Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Fri July 24 2015

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  • Jackie DiBiase | July 24, 2015 4:00 PM ET

    How to Avoid Jet Lag on Your Next Vacation

    How to Avoid Jet Lag on Your Next Vacation

    PHOTO: Jet lagged travler. Courtesy Thinkstock. 

    Jet lag can be a real drag when you’re traveling abroad. How do you know if you’re suffering from jet lag? You’ll experience fatigue during the day, inability to sleep at night and have difficulty concentrating. The resulting headaches, irritability and dehydration can really get in the way of relaxing and exploring a new city. Adding on extra days to your vacation is the best way to allow your body to adjust to the time difference. If you don’t have extra time to adjust, I’ve got some tips and tricks to help you adapt faster.

    Start to gradually adjust your bedtime at least four days before your trip. Start this at least four days before your trip. Getting your body used to your new sleep pattern will assist in conquering jet lag.

    Prepare for the flight by packing noise-canceling headphones and a neck pillow. Ensure that you are comfortable and are able to fall asleep if needed. If your flight arrives when it’s morning in the destination, try to sleep on board the plane so you wake up when the city does.

    After take-off, adjust your watch to the time zone of your destination. You will want to alter your schedule to fit your destinations, so make sure to eat, drink and sleep according to your new time zone.

    En route, avoid alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks. As much as we think caffeine will help us stay awake, or alcohol may aid in sleeping, water (and plenty of it) is the best drink of choice when traveling abroad.

    Walk up and down the aisles to stretch out. It’s good to get your blood circulating and get your legs moving. Plus, your back will thank you.

    Arriving in the morning or afternoon? Stay awake until the evening to help your body clock adjust. Remember, you’re eating, drinking and sleeping according to your new time zone.

    Get some sun! When you arrive, don’t stay in the hotel room (which only worsens jet lag). Get out and grab a cup of coffee or do some exploring. You might have a hard time convincing yourself that it’s worth it, but its science!  According to the Sleep Foundation, daylight is “a powerful stimulant for regulating the biological clock.”

    Arrive a day before your trip begins. This allows your body to have some time to adapt to your new destination’s time zone.

    No one wants jet lag to ruin their vacation, so instead of dreading it, try to avoid it altogether.


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Jackie DiBiase Every Journey Tells a Story

Jackie DiBiase Growing up in Colorado instilled a longing for adventure in Jackie DiBiase, so it seemed like a natural fit when she found herself with a career in the travel industry. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University where she studied Communications, Public Relations and Journalism, her journey has taken her to a position where she is able to combine her passions: travel, writing and social media.
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