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How to Avoid Jet Lag in Six Easy Steps


Do you ever wonder how some people can arrive at their vacation destinations rarin’ to go from the minute they step off the plane, seemingly immune to the ravages of jet lag? It’s not magic. It’s just a matter of following a few simple steps that start from the minute your butt hits that airplane seat.

Here are six simple steps that’ll keep jet lag from messing with your next trip:

  1. Set your watch. The second you get on that airplane, set your watch for the destination’s time.
  2. Drink water like a fish. Keeping yourself hydrated really helps to keep fatigue at bay.
  3. Minimize the booze. Drinking liquor helps you fall asleep…but it’s a fitful sleep that actually makes you more tired.
  4. Earplugs and eye mask. Blocking out light and noise is critical to getting proper rest during your flight.
  5. Sleep! Even if you just get in a couple of hours, that sleep en route makes all the difference when you arrive at your destination.
  6. Stay awake until 8pm. It’s the only way to quickly acclimate to your new time zone.

Watch the video above for all the details, plus a BONUS tip that’s a little weird…but it really works!


Hi! This is Kathleen Starmer: former NASA geek, current travel geek, and founder of The Art of Smart Travel. I’m on a mission to teach women how to travel both safely and intelligently, whether close to home or in fields afar.

Today’s topic is jet lag.

Jet lag! There’s nothing that can throw cold water on the prospect of a long-awaited trip like the concept of very endless nights a little sleep and days of fatigue. But as a person who flies over a hundred thousand miles in an average year, I’ve learned a couple tricks to keep jet lag at bay and whip it into submission!

Tip number one: set your watch. The second you get on that airplane, set your watch for the destination’s time. Pretend that you’re at that time zone from the moment you get your butt in the seat.

Tip number two: drink water like a fish! Drink water like you live at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean! There’s something about keeping yourself hydrated that really helps to keep fatigue at bay, both during your flight and when you arrive at your destination.

Tip number three: keep your booze to a minimum. I know you want to drink up. It’s an international flight, and the booze is free. And frankly, drinking some liquor helps you fall asleep. But if you do that, your sleep is going to be disturbed, and you’re going to arrive at your destination less rested than when you started. So maybe one drink–but one drink MAX–on your flight.

Tip number four: earplugs and eye mask. You need to get some good rest when you’re flying to your destination, but it’s pretty hard when there’s bright overhead cabin lights and a squalling baby a couple of rows back. So what you want to do is, you want to get a good simple eye mask, put it over your face when you’re falling asleep, and a blot out all the ambient light. Earplugs: you want to get some good foam ones that you can kind of twist and smash into your ear canal that will keep that crying baby at bay…or at least at bay as far as you’re concerned. If it’s extra noisy, go ahead and put those earplugs in, and then grab a pair of noise-cancelling headphones put those OVER the ear plugs. You’ll sleep like a baby. (Not a crying one!)

Tip number five: sleep! I know I’ve mentioned it a couple of times already, but you have to get some sleep, even if it’s just a couple of hours. Something about getting a little bit of rest on the airplane helps to kind of reset your body clock so that when you arrive at your destination, you’re not so wiped out.

Tip number six (and this is the hardest one): when you arrive at your destination, do not nap! You have to force yourself to stay awake until at least eight o’clock at night, no matter how tired you are. And this is where it comes in handy if you’re not already addicted to caffeine, because you can use a little strategic shot of caffeine to keep you going until the appointed eight o’clock hour.

Lastly, I have a little bonus tip for you. It’s something I just started doing, but it seems to work, and this concept is called “earthing.” I don’t know how it works, and I’m a scientist, so I’m probably not supposed to believe these things. But the idea is, once you get to your destination, you put your bare feet on earth, and somehow that’s supposed to connect you with the time and energy waves of that location on the planet. Again, I can’t explain it. All I know is, it seems to help.

Until next time, this has been Kathleen Starmer with, founder of The Art of Smart Travel, and I’ll see YOU online.

Safe travels!


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