Tips on Avoiding jet lag
If you are crossing over time zones, here are some tips and tricks to avoid jet lag from a travel professional and long time jet-setter:
- Set your watches, or even phones, to your destination time the moment you get on the plane. Bonus: you can also adjust your eating pattern to the time you would eat at the destination!
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol on the flight to the destination. If you are doing a red eye, try to sleep on the flight. If you have trouble sleeping, think about bringing Melatonin, sleep masks, ear plugs or noise cancelling head phones to help you!
- Make sure to drink a lot of water as flying is very dehydrating.
- Once at the destination, take a cat nap – 60 to 90 minutes MAX! Even though your body might want more sleep, set your alarm, get up, and shower. Then get outside and into the sun!
- Eat, stay active, and don’t go to bed until at least 9pm. You might try having some coffee at 8pm! Remember, if you go to bed earlier, you will be up in the middle of the night and then exhausted during the day, which creates a vicious cycle.
- Sunlight and water (showers, swimming, and drinking) are great ways to shake jetlag.
- Flying east can be harder on jet lag! This is because the body’s internal clock has to skip hours and shorten the days normal 24 hour cycle. When you fly to the west, you are lengthening the day and your internal clock will not seem to struggle to add more hours to the day! (Doesn’t everyone wish there were more hours in the day!??)
- Lastly, make sure to checkout our favorite health & beauty items to help with self-care during travel!
Tips for shopping vacations
If you are planning on shopping during your vacation OR are specifically traveling to a destination because they have incredible shopping venues, here are some tips to consider:
- Luggage: Pack a smaller suitcase or duffle in your suitcase to save space for purchases.
- Ask the retailer if they will ship your items! While in Italy, I found many of the wineries actually shipped the wine to the US for a very small fee. This was so much better than lugging the bottles around! It also allowed us to purchase more bottles than we would have, due to the customs restrictions on carrying wine home.
- Customs-many countries have very specific rules for how much alcohol you can bring home as well as some forbidden items you are not allowed to bring (certain cheeses in the Netherlands can’t be brought into the US, as well as other items such as meats, flowers, and plants).
- Have your passport with you, (or a photo of your passport on your phone) and the retailer can provide VAT (Value Added Tax) forms. Fill them out, so you can get the taxes you paid credited back. You will have to keep the receipts, the VAT forms and the items with you. You can find the VAT counter at the airport (usually before the security check points) so keep that in mind before you check in your luggage!
- If you purchased a lot of items, you will need to list them on the customs form when you arrive back in the US.
Final tips for shopping
- There are a lot of destinations that offer duty free shopping (many islands in the Caribbean) that can provide a real savings!
- Additionally, there are some amazing luxury shopping opportunities in Europe. Keep in mind, even with the VAT refunded, you could end up spending much more than anticipated because of the currency exchange rate (the US dollar is not stronger than the Euro of the Pound). Be sure to check with your credit card to see if you are getting hit with currency exchange fees!