Long-distance journeys can be challenging for a number of reasons. When travelling long-distance, you’re likely to be seated for long stretches of time. This can cause discomfort, stiffness and pain in the muscles and joints.
If you’re travelling further afield, you might also be landing in a different time zone, which can lead to jet lag. Jet lag can cause additional strain that it’s important to be aware of, especially when added to existing fatigue.
Symptoms of jet lag include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Disrupted sleep schedule
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain or discomfort
- Mood changes
Whilst there’s no real way to fully prevent jet lag, there are a few steps you can take to reduce its effects, including:
- Arriving early
If you’re travelling to attend a particular event, it could be a good idea for you to arrive in your new time zone a few days early to give your body time to properly adjust.
- Rest well before you travel
If you’re already fatigued before you travel, your jet lag might be worse. Be sure to rest well in the days running up to your travel date.
- Make gradual adjustments to your schedule before you leave
When you land in your new time zone, it can take a while for your body to catch up. To help your body adjust more quickly, try gradually altering your sleeping and eating schedule in the days leading up to your trip. If you’re travelling east, try to eat and go to bed an hour earlier than you usually would. If you’re travelling west, shift your eating and drinking to an hour later than usual.
- Drink plenty of water
Dehydration can make the effects of jet lag worse, so it’s important to stay hydrated throughout your journey. Avoiding coffee and alcohol is also a good idea.
- Stick to your schedule as much as possible
If it will be nighttime when you land in your new destination, try to sleep while you travel to help your body clock readjust. Travelling with ear plugs, headphones, an eye mask and a blanket can help make your journey more comfortable and give you the rest you need.