The best thing you can do to fight jet lag is to force your body to transition to the local time. That’s easier said than done when you’re exhausted and trying to navigate a foreign city.
So, here’s my advice: Schedule a guided tour for the first day of your trip. A tour will introduce you to the city, get you oriented and keep you out of your hotel room. Your tour guide will do all of the work and there’s little effort or thinking required from your jet lagged brain. By having a set schedule for the day, you will stay occupied and avoid the temptation to sleep. You’ll crash when you get home that evening and the next morning you’ll wake up refreshed and adjusted to the right schedule. If you’re not into guided tours, buy museum tickets in advance or book lunch and/or dinner reservations. Just do what you need to do to stay busy and avoid downtime.
Using this tactic to fight jet lag worked perfectly when I went to Paris earlier this summer. My mom and I took a red eye out of Detroit and landed in Paris around 8 am. I didn’t sleep a wink on the plane and my body still thought it was 2 am. I was so excited to be in Paris but so tired and disoriented that I couldn’t think straight. All I wanted to do was sleep. Luckily, I had scheduled Context Travel’s Baguette to Bistro: Culinary Traditions of Paris tour for that afternoon. There was no time to rest, we had a tour to attend! Once we found our guide, Alisa, she led us through the city and the only worry we had was eating all the samples on the tour yet saving room for dinner. We had reservations for Le 6 Paul Bert immediately following our tour and by the time we were done with dinner, it was late enough we could go back and crash. We woke up the next morning bright and early with our body clocks almost completely adjusted. We had won the battle against jet lag and we were ready to conquer Paris.
One last word of advice – the key to this strategy is to schedule your tour (or whatever your plans are) in advance. If you wait until your arrival, you may be too tired or overwhelmed to figure out what to do with your day. Trust me and give it a try next time you need to fight jet lag. This tip works!
What’s your best tip for fighting jet lag? Comment below and let me know!
If you’re interested in Paris, check out my post Paris for Beginners: Tips for Stress-Free Travel.
Traveling soon? Travel beginner? Here’s my best tip for international travel.