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ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

The Netherlands
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788 posts
ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

I'm sorry if this is presumptuous, but the questions about jet lag were completely buried in the other thread. I thought it was unfair to the OP, and others who had chimed in with similar travel arrangements.

So: jet-lag

I think it affects people differently, but it's quite likely that you'll get hit on at least one of the journeys. Best to plan for some down-time upon arrival, so you can catch up without stressing about it. Also: PLEASE don't drive on the first day. Get an actual night's sleep first. Accidents can involve other innocent people on the roads!

We were lucky, we only had a mild jet-lag upon arrival in Auckland. We'd had a long lay-over as well, and arrived in Auckland just after noon. We felt fine, fit even. We went out, walked about and explored a bit. We got hit after our early dinner and had to force ourselves to stay awake until it was dark outside (in March that wasn't very late, thankfully). We slept very well that first night. The next day we were noticeably less alert/fit, but it was mild. That second night had us waking up at a stupidly early hour in the morning, but we'd gone to bed fairly early so we felt rested. Still a few lingering cobwebs/sleepiness (mainly in the afternoon), so we were VERY happy we were only driving a short while. That last bit of jet-lag and the unfamiliar driving/vehicle was enough to tire us out quickly. Note that we didn't get behind the wheel until our third day in the country. I was very happy with that planning. From there on, we slept well and felt normal.

I have no idea how much it actually helped, since I don't have an alternative to compare it to, but we set our watches to destination time the moment we boarded the plane. Sleeping was not the easiest on a day-time flight, but with noise-cancelling headphones, sleeping masks and good pillows it sort of worked. The headphones were worth every penny, we will not travel without them anymore.

Our layover was during the local daytime, so we went out. Keeping busy means you become tired, which was useful since it meant sleeping on the next plane was easier. Again, watches set to NZ time once on board. We got up to stretch a few times, drank lots of water and avoided simple carbs (both on the plane and the day before traveling). It's the usual advice, but it did help....

16 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
1,139 posts
10 reviews
1. Re: ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

My experience is that when I have been overworked and under rested before leaving on trip, jet lag will be even worse going both ways.

It will be impossible to have a good experience if you only have four days of holiday in addition to your flight days.

Level Contributor
258 posts
62 reviews
2. Re: ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

Following the previous thread and noticing advice over sleeping or staying awake on flights, wonder if anyone has any advice:

We are travelling from the UK (London) at 5.15pm to HK, arrive midday and depart 2 hrs later (3.25) and arrive 7.30am. We're in economy unfortunately (exit seats at least). Do we try to sleep on the first flight, on the second or on both?!

We won't drive for a couple of days and are very relaxed. Any words or wisdom always welcomed, thanks

Chester, United...
Level Contributor
3,526 posts
183 reviews
3. Re: ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

Advice I have been given is to set your clock to arrival time, rest or sleep as much as poss on plane.

Level Contributor
1,383 posts
38 reviews
4. Re: ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

I probably don't follow the conventional advice but this works for me. I take good eye shades as now everyone has individual TV screens the glare disturbs me. If you get one seat back and one forward in the row in front it is surprising how much light comes through. I also have a bottle of water (purchased if necessary after security) so that to keep hydrated I don't need to be awake when the FA's come past with water. Have a small glass of wine with my meal, then eyes covered shut myself off to the noise and glare. Often I don't sleep but spend the time reflecting on nice things. On the way out doze, on the way back think of what I've seen and done. Yes I sleep sometimes, but more often than not just drift in and out.

I never drive for 24 hours after anything more than an 8 hour flight and never suffer jetlag which is really lucky for me. Living in NZ - long hauls tend to be our normal so we gain experience at how to manage them.

Everyone is different but I think worrying about it and trying to regulate your behaviour sometimes is counter productive.

Preston, United...
Level Contributor
5,235 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

Georgina - your flight times are very similar to the ones we used in 2016 with Korean Air via Seoul and will be using again in January. They are two roughly 12 hour flights with a two hour transit. We aimed to stay awake on the first flight and then sleep on the second. My wife did and I just had an hour’s doze. So, getting on the second flight we were exhausted and had no food or drink and slept most of the way. So we woke up at 8.30 in Auckland having had a good sleep and managed to last until an early bed on night one.

We still had some jet lag but much less than I expected. Admittedly we were in Business so had lie flat beds which obviously help, but if you get on the second flight very tired you will pro ably also get plenty of sleep.

Heed others’ warnings about driving. Don’t do it for a least a day.

Edited: 02 December 2017, 18:48
Level Contributor
1,139 posts
10 reviews
6. Re: ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

I recommend window seats so you can shut the windows and not have light glaring in your eyes. On my last flight 'the window seat guy' kept window open all the time.

I set my watch for the time zone of my destination as soon as I board the plane. But I try to sleep or rest as much as possible while still being aware of arrival time zone.

Being well rested even before leaving home works best for me.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
30,104 posts
93 reviews
7. Re: ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

I am well rested before starting any travel, I drink a glass of wine with dinner and sip on water throughout the flight. I have totally no screen time and read an actual book (different brain activity than an e-reader), I slumber with eyes closed for what seems hours/days and sleep when I can.

I don't drive till day 2 of arrival.

The best thing I do to eliminate jet lag is fly business - it makes a huge difference.

Level Contributor
258 posts
62 reviews
8. Re: ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

Thanks All, advice always welcome. Contemplating the Cathay auction uupgrade to premium...cant decide if our exit seats in economy or risk of the 4 seats in the middle, or not being sat together is worth it. Decisions Decisions!!

Essex, United...
Level Contributor
99 posts
16 reviews
9. Re: ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

Hi Georgina,

We're in nz at mo - flying home Sat 9th :-(

Flew premium with CX -was worth it I think but 2nd leg was Airnz - so much better. Seats roomier, crew fab,IFE better.

Wish I was going back with them.

But I am waiting on an 'upgrade bid'for the 2nd leg to business (will be literally 'last legs' I reckon)

I'll know by Thursday and my bid is showing as 'strong' so here's hoping.

But if you have booked with CX you can select/ change seats.

Middle block seats are not too bad, but I prefer the 2 seat option of premium.

Go for it - you're worth it xx

Edited: 04 December 2017, 05:11
Te Anau, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island, Te Anau
Level Contributor
4,545 posts
49 reviews
10. Re: ACTUAL jet lag advice/questions - for Robby 14789 ea

Exit row seats in economy are better than non exit in PE in my opinion.

If you can afford Business class that's the way to go. 👌👌

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