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.
2. Set your watch/phone’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.