How to Leave Jet Lag Behind on Your Next Trip


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The anticipation of traveling is a feeling unlike any other. However, that feeling can quickly turn on you when you’re traveling internationally. It comes in many shapes and sizes but universally is known as jet lag! Don’t start your trip out on the wrong side of the bed sleeping the day away. Start it out on the right foot with these tips for beating jet lag.

Before & During

Time Traveling

Now that take off is close, think about the time difference of where you’re headed. Once you board, sync your watch to the new time zone and take note of the time it will be when you land. Start getting in the mindset of your new schedule to start planning your in-flight activities accordingly.


One of the most important factors in beating jet lag is staying hydrated. Drinking water before, during, and after your flight will replenish your body and have you feeling more refreshed and awake to start your trip. Skip the tempting cruising altitude vino or cocktail and opt for water instead. Bring an empty water bottle through security that you can keep refilling during each part of your journey. Airports now have many stations for refilling so you never have to go thirsty!

Air Mattress

It might be tempting to stay awake for all the in-flight meals and movies but, in order to beat jet lag, you’re going to need to be well rested. Set yourself and your seat up for success by choosing a seat on the plane in advance when booking your ticket. Keep your carry-on full of items like:

  • warm socks,

  • a neck pillow,

  • an eye mask,

  • and melatonin.

These carry-on must-haves will help you create an environment that will have you sleeping like a baby. Noise canceling headphones or earplugs are also recommended in case there is a screaming baby or other distraction on the plane.

Stretch it Out

Getting up on a plane isn’t always easy, especially if you’re in the window seat. But if you’re properly hydrating and want to wage a battle against jet lag, it’s completely necessary. Get up, move around and do some laps up and down the aisles. If you’re feeling ambitious GQ has some great ideas for in-seat stretches.

Caffeine in the Cabin

Make sure you curb your caffeine intake when traveling. Think strategy before indulging in that morning cup of coffee or caffeinated tea. Studies suggest that when traveling west you can drink a coffee on the plane and it will actually help fight jet lag once landed. Unfortunately, if you’re you’re headed east you will have to hold off on any caffeinated beverage until you’ve reached your final destination.

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After Arrival:

Acclimate upon arrival

You might not wake up on the plane fresh as a daisy but after these few tweaks, you might be able to pass for a dandelion. Use the space in the airplane bathroom to:

  • brush your teeth,

  • wash your face,

  • and change into a fresh pair of clothes.

Keep drinking copious amounts of water and now you can indulge in something caffeinated. Pack face wipes in your carry-on for an easy way to feel refreshed. Starting off your trip as you would normally wake up will help trigger your body’s normal response.

A New Awakening

Once you’ve landed, it’s time to hit the ground running! Hopefully, you will feel well rested from your travels because it’s time to fight that jet lag head-on.  This means that you can’t go to bed until it’s the proper time in the time zone you’re in. Trust us.

Try to both adjust your eating and sleep schedules to the current time zone. If you change the time you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, your body will catch up faster. Keep drinking water and take a short (emphasis on short) nap, if absolutely needed, but don’t overdo it!

Your final descent

It’s time to take the trip of your dreams but in order to do so, it’s best to start your trip by dreaming on the plane. Drink water and then substitute for coffee when you land.


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