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jet lag, long trips: how to cope with?

Travel Forums Asia jet lag, long trips: how to cope with?

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1. Posted by sun_wind (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

Hi! A couple of days ago I booked a non-stop airticket NYC-TYO from lessno.com. Lessno's price was pretty good (it beat SideStep & Kayak) especially considering it is the summer season, so I am happy about that. What worries me a little bit, however, is the length of the trip... THIRTEEN HOURS straight. Eight has been my max so far and it was a struggle. So for any of you frequent fliers out there, how do you manage to stay in the same seat for so long? What's the best strategy? Sleeping? And my other question is how do you cope with the jet lag? NY and Tokyo are 14 time-zones away! How do you keep fresh and get used to the new time zone as quickly and painlessly as possible. All suggestions welcome!

Peter

2. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

thirteen hours only? u think that is much?

3. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello Peter

I have a few things, which I do some or all of, on long flights.
Here they are.

  • I go out all night to a club or party, if I have an early morning flight. Then I sleep for a lot of the flight.
  • Ask for an aisle seat, so u can get up and walk around, without having to ask the person next to u, to move. Walking around, helps prevent your feet becomming swollen, on long flights.
  • Buy a few bottles of water, at the airport, before flying. They never give out enough drinks, on the flight. Drinking lots of water also prevents your feet becomming swollen.
  • When u get to your destination, stay awake, until it at leasts gets dark, even if u are tired. Stay awake, until 10PM or 11PM, if u can find something to distract u from the tiredness.

Mel

4. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 9y

I like to drink a lot of beer and stay up watching movies on the flight; but I hear this is in fact, not the best advice.

At any rate, I think jet lag is just something you just have to deal with. I've never had it too bad, but when I have had it at all, it seems to go away within a day or two.

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 2, 2007, at 1:54 PM by john7buck ]

5. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 9y

Oh and I very much agree with Mel's second and fourth bullet.

Being in the middle on one of those long flights is the WORST!

6. Posted by paul j (Respected Member 217 posts) 9y

Getting pissed on a long flight is the worst ! its good when your pissed and in high spirits , but as soon as you come down from that it makes the flight ten times worse . The longest I've done is 14 hours to L.A and it killed me because of how generous they was with the wine . For me the best thing you can do is get a nice inflatable pillow that you can lean your head on and sleep when you feel tired with some ear plugs. Also ask for an emergency exit seat when you check your bags in (they have double the leg room for obvious reasons) This can make a big difference when it comes to DVT and feeling relaxed so you can sleep ok . I think sleep is esssential on long flights , it wont get rid of jet lag but it will make you feel a lot better .

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 2, 2007, at 2:41 PM by paul j ]

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1592 posts) 9y

Quoting sun_wind

Hi! A couple of days ago I booked a non-stop airticket NYC-TYO from lessno.com. Lessno's price was pretty good (it beat SideStep & Kayak) especially considering it is the summer season, so I am happy about that. What worries me a little bit, however, is the length of the trip... THIRTEEN HOURS straight. Eight has been my max so far and it was a struggle. So for any of you frequent fliers out there, how do you manage to stay in the same seat for so long? What's the best strategy? Sleeping? And my other question is how do you cope with the jet lag? NY and Tokyo are 14 time-zones away! How do you keep fresh and get used to the new time zone as quickly and painlessly as possible. All suggestions welcome!

Peter

I wish I had ONLY 13 hours, that sounds great! Boston to Bangkok, via NWA or UA, first leg over 2 hours, second leg 13 hours, third leg over 6.5 hours! Return trip ditto!

Couple things you can do to make your trip a little better. First choose your seats ahead of time, if you wait until you get to the airport you may only have the seats that don't recline, the seats with a wall a foot from your face, or the seats next to a toilet door - if the light going off and on all the time doesn't bother you - the smell will!

Sign up for the frequent flier program, you are flying a lot of miles you ought to make them count for something. Once you reach 25000 miles with many airlines you are then an "elite" flier and can board first, get better seats and priority wait listing.

Before you leave home, if you can, try to adjust your sleep routine to match the same hours of the country you are flying to. I read a lot, flying doesn't bother me that much, when I can't keep my eyes open when reading I pull my shades down and catch some sleep! Repeat as necessary!

I bring some small bags of condiments like those mustard packets, catsup, mayonaise - just a few paks that you get for free at a fast food place. These little things make the bland plane food a little better! Don't drink liquor or beer - that's my advice! Do drink liquids to keep hydrated! And get up often to stretch your legs and get any cramps out. Bring some chewing gum to help cut down on your ears being affected by the air pressure.

After I get overseas I try to match my life to the new hours of the country I am in. I try to stay up to at least 11 PM and get up the next morning no later than 8 a.m. I find it easier to adapt to the new hours this way.

Don't pack your important stuff in the checked in bag - like prescription medicine, money, jewelry, expensive electronics - keep it with you in your carry-on bag if it is small enough. Same advice for trains, buses and taxi cabs - keep your important stuff with you at your seat - especially your passport! Make photo-copies of your information page in case your passport becomes "lost" somehow.

I find ear plugs, a blindfold mask and a neck cushion to be very helpful in getting a few zzz's on the flight. Bring a good book and slug it out!

8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 9y

Hi Peter,

I think you'll be fine :) My parents flew straight through from London to Auckland with just a short stopover in Hong Kong recently. It was a huge flight! They are both nearly 60 and, apart from being very tired for the first day or so, they were just fine. :)

Try to go to bed at a normal hour where you arrive instead of hitting the hay the minute you get off the plane. That will help your body's rhythms to adjust more readily. Also, apparently drinking lots of water helps!

I'm no much of a pill-popper myself, but a sleeping tablet on long flights isnt a bad idea to help you get some shut eye. ;)

I flew 14 hrs or something from South America over to NZ, and the journey went really quickly. I watched a few movies and read and crashed out for a bit, and before I knew it we were landing. :)

9. Posted by ikey (Full Member 172 posts) 9y

Thirteen hours? You are lucky that is all you have to put up with - living in Melbourne Australia, 13 hours is almost my minimum flying time to get overseas!

Personally, I have never experienced jet lag and I think this may be because no matter what time a land in a new country, I will stay up until 10 or 11pm to make sure I get used to the time zone straight away. I think it is important to stay awake all day, even if you get in at 6am - resist the temptation to have a quick nap.

The only thing I can recommend to overcome the boredom of the flight is sleeping pills. I friend of mine gave me a couple the last time we flew to London (23 HOURS ALL UP!!!) and it made the trip SO much easier. I don't know how I lasted all these years without them. Just pop a couple of strong pills after take off and you will sleep for most of the flight.

10. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 9y

How did you find a non-stop flight from NYC - Tokyo?? & it's only 13 hours?? ... I am flying from Boston - Tokyo in august but there is a change of planes in Chicago ... from Boston - Chicago it's 3 Hours & from Chicago - Tokyo it's 13 Hours ... so that's 16 hours.

... Oh wait ... going home the total flight time is 13 hours .. what? How can the times be different?! O_o