If you have ever been on a flight to another continent (or maybe even within your continent, depending on where you’re from), you’ve probaby dealt with it: a jetlag. You enter a completely different timezone and have trouble adapting to the different eating and sleeping schedule resulting in you feeling exhausted for a couple of days. Sounds familiar?
Not for me though. I’ve been to Malaysia and Japan, both take more than 12 hours to travel to for me, and I did not have a jetlag. Not after arriving or after returning home. How is that possible? I’ll explain!
These are my simple tips to not having a jetlag.
I’ve never done any research myself to be honest, on how to not have a jetlag. I kind of just naturally figured it out on my own by doing what made the most sense to me.
When I went to Malaysia, I left home at 10 in the morning because my flight from Schiphol Airport left at 15.15. This means I was flying through the night. Since I went with Qatar Airline, the stopover was in Doha. My flight from Doha to Malaysia left at around 03:30 in the morning, local time. Which means it was actually 01:30 for me, that’s the time it was in The Netherlands. I eventually arrived in Malaysia at 15.30 local time. Which means it was actually 9:30 for me. Almost an entire 24 hours of traveling!
My flight back home from Malaysia left at around 18.00 I think, I had a stopover at Doha again that took 8 hours this time – Oh my god never doing that again – and eventually arrived in The Netherlands at around 16.00 the next day Malaysian time, so 09:00 Dutch time. Of course I then still had a two hour train ride to go.
When going to Japan, we left home at around 9:00 in the morning I think. Our flight left at about 14.30 and we eventually arrived in Tokyo 12.15 the next day. Of course we still had to take the bus to our Airbnb, which is where we arrived about one and a half hours later I think. So 13.45, which meant it was 6.45 in the morning in The Netherlands. Almost 24 hours of traveling!
When going back from Japan to The Netherlands, the flight left 10.30 in the morning, super early! We eventually arrived at Schiphol Airport at 19.15 that same day (which means it was actually 02:15 the next morning in Japanese time) and after that we still had another two hours to get to my parents house, and from there I had to get to my own home, where I didn’t arrive untill about 11 in the evening, Dutch time.
What I did on both of the return flights is the same.
I ate whenever the airplane crew gave me food. This means that for the first half of the flight/journey I stuck to the time zone I was used to and for the second half of the flight/journey I was starting to get used to the eating schedule of the country I was going to. I feel this helped me get into the rythm of the place I was going to quite easily.
This is actually the thing that has helped me the absolute most. Don’t go to sleep right after arriving at your destination, no matter how tired you are! Don’t nap, don’t sleep!
I always try to sleep on the plane whenever I’m flying through the night. I don’t sleep much though because obviously planes in economy class are not very comfortable and I’m terrible at sleeping while sitting up. So I end up not sleeping that much at all. Because of this, I’m usually pretty tired when I arrive at my destination, but the adrenaline and happiness keep me going. – Except for when I just arrived back in The Netherlands, I hate going home after a lovely trip –
No matter how tired I am though, I don’t go to sleep untill the local clock says it’s time to go to sleep. I usually wait untill around 10 in the evening to go to sleep and I don’t set an alarm for the next day to make sure that I get all the sleep I need. Not napping or sleeping before this ensures that I fall asleep immidiately when I want to, so I immidiately get used to the local sleeping schedule.
What also helped me to not feel tired at all during the day of arrival (at the foreign country), is just staying active right from the start. When going outside of Europe I like to plan my days in advance and do as much stuff as possible every single day. This also goes for the day of arrival. So first go to your hotel, unpack your stuff and then just immidiately go out the door again. Explore the area, find a supermarket, find things to see/do that are close to your hotel or go for a walk in a nearby park. Take pictures of all the wonderfull things you see. What I usually also do is find a place to have lunch or dinner, depending on the time of arrival. It’s usually dinner. After that I like to go for a walk again and before going to sleep I like to write in my Travel Diary and edit some pictures.
And voila. That is how I’ve managed to never really have a jetlag. Isn’t it easy? These three simple tips helped me a lot, and I figured them out on my own 🙂 I’m sure they’ll help you too and I’m sure there are lots of other tips that also help. I’m aware that not everything works for everyone, so let me know what works for you! I’m curious 🙂