How to Get Over Jet Lag: Travel Writers Share Their Top Tips for Women

by | Dec 29, 2023

how to avoid jet lag
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Last updated on May 14th, 2024

Featured image: Reading can help prepare you for sleep / Photo by By Iakobchuk on Envato

Eight tips to help prepare you for your 2024 travel adventures

by Carolyn Ray 

Travel is the quintessential self-care activity, but sometimes getting there can be a journey on its own for us. Gone are the days when I travelled across multiple time zones and arrived perky and energized! In my fifties, I now find that it takes me at least three days to adjust to a flight from North America to Europe, and I need more tools to do that than in the past. And when you can’t sleep on an overnight flight, it’s even worse. The rule of thumb is that for each time zone you cross, it takes a day to adjust, so if you change three time zones, you’ll likely experience jet lag symptoms for three days.

To help you overcome jet lag, I asked our experienced travel writers to share some of their top tips to help you be ready for adventure when you arrive at your destination. After all, we want to spend every moment in the moment! 

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Eight tips to help women adjust and overcome jet lag

1. Drink water: Flying dehydrates us. there is less humidity in the air and there are also changes in air pressure, both of which dry out nasal passages, making women more susceptible to catching airborne viruses. As a migraine sufferer, I’ve found that I often get migraines after a long flight, so try to prevent this by making sure I’m well hydrated. Drinking electrolytes can help restore our body’s essential minerals—like sodium, calcium, and potassium. In addition to drinking more water than usual, try coconut water or electrolyte powder or tablets to restore fluids to your body.— Carolyn Ray

2. Exercise before travel: Before you arrive, do all your workouts. If you’re going on safari, for example, the food is great but the most exercise you are going to get is climbing in and out of the safari cruiser and walking in the lodge. Try walking, swimming or climbing steps. An hour a day…you can split it over the day. All that is aerobic to increase metabolism and burn fat. If you go to the gym, then do your regular weights. Start as soon as you book your travel (and then make it a lifestyle). — Rupi Mangat

“Our regular lives are often circumscribed by work or habit, but travel (the quintessential self-care activity!) gives us a chance to explore, meet new people, try new things, taste new foods and be a little more adventurous than we would be back home.” – Leyla Alynak

 3. Sleep when you need it: When flying to a new place. If arrival time is during the day, then take a nap on the flight. This helps adjust to the local time zone. But if arriving at nighttime, then play games, work and tire your body on the flight so that once you reach, you are ready to sleep. This is the best way to beat jet lag. I personally enjoy Duolingo, Elevate, Lumiosity, candycrush or just edit my videos on the phone. They all keep the mind really active and engaged. Please note that reading a book tires the eyes and helps us sleep better, so this trick can also be used to manipulate sleep. Coffee on flights is usually decaffeinated so it does not kick in the energy. — Tanzila Khan

how to get over jet lag woman airplane

Being comfortable on a flight can help with jet lag, says Diana Eden / Photo credit Envato by ThamKC

4.  Be as comfortable as possible: My tips for self-care, especially for the 80s-plus women, are to make getting there as comfortable and restful as possible. For your lower back, consider this blow-up pillow (It can make a big difference).  Also use noise canceling ear phones to block out sounds. — Diana Eden

5. Use an eyemask: The neck pillow/headphones/eyemask combination may not look pretty but it makes a huge difference when light is blocked out on an overnight flight, along with some melatonin tablets. I absolutely love my Cabeau neck pillow which scrunches into a small package I can clip to my backpack. — Carolyn Ray

6. Stay warm: I use thick wool socks for keeping the feet warm, doubling as slippers. — Diana Eden

7. Compression socks: I absolutely love my pink-on-pink compression socks, which look ridiculous but stop my feet from swelling on the plane. — Carolyn Ray

8. Break up your trip: If you can afford the time, stay in an airport hotel overnight to break a long overseas trip in half. That will also help with the jet lag. – Diana Eden

What are your travel tips for women while on the go? Share them with us below!

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Featured image: Protect your skin and prevent melanoma with these tips | Photo by Rawpixel on EnvatoMelanoma is the most rapidly growing cancer in women By Carolyn Ray, Editor, JourneyWoman In July 2020, my 82-year old father was diagnosed with melanoma. Six weeks...

As the CEO and Editor of JourneyWoman, Carolyn is a passionate advocate for women's travel and living the life of your dreams. She leads JourneyWoman's team of writers and chairs the JourneyWoman Women's Advisory Council and Women's Speaker's Bureau. She has been featured in the New York Times, Toronto Star and Zoomer as a solo travel expert, and speaks at women's travel conferences around the world. In March 2023, she was named one of the most influential women in travel by TravelPulse and was the recipient of a SATW travel writing award in September 2023. She is the chair of the Canadian chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), a member Women's Travel Leaders and a Herald for the Transformational Travel Council (TTC). Sometimes she sleeps. A bit.


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