Monday, March 18, 2013

Nailed It

For the last 10 years I have been flying international for work or personal reasons, but the last two years my travel has been in overdrive. My usual routine after a flight back to the US involves going to the grocery store grumpy (after a shower to wash the plane off and makeup free, looking tired and crazy) extensive complaining about jet lag, 3am Internet shopping (since I couldn't sleep) and essentially taking at least 3-4 days to become a fully functional human being.

I have been working on trying to perfect my routine to eliminate the unnecessary crap and have me feeling back to normal much quicker. It's been an exhausting series of mishaps and gains, but I think I finally have it down and wanted to share a few tips that I have found make my recovery so much easier.

1. This is just the number one rule no matter what, don't eat the food on the plane. I know it's a 10 hour flight, I know you want to eat it because you are bored and it smells good, but don't. Eat a full meal prior to getting on the plane and bring snacks. If you must eat something have the fresh fruit or other healthy FRESH items they offer on the tray, just not the main items themselves. The pizza, pasta, chicken thing are just not going to work for you or aid in your quick recovery from jet lag. Seriously, no. Unless of course you are business or first class on Air France, then eat away my friend, the food is fantastic there. Staying clear of caffeine, alcohol and sugar once on the plane is also advised, but all depends on how your day is going. If you need it, you need it

2. If you are headed to the US and have a morning/early afternoon flight you should rest, but not sleep on the plane. Sleeping really messes me up on this route, but watching some movies and relaxing seems to work well for me. (Side note that the opposite is true heading to Europe).

3. This may only apply to me, but I live about an hour away from LAX and while there are airports closer to me they don't have non-stop service from Amsterdam, so LAX it is. I have tried so many different ways to get back from the airport to the house (I really wish there was a decent train system, but no) and finally have come to the realization that being a regular customer with a car service is the only way to go. Shuttles take waaaay to long and involve other people that I really don't want to sit next to, taxis are expensive and friends and family is a large ask to do so often. Car service is a lot less expensive than you would think and they are there promptly when you get to baggage claim, help with your luggage and drive you non-stop to your door. Win.

4. Have your groceries delivered the same day that you arrive is a genius option. This is not only can be arranged days prior to your arrival (when you are thinking straight), but it can be free depending on coupons, total purchase price or your first time trying this service. The advantage to doing this is huge. You have fresh food (yes, even the produce is fantastic), you don’t have to get take out or icky fast food for dinner, you have items for breakfast the next day and you don’t have to leave the house once you get in from the airport. I usually purchase a frozen entree item (those quick meals that you can throw in a pan and heat) and a salad for dinner that evening so I don’t even have to think, just heat. Fabulous.

5. Schedule a massage for your return, either day of or the following day. This last trip to try and help me stay up, which usually helps me adapt to the time difference much easier, I scheduled a massage the evening I arrived. Not only did it keep me up, but it had me leave the house for something enjoyable. I stayed up, received my massage, came home relaxed and promptly went to sleep until 6am. That’s like a record or something.

While some of this can’t be done every time, I will be doing as many of them as possible when I return to the US since this has truly made this last jet lag be so much easier to recover from. I announced this discovery to the BF and he reminded me that the second night is always harder than the first to stay asleep. Good thing I never listen to him.

Happy Monday!

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