Looking for a few tips on how to avoid jet lag? The best advice from an international traveller ( a real one who took her family around the world for a year).

Need to know how to prevent jet lag and avoid arriving at your destination feeling like a zombie??

Tah-Dah!  Look no further, my friend; you just found it.

If you are going on vacation or are off to start a new life in Europe (lucky you!), I have just the ticket for you. 

Settle down, fellow traveller. Let’s chat…


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Best Tips For Preventing, Avoiding & Getting Over Jet lag


A few years ago, my husband and I took out two kids (teenagers) and backpacked the world with them for a year.

Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. I think it was part of a midlife crisis I was experiencing.

Just joking.

It was the best time of my life. Truly fabulous.  (I even wrote a book about our year away and what it REALLY looks like to take your family around the world for a year!).


backpacking in Japan which is the best rucksack

Arriving in India. Our home for the next six weeks. Travelling as a family for a year was the best experience ever. But it wasn’t all a bed of roses…


There are lots of travel tips I could give you, including my favourite airport hacks and how to travel the world for free by housesitting, but today I wanted to share something else.

A travel hack that can either make or break a huge chunk of your trip (especially if you are limited on time and want to make the most of every precious hour).

The very dreaded…Jet Lag.


Jet Lag. How To Avoid It.


Jet lag. Is there anything worse than finding yourself wide awake at 3 am with the dreaded jet lag?

Pacing around the house like a deluded tiger, trying to decide whether you should watch TV or clean the cutlery drawer out?

The year my family and I backpacked around the world for a year, we took a total of twenty-four international flights and seven internal flights – that meant dealing with a fair chunk of jet lag.

By the end of our trip, each of us had discovered a few tricks that would help us sleep better and avoid jet lag. 


Man lying awake with Jet Lag

My husband. At ten o clock in the morning. Feeling as though he could have another eight hours of sleep (with the dog we were housesitting for!)


Jet Lag. How to Prevent it. 12 Easy Tips


1: Try and work out before your flight.

This can be as simple as a walk in the fresh air or a full-blown gym session. It helps if your body feels physically tired before you get on board the flight.


2: Adjust your watch to local time as soon as you board the plane. And STOP comparing time to your last destination!! (Don’t worry, we all do it..”Ohh…just think…if we were at home right now, we’d just be going to work…”).

As fun, as it is, it helps no one.  Adjust the time and trick your brain into thinking you’re a time traveller. 


3: If it is nighttime where you are travelling, then do your best to get some shut-eye on the plane.

If your flight is in the middle of the day, invest in a good eye mask.

Don’t forget to pack your own headphones, and I recommend you download a sleep meditation app. You’ll be asleep before the drinks trolley is wheeled out. 


4: Talking of the drinks trolly…As hard as it may be, avoid alcohol and heavy meals on the flight. The less your body has to deal with when it reached the destination, the better chance it has of beating jet lag.


5: Avoid games and movies that will set your heart racing. Unless you are the same age as my thirteen-year-old daughter, who tells me that this stuff relaxes her.

Hmm. I don’t think so. 


A girl on a airoplane trying to get sleep to avoid getting jet lag

My daughter, trying her hardest to stay awake until bedtime


6: Can’t sleep? Don’t stress it. The biggest lesson I learned whenever I flew was not to stress when I couldn’t sleep – stressing about the fact that you are wide awake and are probably going to suffer from jetlag will make you feel agitated and tense.

Just relax and close your eyes. Resting your body and mind is enough.


Jet Lag. How to Avoid it


7: When you arrive at your destination, keep to local time. See tip two and stick to it!!


Family sleeping in the day after suffering from jet lag

After a long flight to Japan, trying our hardest not to fall asleep in the day…


8: Do not, under any circumstance, take a nap in the middle of the day. Not unless you want to be awake at 3 am the next morning.

Stay awake until at least 7 pm; after that, you are safe to go to bed.

Want to know a SECRET tip to stay awake & avoid Jet Lag? 

The best way to stay awake during the day is to sit outside in the fresh air and READ A  BOOK. 

But here is the secret…

It can’t be just any old book. It has to be a book that is going to make you LAUGH.


Because laughter lowers your blood pressure and helps oxygen flow freely throughout the bloodstream.

The more you laugh, the more oxygen your blood absorbs and the more oxygen you have in your blood, you become more alert and less drowsy.

That’s why people recommend you read a funny book whenever you’re tired since more oxygen helps you stay awake.

The book that I am  HIGHLY RECOMMEND is MY BOOK! The Travel Bog Diaries!

Click here and read all about how an ordinary woman did something (extremely) extraordinary.




The Travel Bog Diaries Book. A book about travelling the world with your family on a shoe-string. Available in all formats!

The Travel Bog Diaries. One Woman’s hilarious confessions of Surviving Family World Travel!



Jet Lag. How to Get Over It.


10: Before retiring to bed, make sure the room is dark and cool. If possible, use a meditation sleep app meditation. I swear, the older I get, the more I need my sleep meditation app.

I love them.

I’m not sure how that stuff works, but there is something deeply relaxing about listening to a soft voice before falling asleep. 


11: If you do wake up at the famous 3 am time with jetlag, do not get up.  Try not to open your eyes. Lay still and do not stress about sleeping.

If you get up and walk around looking for a glass of water, then you will find that this pattern continues for a few nights.

Do not get out of bed!


Jet Lag. How to outwit it.


12: This tip on how to beat jet lag is a new one to me and was brought to my attention by my brother-in-law, who flew to New Zealand from Florida. He swears it helps him avoid getting jet lag:

Do not drink ANY caffeine 48 hours before (or during) your flight.

Once you get to your destination, resume your normal caffeine intake (assuming that you don’t arrive in the middle of the night, that is).

He swears by this tip, so I wanted to pass it on. 


Listen to our Travel Podcast Episode, All About Avoiding Jet lag!


If you enjoyed this post, you will LOVE the podcast that I made with my eighteen-year-old son about this topic.

In it,  Sonny and I talk about jet lag and a few proven ways in which you can avoid it.

And no. My suggestion wasn’t to get as drunk as possible on the plane, thank you very much. I am far too sophisticated and grown-up for that.

In this “It’s a Drama” podcast episode, Sonny and I talk about ways to avoid jet lag, including:

  • My son’s worst destination for jet lag (no surprises here…)


  • What to do when you can’t get to sleep on an aeroplane


  • My son shares his favourite tip on the best possible way (but not often advised) how to beat jet lag 


A family trying to avoid jet lag in Sri Lanka

A very tired family sitting down for breakfast at ‘Oscar Villa’ in Sri Lanka



Listen to the Travel Family Podcast Episode Here!


How to cope with rejection from peers







And one more thing before you go…If you DO manage to accidentally ignore the above jet lag tips and find yourself with the dreaded jet lag, know this:


How Long Does Jet Lag Last?


Fear not, my intrepid adventurer, it happens to the best of us and jet lag’s duration can vary depending on factors like the number of time zones crossed and your own personal resilience.

On average, the effects of jet lag can last anywhere from a few days to a week. But consider it a small price to pay for all the incredible sights, sounds, and tastes you’ve experienced on your globetrotting escapades.

So grab a cup of coffee, adjust those sleep patterns, and soon enough, you’ll be back to your perky, jet-setting self, ready to conquer the world again! Bon voyage!


Related Travel Posts That You Will Enjoy


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Best pants to wear on the plane

Couchsurfing. How to save money (big style) when travelling the world with a family. PODCAST

The pros and cons of living in New Zealand. PODCAST


Would you love to travel more often but could use some tips on how to do it for a lot less? Then join me & I’ll show you how!


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Pinterest pin about hacks to avoid getting Jet Lag after a flight.



Did You Enjoy Our Podcast on How to Avoid Jet Lag?


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