Jet lag can be the worst thing to happen to a frequent traveler like you. It can make you sluggish, grumpy, disorientated and generally not in the best state. It’s an unfortunate by-product that Travel Managers face when globetrotting between different time zones, and can eventually get in the way of getting work done.
If you’re planning your next business trip and are genuinely concerned about combatting this episodic distress, here are some measures to consider:
- Recalibrate your body clock before the trip
Giving your body clock some time to adjust prior to your trip is a choice method of beating travel fatigue. Once you’ve figured out the time difference between your takeoff point/destination, start making arrangements to either go to bed earlier or later, a couple of days leading up to your trip. This way you’re able to retune your internal biorhythm to the local time of your eventual endpoint.
- Choose comfortable travelling attire to wear
The day of your trip is not the appropriate time to break in a new pair of shoes or unfamiliar clothing. What you should reach out for is the “O ye faithful” – your tried-and-true get-up that has accumulated as many travel miles as you have, and feels like a second skin. The last thing you want is to be uneasy and fidgety on a 16-hour flight.
- Be tactical with your seat selection
Being discerning with your seating arrangement can be the difference between a relaxing and agonizing journey. If you’re not privy to the airplane spoils of business-class, for instance, and can only afford an economic ticket - choose a window seat. The reason being, you can limit the number of disturbances from other passengers and have an uninterrupted flying experience.
- Stay decaffeinated before a long trip
Grabbing a coffee with a breakfast sandwich on your way to the airport is almost (if not) instinctual. If your travel entails a considerable distance, you might want to switch that café latte up for a decaffeinated tea or an orange juice. The caffeine inherent in an espresso-based beverage is a stimulant structured to keep you wide awake which would hinder you from catching that much needed snooze.
- Be mobile when you’re en route
Staying active whilst onboard your commercial vehicle of choice (car, plane, train or ferry) is a great way to ward off the some of the lethargic consequences (such as dizziness) of zone switching. Be it stretching in your seat, walking up and down the aircraft aisle (when it is safe to do so), or lunges on the ferryboat, the aim is to keep your blood circulation going.
- Eat well and stay hydrated
As much as this might be a challenge, eating healthy and drinking a lot of water is rich course to feeling great and eradicating slothfulness (and the general queasiness) that contributes to jet lag. As you know, what we put into our bodies has a tremendous effect on the quality of our overall output.
- Exercise as soon as you land
If for whatever reason you couldn’t sleep or were agitated throughout your journey, head straight to gym for a quick run and workout session after checking into your hotel. By working up a sweat, you would be intentionally wearing yourself out physically so you can get the desired sleep your body needs.
- Splash a handful of cold water on your face
Sometimes things happen and nothing goes according to plan – sounds like life in general – and you have to head straight to your business meeting from the airport, quickly pop into the lavatory and splash very cold on your face. Not only does this help cleanse your skin, it also leaves you feeling alert and invigorated.
So, give these recommendations a go and see what works for you. With any luck, one of them should assist in pacifying the difficult repercussions of jet lag so you’re ready to hit the ground running.