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10 Simple Ways to Get Over Jet Lag

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How to Get Over Jet Lag in 10 Simple Steps

New Zealand is far away from pretty much everywhere so once you have arrived safely in the “Land of the Long White Cloud” your main priority is to get over the jet lag. Luckily, we have a few simple ways to help you get over jet lag in no time!

So that you are able to function in New Zealand like a normal human being, rather than a zombie, follow our tips to get over jet lag for New Zealand. The steps to get over jet lag start from the moment you board the plane to the first day you arrive in New Zealand. If you want a more in-depth guide to getting over jet lag, take a look at How to Beat Jet Lag in Just Three Days.

1. Be Active as Soon as You Land

The best way to get over jet lag quickly is to be active on the very first day that you land in New Zealand. If it’s the day in New Zealand, get out and about! Take a walk, explore the city, maybe even sort out your bank account and IRD number if you are on a working holiday visa. When it comes to the evening, you will have worn yourself out more to get a better night’s sleep.

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2. Set Your Watch/Phone to the Destination Time Before Boarding the Plane

However you keep the time, whether it’s a good old fashioned watch or your phone, set it to New Zealand’s local time before boarding the plane. While some people suggest starting getting used to your destination’s timezone a couple of days before you travel, it’s more practical to do this once you are on the plane or even in the airport as not to get in the way of your activities at home.

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3. Sleep During Night Flights and Stay Awake During the Day

In relation to the point made above, another good reason to set your watch to your destination’s time is so you know when to sleep and when to stay awake. Your flight will also cater to your destination’s timezone, serving breakfast/lunch/dinner at the appropriate times of the day and dimming the cabin lights at night. Use this time to start adapting your body rhythm to New Zealand’s time.

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4. Avoid Coffee

Coffee can be extremely tempting, especially on a flight or at the airport where you will look like a badass jet-setter with a coffee cup in hand, but the reality is that caffeine does more harm than good. The caffeine can stay in your system for up to seven hours which is likely to disturb any sleeping you’ll probably want to do later. Drink water instead to keep you alert and hydrated.

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5. Avoid Alcohol

Long-haul light airlines usually serve complimentary alcoholic drinks, which can help send you to sleep but is likely to leave you feeling groggy and dehydrated when you wake up. This effect occurs more so on a plane with the cabin pressure and high altitude. Again, water will serve you so much better and help you get over jet lag.

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6. Avoid Heavy Foods at Lunch

Another thing to avoid is consuming heavy foods. If you have a large meal, especially at lunchtime, then it’s likely to throw your body clock further out of sync. Stick to the food you are served on the plane for light meal options served at the correct time of day for your destination’s timezone.

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7. Turn Your Phone Off at Night

The biggest mistake a person who just travelled over time zones can make is check their phone when they are meant to be sleeping. Looking or listening to the notifications arrive on your phone during the night wires your brain up, especially if you are not really tired. Your friends and family will message you during the night, because, well, that’s when they are awake. Turn your phone off at night for a peaceful night’s sleep.

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8. Choose the Right Seat on the Plane

Book your flight far enough in advance, which you should to get a cheaper deal on flights as advised in How to Book a Cheap Flight to New Zealand, and you will have plenty of options to choose a good seat on your flight. If you want maximum comfort, try getting the window seat some something to lean on while you sleep. Additionally, choose a seat away from heavy foot traffic like away from the toilets.

Pixabay© Pixabay

9. Pack Some Added Comforts

An eye-mask, earphones and/or travel pillow can really improve your comfort levels when trying to sleep on a long-haul flight. Pack some in your carry-on. If not, you can always as the cabin crew for an extra pillow or blanket.

Takahiro Yamagiwa© Takahiro Yamagiwa

10. Consider Planning a Stopover

If your travel time to New Zealand is over 15 hours, then spending a few days in a stopover country will help you gradually change your sleeping pattern for New Zealand. Check out some amazing popular stopover destinations listed in How to Kill Time During a Stopover.

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The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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