If you've ever suffered from jet lag, you'll know it's the absolute worst. Once you've reached your destination, either you'll end up waking up early every morning and falling asleep about 9 p.m. (hello, grandma) or you feel tired all day, only to be completely awake come 1 a.m. (a total nightmare, we're sure you'll agree). Quite honestly, having suffered through this torture more than a few times, I've still not managed to pin down exactly what I need to do to avoid it.
For this reason, I thought it would be wise to call on various frequent-flying businesswomen and tap into their knowledge and advice on how they cope with it. From women in the music industry to those who actually work in the travel sector, as well as some friends in the media, there were plenty of tricks that I will now be apply to my next long haul and which I urge you to as well. Now, there was one big tip in particular, which although obvious, is something everyone recommended.
Find out what it is, plus keep scrolling for other incredible tips on how to avoid jet lag.
#1: Drink a Tonne of Water
Yes, we know it's obvious, but there really is only one clear way to avoid jet lag: Drink a tonne of water. When we asked various women who travel long haul for work, this was the one tip they all told us was key to fighting the dreaded jet lag. Plus, they shared a couple of brilliant hydrating tips that I will definitely be using come my next holiday…
Once I'm past security, I buy the biggest bottle of water I can find. I never rely on water on the aircraft, because those tiny bottles aren't enough to stay hydrated, and it's a nightmare having to ask for one every hour.
Drink water the day before your flight rather than just downing two litres while you're at the gate. If you drink a lot of water in one sitting, your body will take what it needs and just reject the rest (cue lots of trips to the bathroom), so better to be hydrate steadily.
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#2: Don't Nap, Whatever You Do
Another popular tip was to stop yourself from falling asleep. "Stay awake when you land! Don't be tempted to nap; otherwise, you won't get into your new time zone," says Pia Ashcroft, music manager and co-founder of Operator Records. However, if you do want to sleep, Bentley recommended trying a drowsy antihistamine. "I buy Phenergan to take at bedtime once I get to my destination. They help you fall asleep and stay asleep, and they're not too heavy like melatonin or sleeping tablets can be. This also means that I'm not going to be drowsy if I have to be on form at work the next day."
#3: Avoid Plane Meals
Flora Last, who works for a major online travel agent and regularly does long haul, says that avoiding plane meals is key. Instead, she suggests that you eat your dinner before you get on your plane, especially before a night flight, or once you land. "It's always better, as you avoid the high salt content of the plane food, which causes bloating and dehydration," says Last. "And then you can feel more relaxed eating your dinner in your destination."
#4: Don't Drink Alcohol
If you're a nervous flyer and you take medication, then you probably shouldn't drink alcohol. Alcohol is dehydrating as it is, but on a flight, the effect is heightened, so you're better off sticking to soft drinks to ensure you feel as refreshed and as hydrated as you possible can when you land. While some of the women I spoke to said one small glass was okay, many of the women I spoke to said that alcohol was best avoided.
#5: Sleeping Pills: Yay or Nay?
While it's often recommended to load up on melatonin to counteract the symptoms of jet lag, none of the women I spoke to suggested using this. Instead, it was all about making sure that you could sleep on the plane. Howarth said that she likes to take a sleep spray on board "so that you're at least making your environment more ripe for natural sleep." We love This Works Deep Sleep Body Therapy (£20) to help ease yourself into a relaxing state. You should also try to alter your sleep pattern in the week running up to your flight, as this can help you acclimatise faster to your new time zone. Use this handy jet-lag calculator.
Want more holiday advice? Check out the ultimate beauty packing list for every kind of jaunt.