Avoiding jet lag
- I often tell my clients to set their watches, or even phones, to the time at the destination they are traveling to the moment they get on the plane. (adjusting your eating pattern to the time you would eat at the destination can assist in adjusting to the time when you arrive)
- I avoid caffeine and alcohol on the flight to the destination and if you are doing a red eye, I absolutely suggest trying to sleep on the flight (perhaps even using Melatonin supplements to aid in sleeping)—which might mean wearing one of those masks over your eyes, ear plugs or noise cancelling head phones and bringing a small neck pillow.
- Make sure to drink a lot of water as flying is very dehydrating.
- Once at the destination, take a cat nap…this means about 1 hour to 90 minutes MAX, even though your body might want more sleep, set your alarm and get up and shower. Then get outside and in the sun.
- Eat and stay active and don’t go to bed until at least 9pm, this might mean 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.
- Incidentally, I often find jet lag worse when I am flying east, and sometimes I have no jet lag when I am flying west—this is because the body’s internal clock has to be skip hours and shorten the days normal 24 hour cycle. When you fly to the west..you are lengthening the day and our internal clocks don’t seem to struggle with adding more hours to the day! (Doesn’t everyone wish there were more hours in the day!??)
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, I often will pack a smaller suitcase or duffle in my suitcase so that I have space for my purchases.
- Before I automatically feel like I have to lug my purchases home, I often ask the retailer I am shopping at, if they ship things. Example: While in Italy, I found many of the wineries actually shipped the wine to the US for a very small fee which was so much better than lugging the bottles around and 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).
- VAT (value added tax) when shopping abroad, have your passport with you or even just a photo of your photo page of your passport handy (take a picture of it and keep on your phone) and the retailer will provide VAT forms and 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 and go to the VAT counter at the airport (many of the VAT counters are 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.
- There are a lot of destinations that offer duty free shopping (many islands in the Caribbean) that can provide a real savings!
- And there are some amazing luxury shopping opportunities in Europe, however, even with the VAT refunded, it is important to keep in mind the currency exchange rate (the US dollar is not stronger than the Euro of the Pound, so you could end up spending much more than anticipated) and check with your credit card to see if you are getting hit with currency exchange fees!