You don’t. There is no beating jet-lag. You can bargain with it, like the lesser God it is, but there is no beating jet-lag. No matter how far you run, how many energy drinks you drink, or how much sleep you get on the airplane, jet-lag will find you; and when it does, the best thing you can do is give in.
I am a naturally cranky person. Toss in a lack of sleep, and my whole mood goes to shit. Jet-lag is one of my greatest enemies. No matter how hard I try to overcome it, in the end jet-lag always wins. So, I’ve learned my place and I don’t try and fight jet-lag anymore. I plan for it.
The first day I arrive overseas is not the day where I try and see everything. It’s the day I take my time exploring some smaller parts of the city. For example, when I fly into Dublin the first thing I’ll do is go get something to eat, then walk around to Merrion Square, usually get my haircut, and by mid-afternoon I let sleep take me back to my accommodation.
I know I’m no match for jet-lag. It doesn’t bother me anymore. I know for some people they may view taking the first day easy on a trip as wasting the day. But, I’d rather get all my sleeping out of the way that first night, rather than trying to power through and not being able to sleep for the rest of the trip.
That’s the one big problem I see with travel itineraries. Most people don’t plan for down time. No matter how intense the journey, you need to put in some time where you can just lay there. It doesn’t have to be a nap, you can spend the time planning your next steps, but just give yourself a few hours, or a whole day to just relax. You can spend it in a pub, or a museum, or a cafe, but just plan out some time to let yourself recuperate from traveling.
Because no matter how hard you try, you will crash, and depending on how well you plan for that crash is how well the rest of your trip will go. Humans need sleep. You can try and fight your way through jet-lag, but honestly, it’s not worth the fight. It takes time and patience to tame jet-lag, and if you’re like me, time is the one thing I don’t have.
To be honest, the closest I’ve gotten to beating jet-lag was my trip in December of 2017. I managed to get a few tumultuous hours of sleep on the plane (some of the worst sleep I’ve ever had) but it did allow me to stay alive until about 6pm, instead of my normal crash around 2pm, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. If you can beat jet-lag, more power to you, but I’d rather just sleep.
How do you battle jet-lag? Do you agree or disagree with my view on the sleep-monster? Let me know in the comments below.
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I’m headed back to Ireland in June and I’m starting to get pretty excited about it. If you have any recommendations for a quick day trip from Dublin please let me know (I don’t want to go too far, so think about 1-2 hours outside of the city). A couple ideas I have so far are Kilkenny, Wicklow, and Powerscourt. I want to see some castles, people. The last time I was in Ireland I didn’t get to go to any ruins, so I’m feeling antsy to get to one this time around.
Thanks for Reading!