There is nothing more frustrating than having to sacrifice the first few days of a family trip or personal vacation due to the fact that you are struggling with jet lag or travel hangover. This is especially true when going somewhere that has a significant change in time zones.
Importance of Maintaining Energy Levels During Vacation
The best reason to make sure you are energized and ready to go upon landing at your desired destination is the fact that you only have a limited amount of time to enjoy the sights, sounds, and offerings of the local region that you are visiting. Having to spend the first day or two in a hotel catching up on sleep and adjusting to the clock can rob you of valuable time that would be better spent soaking in the culture and atmosphere of your current location.
To help you and those you are traveling with better enjoy your trip from the moment you touch down, we have compiled a shortlist of some of the most helpful and beneficial tips and suggestions we have found to be the most effective:
Maintain a Healthy Routine Prior to Flight
One of the best ways to prepare your body for the coming shock to its system is by keeping your usual (or establishing a new) routine of healthy eating and moderate exercise. Even if you have been slacking lately on your workouts and nutritious food choices, even just one week of making positive decisions and establishing healthy habits can have a huge impact on the way you feel after traveling.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine Before and During Travel
This is one of the most common mistakes jet setters make when hitting the airways. The misconception that caffeinated drinks will somehow help you keep your pep is soon discovered to be a falsehood once a person lands and that inevitable post-coffee or energy drink crash sets in.
And yes, we know that some of you simply can’t wait to get the vacation started and you may want to opt for a few of those in-flight cocktails, but the fact of the matter is that they will ultimately only add to the dehydration and disorientation that accompanies air travel. If you absolutely must enjoy your adult beverages while in route to your destination, make sure you stay hydrated by mixing in at least 8 ounces of water in between drinks.
Try to Adjust Your Sleep Schedule to Your Destination Time Zone
This may be difficult if you are working right up until the day before you leave, but finding a way to shave even just a few hours off of the impending time difference can go a long way to ensuring you are better rested and have higher energy levels when arriving at your vacation spot.
Pack Well in Advance
The reason that this little traveling hack is so effective is that one of the biggest stress inducers when taking a trip is having to do a lot of last-minute packing. There is the anxiety of feeling like you forgot something, the stress of having to locate and find items that could have been packed days ago, and the worry that you may have overlooked other important last-minute details in your frantic rush to get that extra pair of socks or underwear tucked away in your bags.
Get Out of Your Seat and Move Around
Another problem many travelers face post-flight is muscle tightness and joint stiffness. Just a few minutes of getting out of your seat and moving around, stretching, and walking can increase blood flow and help oxygenate those muscles and loosen up those joints so physical discomfort is significantly diminished once you get off of the plane.
Soak Up Some Sun
If it is going to be daylight when you land at your destination, spending some time out in the sun following your flight can also help to give you an infusion of natural, vitamin D enhanced energy. The fresh air will also help filter that cabin air out of your system that has been pumped into the plane for the last however many hours.
Leave the Stresses of Home at Home
The whole purpose of your trip (at least to some extent) is to leave the worries and anxieties of work and daily life back at home in the first place. If you carry them along with you, they will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on your mood, energy levels, and overall experience while on vacation. Don’t worry, they will all be there waiting for you when you get back home. For now, you have earned this break; enjoy it.
One Last Thing to Remember…
This trip you are taking has a purpose. Maybe it is to bond and grow closer as a family. Maybe it is a romantic getaway for just you and your significant other. Or maybe it is even a solo vacation you are taking to visit some exotic foreign destination you have always wanted to see. No matter the reason behind your travel, the most important thing of all is that you enjoy it. Otherwise, you have wasted time, money, and energy for nothing.