclaiming those precious vacation moments. After all, who wants to waste time battling sleepiness when there are sights to see, cultures to embrace, and memories to make? So, let’s dive into the ultimate guide on how to dodge jet lag’s grip and make every adventure the stuff of well-rested dreams.

What Parts of Travel Can Affect My Sleep?

Travel, the grand adventure, can sometimes be a snooze saboteur. Let’s uncover the culprits that might be messing with your Z’s:

Changing Time Zones: Jet lag, the unwelcome stowaway, comes with hopping time zones. Your internal clock gets a shock, leaving you wide awake when your body screams “sleep!”

Unfamiliar Beds: Your cozy nest at home is a sleep haven. But swap it for a hotel bed, and your sleep quality might take a hit. Unfamiliarity can lead to tossing, turning, and an endless search for that perfect sleep spot.

Noisy Neighbors: A snoring passenger, a bustling street, or a hotel wall thinner than a cracker – noise disruptions are sleep’s sworn enemies. They can turn your restful night into a symphony of snores, honks, or thumps.

Stress and Excitement: Travel-induced stress and excitement are a double-edged sword. While your heart races with anticipation, your mind might forget how to switch off, leaving you staring at the ceiling instead of sleeping.

Disrupted Routines: Travel disrupts your daily rhythm like a mischievous gremlin. Irregular meal times, unfamiliar activities, and erratic schedules can confuse your body, making it tough to settle into a sleep routine.

Cabin Conditions: Airplanes are marvels of technology, but they’re not sleep sanctuaries. Tight seats, cabin noise, and that ever-so-alluring tray table won’t let you forget you’re not in your cozy bed.

Unfamiliar Surroundings: New places can be thrilling, but they can also be sleep’s worst enemy. That lovely hotel room might not feel so welcoming when your mind can’t quite let go of its alert state.

Late-Night Indulgences: Vacations often come with late dinners, cocktails, and indulgent desserts. But that feast just before bedtime? It’s a recipe for disrupted sleep as your body works overtime to digest.

Travel Stressors: Delayed flights, missed connections, and lost luggage – the travel stressors can multiply faster than rabbits. And guess what? Stress and sleep don’t play well together.

How to avoid jet lag when traveling long distances

10 Strategies on How to Avoid Jet Lag When Traveling Long Distances

Prepare Before You Go

Travel success starts with a bit of pre-departure groundwork. Here’s the lowdown on getting ahead of jet lag:

Adjust Sleep Schedule a Few Days Before Departure

Get a head start on the time zone game. Gradually shift your sleep schedule a few days prior to your journey. If you’re flying east, hit the hay earlier; westward bound? Stay up a bit later. Your body will thank you for this sneak preview of the new time zone.

Stay Hydrated and Avoiding Excessive Caffeine and Alcohol

Keep your body’s hydration in check. Drown those pre-flight jitters with water, not caffeinated beverages. And as tempting as it might be to toast to your upcoming adventure, ease up on the alcohol – it can mess with your sleep quality.

Pack Essentials Like an Eye Mask and Neck Pillow for Better In-flight Sleep

Transform your airplane seat into a cozy nook for slumber. Pack an eye mask to shield from cabin lights and a neck pillow to cradle your noggin. A few z’s in the air can make a world of difference upon touchdown.

Timing Your Flights

Your flight choices can be your secret weapon against jet lag. Let’s learn the art of timing:

Opt for Flights That Align With Your Destination’s Local Time

Think of your flight as a time machine. Choose departure and arrival times that mirror the local clock at your destination. It’s like skipping the jet lag queue before it even starts.

Consider Overnight Flights to Match Sleep Schedules

Snooze your way to a seamless transition. Overnight flights can be your golden ticket. Board the plane, tuck yourself in, and wake up in sync with your destination’s sunrise. It’s the sleep-smart way to hack time zones.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Your in-flight fuel can make or break your battle against jet lag. Water isn’t just for fish; it’s your jet lag antidote too. Hydration keeps your body humming along smoothly and helps fend off fatigue. Sip that H2O like a pro to stay refreshed and ready for touchdown.

Ditch the heavy, greasy stuff for the light and lively. Opt for meals that team up with your body, not against it. Think fruits, veggies, and lean proteins – they’ll help you feel less sluggish and more like an adventure-ready explorer.

Move and Stretch

Get your blood pumping and stay limber with these in-flight exercises:

  • Ankle Circles: Lift your feet off the floor and make circles with your ankles. Clockwise, then counterclockwise. Switch feet and repeat.
  • Seated Twists: Sit up straight, place your right hand on your left knee, and gently twist to the left. Hold for a few seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
  • Shoulder Rolls: Roll your shoulders forward and then backward in a smooth motion. This relieves tension and improves posture.
  • Walk the Aisles: When the seatbelt sign is off, take a walk up and down the aisle. Aim for a minute or two of walking every hour.
  • Leg Stretches: While standing, extend one leg behind you and gently flex your foot to stretch your calf. Switch legs and repeat.
  • Calf Raises: Rise up on your toes while standing, then lower your heels back down. Repeat this motion to give your calves a mini workout.

Make the Most of Layovers

Layovers, those travel pit stops, might just hold the key to a better sleep experience. Let’s explore how to turn these in-between moments into mini-sleep retreats:

Find Comfortable Lounges: Many airports offer lounges where you can rest, recharge, and even catch a quick nap in a quieter environment.

Stretch and Move: Use your layover as an opportunity to stretch your legs and get some physical activity. A little movement can prevent stiffness and help you feel more relaxed.

Quiet Corners: Seek out less crowded areas where you can find a bit of peace and quiet. These spots are great for catching up on sleep without the hustle and bustle.

Bring Sleep Aids: Travel pillows, blankets, and even noise-canceling headphones can make your layover nap more comfortable and restful.

Set an Alarm: Don’t lose track of time and miss your connecting flight. Set an alarm to ensure you’re back at the gate with plenty of time to spare.

Sunlight and Fresh Air

Nature’s reset button for your body clock? It’s called sunlight. Give your body a warm welcome to the new time zone. Step outside, face the sun, and let its rays work their magic. Natural light helps adjust your internal clock and signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up and conquer the day.

Get up, get out, and let the world be your playground. Outdoor activities like walking, jogging, or exploring local sights not only boost your mood but also sync up your body with the local time zone. It’s like hitting the reset button on your internal clock.

Power Naps with Caution

Naps can be your best friend or your sneaky foe in the jet lag battle. A catnap can be a game-changer, but keep it brief. Naps lasting 20 to 30 minutes boost your energy without meddling with your nighttime shut-eye. Set an alarm, close your eyes, and wake up feeling recharged, not groggy.

Timing is everything in the nap world. If you’re desperate for a siesta, aim for early afternoon. Napping too close to bedtime can sabotage your nighttime sleep, leaving you in a jet-lagged limbo. So, catch those Z’s before the sun starts to set.

Stay Awake Until Bedtime

Fight the nap monster with all your might. Even though your body might beg for a quick snooze, hold off until evening. This way, you’ll adjust to the local schedule faster and conquer jet lag head-on.

Dive into the local scene like a true explorer. Walk around, chat with locals, and soak in the culture. Staying active and engaged helps your body sync up with the new time zone’s rhythm, making bedtime a breeze.

Consider Supplements Carefully

Supplements might seem like magic pills, but they come with a dose of caution. Before you pop any pill, make a pit stop at your healthcare pro’s office. What works for one person might not work for another, and some supplements can have unexpected side effects. Your doc can give the green light and tailor advice to your specific needs.

Melatonin, your sleep’s natural orchestrator, could be your ally in battling jet lag. But don’t self-prescribe. If your healthcare provider gives the thumbs-up, melatonin might help you reset your body clock. Just remember, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Embrace the 2-2-2 Rule

Time zones aren’t your enemies; they’re just hurdles to hop. Think of it as your personal time equation. For each time zone you cross, gift yourself two days to settle in. It’s like pressing pause on jet lag and giving your body the chance to recalibrate.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your perfect sleep schedule. Be patient, like a wise owl. Your body needs a moment to catch up with the new time zone. It’s not a race – it’s a journey of adjustment.

Do Children Get Jet Lagged?

Jet lag isn’t just for grown-ups. Children, those tiny explorers with boundless energy, can indeed be caught in its clutches. Their internal clocks are as sensitive as a compass in a storm, and a sudden shift in time zones can send them spinning.

But here’s the twist: kids might bounce back quicker than adults. It’s like they have this magical reset button that adults wish they could borrow. Still, jet lag in children can lead to grumpy moods, disrupted sleep, and the oh-so-famous “I’m not tired” declaration.

ways to avoid jet lag when traveling long distances

So, how to tame the jet lag beast in your mini-me? Follow some of the tips you’d use for yourself – adjust sleep schedules before departure, keep them hydrated, and encourage outdoor play upon arrival. Remember, even the smallest explorers need a little help conquering time zones. And hey, if they can handle jet lag, they can handle anything!


Congratulations, fellow traveler, you’re now armed with a treasure trove of tips to conquer jet lag and sleep like a seasoned nomad. As you go on your trips, keep in mind that it’s important to learn how to sleep well while traveling.

From adjusting sleep schedules and embracing natural light to staying active and making wise choices with supplements, each tip is a building block toward a smoother travel experience. The road might throw curveballs, but armed with these strategies, you’ll navigate them with finesse.

So, pack your bags, board that plane, and let your journeys be a symphony of exploration and restful slumber. Implement these tips not just to ward off jet lag, but to enhance every aspect of your travels. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for the care and attention you’ve given them. Bon voyage to a well-rested adventure ahead!

Also, learn how to stay safe while traveling abroad too, for a safer trip!