I am leaving for NZ/Australia from Northern Ireland for 5 weeks but the furthest east I have ever travelled is Crete.
I want to hit the ground running and am well aware that preparing my body prior to leaving will limit jet lag. I have read that exposure to light, sleep times, diet etc all play a role but was hoping someone could give me specific advice for the journey I have ahead.
I live approx 2 hours away from Dublin so will need to be up on Saturday 15th March approx 6am
Flight Dublin 15th 12.55
Arrive Dubai 16th 00.25
Leave Dubai 16th 09.05
Refuelling stopover Bangkok & Sydney
Arrive Christchurch 17th 15.20
Any help would be greatly appreciated
My advice is always adjust to your new time zone as soon as you land. If you are flying in the day (take off and land during the day), stay up. If flying overnight, try and sleep. When you get there, start taking meals on local time, and stay up until the night.
However, Dublin to NZ is very, very long, so a lot of that advice goes out the window. I did London - Sydney a few years ago. The flights are SOOO long, I found that I wound up doing two sleep cycles in the plane. I could be a lot more casual about when I slept, because there was still so much flight left.
When you get to Christchurch, switch to local time immediately. Eat dinner a few hours after you land, and try and stay up until 22.00, but don't stay up past 24.00 (even if you force yourself to bed). That'll start you off on the right foot.
I also find being outside (especially if it is sunny) helps adjust you. Hopefully you get a nice day when you land, and you can spend a few hours wandering around outside.
I've flown from Europe to Australia quite a few times which is more or less the same. There's always going to be some jetlag, although you can adapt reasonably quickly.
I'd suggest much the same as Greg, in particular when it comes to staying awake once you arrive in NZ. Arriving at 15.20 is a pretty good time in my opinion. It gives you some daylight (spend it outdoors if you can), but you're not arriving early in the morning, which would make it really really hard to stay awake all day Then just try and stay awake as long as you possibly can. 10pm seems a good target.
I've stopped worrying too much about what to do on the flight. Mainly try and relax.
Enjoy the movies.
Don't drink too much alcohol.
Drink LOTS of water (take your own bottle and fill it up after passing security check).
Sleeping on the plane is obviously a good idea, but I think worrying about timings of when you're doing it is just going to stress you out and that generally doesn't help with sleeping. Plus, there's meals to work around on the plane, so you're kind of governed by that anyway. Also, take a book (a paper one). Backlit screens keep you awake. Reading off paper doesn't. So if you need to rest, don't watch the TV.
Oh, and I'm not sure what Dubai airport is like, but if they have those bedrooms in the airport that you can rent for a few hours (like in Singapore), I'd highly recommend that. That would be a great chance to get a few hours solid rest. Aside from all the jetlag stuff, flying long haul just wears you out physically.
Good luck and enjoy!
Personally, I find it almost impossible to sleep on a plane & wake up refreshed & no matter what I do, I would be shattered when getting to NZ.
So my advice is to not force anything, sleep when you are sleepy, eat at meal times.
Get plenty of rest when you hit NZ and be refreshed for the rest of your trip. No point walking around the wonderful New Zealand in a daze.
Striking up conversations is a great way to pass the time on planes & airports. Get up & move around a lot too.
All sounds like great advice!! Thanks guys.
My longest flight to date was 4 hours and I even, at times, found that uncomfortable.
I have been doing my research and have done everything I can to increase my chances of being eligible for an upgrade..plus this is our honeymoon so maybe if we are lucky may get an upgrade to business.
I wouldn't hold out too much hope on an upgrade, regardless of it being your honeymoon. Airlines just don't seem to do this anymore. That and there is normally a more loyal customer, who flies more regularly onboard who gives a lot of repeat business who will be more worthy of that upgrade, should there even be any spare seats.
I would just try and get a nap on the first flight to Dubai, but that's going to be a long connection in Dubai airport.
Your timings seem long for Dubai to NZ? Do you actually still have 24 hours on the flight? I would just go with the flow and try your hardest to stay awake for the remaining 6-8 hours of your last flight, which should help you adjust you to 3pm NZ time and then stay up until 10pm if possible. Regardless, do not go to bed before 9pm or you will regret it!
As other posters have said, half 3 is not a bad time to arrive. It will be going on for 5pm before you leave the airport, meaning get to accommodation, have dinner, shower and there won't be too much time to kill before bed!
Good luck and enjoy your holiday. Don't let the fear of jetlag ruin your flight. You will be knackered when you arrive, regardless of how well you have tried to avoid jetlag. Some times submission and admitting defeat is the best way!