Jet lag is when your built in internal clock desynchronizes with the external time. Big words there, so let’s break it down 🙂 We all have internal clocks. Us and most of the mammal race, if not all. It’s known as the Circadian Rhythm. It regulates when you wake up and sleep. It also affects how hungry you feel at certain times or how alert you are at other times. You know that annoying way you wake up minutes before your alarm clocks goes off? That’s your internal clock in action. Its usually pretty accurate, that is, until you travel and cross timezones. Then everything rocks and destabilizes.
Jet Lag Symptoms
Jet lag manifests in different ways among people. The symptoms also depend on the timezones crossed, time of day and individual adaptations. Some of the common symptoms include the following:-
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor performance and concentration
- Problems with digestion
- Reduced appetite
- Multiple awakenings during sleep
Jet lag is usually worse when you travel west to east and lose time than when you travel east to west and gain some hours.
So how do you deal with the symptoms? How do you protect yourself from excessive jet lag each time you travel? Following are some tips and tricks you can implement to shield yourself and reduce the impact of jet lag while improving your travel experiences.
Adopt Your Destination’s Schedule Before You Depart
Move the time you sleep time forward if you are traveling West to East. Sleep earlier. Take your meals earlier and try to live out your days as you would if you were already at your destination. This will help your body adapt and move the internal clock to the timezone you are visiting.
If you are traveling East to West, delay your sleep schedule. This us usually easier to adapt to since we gain time moving East to West. By moving your sleep time forward or delaying it, you slowly adjust your internal clock to your destination’s. This reduces the sleep disruption and jet lag symptoms when you travel.
However, if your stay at your destination won’t take more than two days, you would be better served sticking to your natural time. Most people require a day to adjust to each timezone crossed. A day wouldn’t be worth disrupting your sleep cycle for.
It would seem trivial but you would be surprised by how dehydration messes sleep up. Stay well hydrated before, during and after your flight to beat jet lag. Avoid caffeine-laced drinks and alcohol which reduce water in the body. This causes you to feel patched up and fatigued. Cabin pressure and anxiety also affects your sleep cycle. Staying hydrated keeps you relaxed and helps better repair the disruption of your internal clock.
Static Exercises Before During & After Flight
Flying long distances means sitting for long periods of time in restricted spaces. This can reduce blood circulation. Combined with cabin pressure in the airplane, reduced oxygen levels and anxiety, it can lead to disruption of your sleep cycle. Have light excises before flight. Walk around during the flight or stretch from time to time. Wiggle your toes to help circulation from the lower limbs.
This should improve blood circulation and help you relax. Relaxation is conducive to sleep and will help you ease better to a natural sleep cycle at your destination and ease jet lag effects. However, avoid intensive workouts after landing and before sleep.
Consider seeking medical advice if you are a frequent flier who experiences nasty jet lag episodes. Doctors can prescribe drugs that can help you sleep better or stay awake and alert when you need to. While this should be a last resort, sometimes it may be necessary.
Melatonin can also be used under prescription to reduce jet lag related symptoms. Melatonin is secreted naturally by the body to regulate our circadian systems. 3-5 milligrams a few hours before sleep should do the trick. However, ensure you have exhausted the natural remedies and consult your doctor before going the medication route.
Soak Into A Bath
A bath soothes your muscles and quietens your mind after a long flight. (Part of the reason why some of our best ideas occur in the shower – no distractions: total relaxation 🙂 ) Turns out its also great for coping with jet lag. A bath also lowers your body temperature which is a prerequisite for sleep. It does help you sleep better.
Jet lag can disrupt your life whenever you travel. The symptoms are never pleasant. However, as pointed out you can take steps to mitigate it. Take steps today to prepare yourself for your travels. Experiment until you have your prefect formula for dealing with jet lag.
How else do you deal with jet lag and it’s effects?
With the help of my fellow bloggers, i am delighted to review The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard.
Travis @ Extra Pack of Peanut Review Barclays Frontier Airlines Card Review: A Great Choice for Domestic Travel “Barclays is at it again, giving us yet another awesome travel credit card and continuing to challenge the big boys of Chase, American Express, and Citi. This time, it’s a near perfect card for people who travel domestically. Introducing the Barclays Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®.”
Miles Momma @ Miles Momma Review FRONTIER WORLD MASTERCARD – 40,000 BONUS MILES. “This card is offered through Barclay Bank and they are really stepping up in the mile and point world with their rewards credit cards.
WHY THIS IS A GREAT CARD
- First, Frontier has the lowest domestic award mileage requirement of most all airlines at 20,000 miles roundtrip. Most all major airlines charge 25,000 miles.
- You can book one-way tickets which is not allowed by airlines like US Airways, Delta, and others.
- Frontier doesn’t charge fuel surcharges only government taxes.
- Frontier is a AMEX Membership Rewards transfer option so you can add to these bonus miles if you have Membership Rewards points.”
Torsten Jacobi @ Mighty Travels Review Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Miles with the Frontier Airlines World MasterCard “Frontier Airlines offers to earn up to 50,000 Bonus Miles with its World MasterCard – good for 2 domestic Round Trips!
Why should you get this card?
- Great award chart – Frontier operates from it’s hub in Denver to many US and non-US destinations. Flights within the United States are just 10,000 miles one-way. So you can get 4 one-ways anywhere in the US just for signing up.
Some sweet spots involve the seasonal flights to Fairbanks, Alaska that shows a good amount of availability.
- Good availability – Most domestic routes have lots of availability – often every flight, every day. However the routes to Alaska, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Jamaica are much harder to get at a standard level.
- No change fees – Award bookings with Frontier incur no penalty for changes up to 8 days before departure and $75 per ticket after that. That is teh most customer freindly policy of all domestic airlines.
- Just $500 spend required – No need for ‘manufactured spending’ for this card – $500 are each to achieve.
- Discounted companion tickets – If your companion pays for a ticket in cash you can get a discounted companion ticket when traveling together. The values above are for round trips – so trips within the US will cost you 5,000 miles less.”
Credit Card Insider @ Credit Card Insider ReviewThe Frontier Airlines World MasterCard “The Frontier Airlines World Mastercard comes with 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases. requires applicants to satisfy certain credit requirements in order to be qualified for an account.”
Scott @ Mile Value Review Frontier Airlines Card with Up to 50,000 Bonus Miles Now Has 0% Introductory APR for 12 Months “Now the card is offering 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. (After that, the card has a variable APR, currently 15.99% or 24.99%, based on credit worthiness)
Zero percent intro APR is extremely rare among miles earning cards.
In general, you shouldn’t use credit cards if you don’t pay off the balance in full each month to avoid interest. In particular, you shouldn’t use rewards cards because they tend to have higher interest rates than other cards.
But if for whatever reason you do have balances on other cards, or you think you might be running balances in the next 12 months, the Frontier card’s offer could come in handy.”
John @ Frugal Rules Review Frontier Airlines Credit Card Review: Earn Two Free Flights “After taking an in-depth look at the Frontier Airlines credit card, I think it has some great things going for it. The biggest of those is that it has a relatively low spend to earn the bonus miles. At $500 to earn 40,000 miles I know we could more than easily reach that in one month with our regular spending. I’m not talking manufactured spending, but normal spending on things like groceries and gas. That alone would cover us as it would for many others.”Read More
If am guessing right, travel was part of your new year’s resolutions. (Just guessing here 🙂 ) Or perhaps somewhere on your bucket list. Most of us wish we can travel more, experience different places, food, cultures and people. And for good reason. Travel changes your perspectives on life. It opens your eyes to ideas and ways of life you never thought possible. Spend a week in Rio de Janeiro or Caracas and the warm spirit and zest for life of the South Americas will probably catch up on you too!
Benefits of Travel
If food, culture and tourist attractions aren’t your thing, travel still offers numerous benefits among them:-
- Improving social skills
- Experiencing the beauty of nature
- Teaches you patience (things rarely go as planned)
- Renew your energy reserves
Or to quote someone:-
So how do you manage to fulfill your travel dreams without breaking the bank?
Nothing just happens on its own. Events are set in motion. Plan your travel well ahead of time and chances are that you can manage it without spending a fortune. Failure to plan is planning to fail. In your plans, research cheaper options for the basic necessities such as food, accommodation and transport. If you want to rock travel at an expensive destination, consider going off the normal beaten route. Instead, opt for other experiences. Cook your own food. Consider couch-surfing or staying with friends. All this requires planning well in advance and making your acquaintances earlier.
Rock Travel Off Season
The high travel seasons are well known. They are in the summer and around major holidays in the US and Europe. These are also the times when traveling can be expensive. From airfare to getting decent and affordable accommodation. The high season makes it a nightmare. How do you get around this? Make off season your high season! You have October through April to enjoy travel and amazing experiences on a shoestring budget.
During this time you can snag budget travel deals, accommodation and other offers designed to keep tourist businesses afloat during the off season.
Use A Budget Airline
Unless you can teleport from JFK Airport to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, you need an air ticket. This is an opportunity to cheapen out! That air ticket is a means to an end. The end being all the fun you are going to have on the other side. How do you get a cheap air ticket? Time to get creative.
- Research and choose a well known budget airline
- Book your flight very early or very late when airlines are desperate to fill vacant seats and are offering discounts
- Use your airline miles for the ticket or for an upgrade
- Avoid travel agents or tourist offices
- Ask nicely for a discount…you will be surprised at what you can get
Avoid Unnecessary Spending
Do you require that taxi to take you around your destination? No you don’t! In-fact, you are probably getting ripped off. The more “touristy” you look and act the higher the chance that prices are being inflated on you. And let’s face it. It’s not a good way to experience the local culture. What’s the use of traveling if you will be holed up at your hotel’s pool sipping mojitos?
Get off your comfort zone. Go off the beaten path. Experience the local culture, cuisine and people firsthand. It’s cheaper and fun this way and you get much more for your buck! Other expenses you can do away with include eating out. Try cooking for yourself. Consider couch-surfing or staying with a local family instead of hotels. Use the train or bike your way around.
A smile changes everything. It creates positive experiences. It opens hitherto closed doors. It changes situations and warms up people to you. It’s contagious and it even makes you look more intelligent and approachable. Smiling is a recipe to rock travel. A smile will buy you what no money can’t. Local hospitality and friendship for example. Keep smiling…its your currency to amazing experiences!
Whatever travel is for you; a lifelong goal, a resolution, item on the bucket list. You can do it. You don’t need that much money. What you need most is the boldness to make it happen and courage to go off the beaten path. Where there is a will there is a way, or you make one!
Go forth and experience.Read More
5 Ways to Earn Frequent Flyer Miles Without Flying
Still wondering if it is possible to earn miles without setting foot in a plane? Yes! you can earn as many miles as possible by taking advantage of the following miles offered to you by the airlines from various programs.
Some airlines will let you purchase miles and award you bonuses of up to 100 percent on purchased miles. Though it is always cheaper to earn miles with flying, sometimes it is much cheaper to buy miles especially when promotions abound than a ticket, so check the bonuses before booking.
Shop through Online Portals
Almost all airlines have an online shopping portal that allows you to earn miles on every purchase. Airlines have deals with stores like Crate and Barrel, Dell Computer, target, Best Buy, Walmart, Drugstore.com, and Barnes and Noble among others. These stores offer at least one mile per dollar spent, though sometimes they award more.
The fastest and most lucrative way to accumulate frequent miles is with credit cards. Various travel credit cards offer huge sign up bonuses worth as much as $500 in airfare in order to entice people. All you have to do is to spend a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time to qualify for the bonus.
Though miles and points earning debit card are scarce, you can use them to earn points especially if you don’t want to spend money you don’t have. Delta and SunTrust banks still offer a debit card. You earn 1 mile per dollar spent on Delta purchases, 2 miles per dollar spent on direct delta purchases and 5,000 miles sign up bonus on your first purchase.
Some hotels allow you to transfer points to airlines they have partnered with. Some even allow you to choose airline miles instead of hotel points. However, if you would prefer to earn miles every night you book a hotel, you should book hotel stays using Rocketmiles. This is because by booking hotels through their site, you earn airline miles for hotel stays
You might have others ways to Earn Frequent Flyer Miles. Please share with us in the comments.
Amazing Reads of the Week
Budget Travel in Canada – OurOyster
Washington DC Tours With City Wonders – A Couple Travelers
The Barclays USAirways Card: 8 Reasons to Get (and Love) It – Extra Pack of Peanuts
What is The Best Credit Card For Summer Travel? – Credit Card Insider
Why My American Airlines Credit Card Is So Close to my Heart – Debt RoundupRead More
Dave and Vicky are the authors of Travel and Food blogs A Couple Travelers andAvocado Pesto. Having spent 2 years in the working world, they exchanged their briefcases for backpacks, dress shoes for sandals, and beds for sleeping bags. In September 2012 they embarked on a 2 year journey across Asia and Europe. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook
First of all give us a quick background of both of you.
We’re Dave and Vicky from acoupletravelers.com, a travel blog that chronicles our backpacking journey through Europe and Asia. Both of us were living and working in DC and felt somewhat unfufilled with our jobs and decided that we need to push the reset button on life before it got too late. We quit our jobs in September 2012 and set off to Japan (we had been planning the trip for months before this). Since then we’ve been to almost 20 countries and are blogging and running businesses on the side! In addition to acoupletravelers.com I write about business at selfmadebusinessman.com and Vicky writes about food at avocadopesto.com.
What gave you the inspiration to start a travel blog?
It was really just two things.
- 1. We thought it would be nice to have a record of journey.
2. We thought we could make some money or at least get discounted activities.
Luckily we were successful in both!
Do you find there are any challenges to blogging as a couple, such as who’s turn it is to write?
At first we just took turns depending on who felt like writing about what. Later on we were a bit more systematic about it. I think it’s important to fill roles. Luckily both Vicky and I have different strengths that compliment each other. I handle more of the technical side of the blog. Vicky handles more of the writing.
Same deal with travel – how do you decide where to travel to next?
We had a route planned though we didn’t stick to it 100%. Mostly because it just takes forever to get anywhere in Asia lol. It’s fairly logical though as we just travel to neighboring countries, so when we were in Korea then we did China, Vietnam, etc. Nowadays we’re more inclined to wing it. We just set off for Spain to visit family and then are going to Italy and the Balkans, again for family.
What is it about travel that has you so obsessed about it?
Experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, and finding out things about yourself you didn’t know before.
What have been your favorite places that you’ve visited so far?
Japan and France are probably our top two. Japan is so interesting and unlike a lot of Asia. At the same time it’s very safe to travel there and modern as well. France is just delightful. I highly recommend doing a driving tour.
Do you have any major travel regrets?
It’s probably too early right now for us to realize what our regrets are. I guess I wish we spent more time in Japan. Really though it’s been a fantastic trip and for the most part I wouldn’t change a thing!
Any funny or embarrassing stories that you’re willing to share from your travels?
At this point so much of this just seems incorporated into our daily life that we don’t even take notice. On one of my first nights in Japan I accidentally walked in on my couch surfing host naked – that was a shock for us both and made for quite an awkward breakfast!
For the budget travelers out there, what would be your top tip for saving money when traveling?
Don’t buy things you don’t need.
Do you take advantage of airline credit cards to save on flights? If so, which card do you use?
Sure we got a lot of credit cards before we started traveling. We use the Chase Premier Rewards and the Capital One Venture Card. Each of us have saved thousands on these cards alone. It’s not that hard really.
Aside from budgeting, what’s the best general travel advice you’ve ever received?
I think just always be aware of what is going on around you and be vigilant.
Do you plan to keep traveling indefinitely or do you see yourself settling down somewhere before long?
Not sure when we’ll settle down completely but we are already slowing things up by renting apartments for a month or two at a time. Soon that will probably turn into 2-3 months, then 3-6, and then you’re a permanent resident!Read More