By passing through a time zone roughly on a daily basis, you manage to avoid that horrible jet lag feeling that you usually get when flying across the miles. The West to East type of jet lag is the worst – so why not take the journey at your leisure in the comfort of a cruise ship complete with restaurants, theatres, swimming pools and all of the amenities you desire, rather than being cooped up in an aeroplane seat!
Jet lag, which is medically referred to as desynchronosis is tiredness and the body’s confusion after a long aircraft journey. Due to the fact that the aeroplane crosses several time zones, the body’s internal clock and circadian rhythms are disrupted and this leads to the person feeling lethargic, drowsy and they will find it difficult to adjust to the new time zone.
On a cruise ship your bedroom is on board, meaning that even if you have a standard stateroom you are never far from your bed – can you imagine trying to sleep in anything less than a business class seat?! Not comfortable, that’s for sure. And there’s no opportunity to freshen up properly or eat a decent meal when you want it – on a plane you have to eat meals at scheduled times with everyone else, and there’s little choice – you’d rarely hear the question ‘chicken or beef?’ on a cruise ship!
Transatlantic and repositioning cruises allow you to fill your days with fun activities and entertainment – how about a spa day? Or even a movie day? Or swimming and riding flumes?
Jet lag is awful for children – if you put yourselves in their position it is incredibly baffling! Holidays should not come with that nasty feeling afterwards and no one should go through it, let alone children. Give your family the opportunity to experience destinations without jetlag by taking them on a transatlantic cruise.
If you have to fly to your cruise start point then here are a few tips to help you to avoid jet lag before you cruise:
- Several days before departure (at least four) try to gradually shift your eating and sleeping times to coincide with your travel destination. As soon as you get there, make sure that you adopt the local time for your daily routine.
- For 12 hours before and also during your flight, avoid caffeine as although it can help to keep you awake longer it also makes you wake up more often once you are asleep, cutting down on your total sleep time.
- Try to opt for an overnight flight. You will have your dinner at the normal time and then have the opportunity to sleep through the night – it is easier to sleep on a night flight than on an afternoon flight. Depending on the length of your flight and the time zones travelled, you will arrive at your destination in the morning or afternoon, making it much easier to reset your body clock.
- Following on from that, try to sleep on the plane. The more rest your body gets en route to your destination, the more prepared you will be for the stresses of jet lag. Travelling can be incredibly tiring and if you are taking a very long flight, try to save up so that you can fly first or business class as it is a lot easier for you to sleep in a seat that reclines fully. If you can only afford economy or premium economy, opt for a window seat and bring along pillows and similar padding to prop yourself up against the wall.
- Avoid or limit your in flight alcohol consumption. Cabin air already dehydrates passengers and combined with changes in altitude, the effects of alcohol can be quickened, which in turn worsens symptoms of jet lag. So although a cocktail or small drink may help to relax you into your flight, ensure that the one you choose is low in alcohol, that you ensure that you stick to just the one and keep hydrated with water throughout the rest of the flight.
- Stay hydrated by drinking at least 250ml of water every hour that you are in the air. Even if you don’t feel thirsty this will benefit you in the long run. Make sure that you pack the following in your carry on pack: lip balm, moisturising lotion and a hydrating spray with essential oils (not just a regular spray of water) so that you can keep your skin hydrated. If you wear contact lenses, try to remove your lenses before you nap and make sure that you clean them thoroughly before your flight.
I love cruising in USA; I can even recall my first transatlantic cruise in 2009 and it’s really unforgettable.