A long haul cabin crew’s guide to JET LAG!

So I’ve guestimated I’ve taken around 900 long haul flights over the last 1o years! I’ve crossed the Atlantic 36 times this year alone (on a plane btw) so you would think I might have perfected the jet lag thing and have it down to a T? NO not quite.

A lack of sleep, movement and cabin air pressures causes dehydration, they are all major factors in causing jet lag, but I do have some tips and tricks that I have picked up over the years, to recommend for you to minimize it and to make you feel sensational ready to enjoy your trip or get back to reality when home.
In the last 10 days I’ve travelled to Shanghai and back to London had a few days flumping* then travelled to Miami for a 24 hour layover!
*Flumping, own technical term for living in a jet lagged induced state, in and out of consciousness at various points of the day and night with no rhythm to sleeping pattern, meal timings or calorie intake and becoming a social recluse.
Remember flying over 30000ft has a very dry atmosphere with recycled air; it’s dryer than the Sahara desert! Your organs swell by up to 30% so don’t eat loads of crap, crisps, sandwiches tea coffee, gin, tonic, sugar, fizzy drinks (*champagne is fine). You need water water and more WATER. On a normal day you should be consuming around 8 glasses of water, times this by 2 if on a long flight, yes…. 16 glasses!
Avoid alcohol, heavy fatty carby meals high in sodium, eat light, I like a bit of sushi, a nice salad, there is usually a pret or YO Sushi frequenting a terminal building these days or at least treat yourself to a good old meal deal in Boots. You may not know this but your taste buds are very different at high altitudes, so with this in mind airlines pump inflight meals full of salt to combat that.
Peppermint tea is great for stomach bloating, slap on that moisturiser, I’m using Kiehl’s  creamy eye treatment at the mo. lovely and creamy, its made from avocado! Good enough to eat!
A water spray is a MUST! Evian do a really good value handy spray or  The Body Shop’s vitamin E face mist feels great, make sure you buy 100ml or less or its not getting on the plane! Now and again when myself and my face are feeling a little extra tired after a busy month flying around, I would treat my skin to Eve Lom’s  rescue mask, trust me I’ve tried everything after long haul flights, this is by far the best!! You can buy it from LOOK FANTASTIC online including free delivery and a free gift wahoooo! You deserve it!

Sleep, nap, and get on to local time when you arrive. Maybe even start to adjust to local time a few days before! “I aint got time for that!” I hear you say! Well at least change your watch, by the time you take off.

I also like to take magnesium B12 supplements, after a flight after my body has been depleted of nutrients, oxygen and light.

 

Ok so lets break this down a bit depending on where in the world you are going, (obviously the is based on flying from the UK since writing this blog I’ve noticed lots of readers from other countries! yay go me)

ASIA
This depends when you would land into the east, arriving into Asia before midday is really  difficult, so have a lil nap when you arrive but make sure you get up after a maximum of two hours. I find if I don’t get in the bed, but lie on top this helps me recognise its just a nap. Then set at least 40 alarms it will be hell getting up. (Kind of like going to bed at 11pm at getting up at 1am to start the day YUK!) I recently flew to Hong Kong and landed at about 6 p.m, this is a great time to arrive into Asia, have a shower go out and get drunk stay up as long as you can. This strategy works for me!
West coast USA
Trust me you will wake up on the west coast at 0400 (I’ve done this like 300 times) Get up BUT! stay up untill at least 8 p.m. (NO NAP) hit the red bull, hit the caffeine (green tea latte very LA!- with cocunut milk obviously)
Australia
Good luck with this, this might help? Im going to OZ in March, so I will report back!
UK ARRIVALS,

If you get home before say 2p.m.ish have a doze/nap but get up have a lazy day, eat cake catch up with TV, Netflix etc, don’t commit to meeting people, you will feel like crap, look horrendous and after 1 glass of wine be a hot mess, due to the lack of oxygen in your body. If you get home after 2p.m. FIGHT IT and have an early night. Oh and defiantly have a hot bath use some lovely  Epsom salts.

South Africa.
I LOVE YOU CAPE TOWN!! No jet lag here with 1-hour time difference!
Me in Cape Town with NO JET LAG!
Finally think about the aircraft type you are booking, not just the price or cabin or airline, do try and fly on airlines that have the latest Boeing 787,  it has much better air quality, meaning you arrive feeling better than flying on an older aircraft type with recycled air. I worked on one for a while and I really noticed the difference,
On the Dreamliner, fresh cabin air comes from a separate source (away from the engines, unlike older aircraft types) pumped into the cabin. Boeing says cabin air on the 787 contains more oxygen, more humidity and fewer pollutants than on current jetliners. As a result, it should make you feel better during and after flights. I always use Skyscanner to book my flights its super easy and gives a great overview of all flight options. Try and look out for the 787 airline operators, BA, Virgin, Qatar and Air Canada come to mind.
To summarise,
Always go long haul to South Africa, only fly on 787 aircraft, eat light (if at all) drink gallons of water, hydrate your skin, use caffeine to keep you awake were applicable, avoid caffeine were applicable. Find your own strategy for Australia oh and get drunk if you arrive early evening into Asia!
Thank You , thank you, babuye, bye, bye thanks, thank you, thank you, see you again, thank you for choosing this blog, I appreciate you have a choice
xxx
Mr Paul AIRWAYS LTD

 

 

18 thoughts on “A long haul cabin crew’s guide to JET LAG!

  1. Great read and tips! I don’t really get jet lag, but then I can flip off like a switch and don’t work as a long haul cabin crew! It sounds amazing to see everything like that, but don’t think I could actually make it through flying all the time. haha.

    I shall definitely get my husband to try these out next time we do a long haul though because unlike me, he gets jet lag super easily.

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  2. Hey, awesome guide! I’ve never personally suffered from any jet lag myself but a few friends and people I know do. Maybe that’s from constantly changing time-zones every month for the last 2 years but never a problem 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I tend to take a nap if I arrive really, really early in the morning. Then I’m set for the day! Funny that you mention avoiding all the things to eat/drink that are offered on flights…lol! 😉

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  4. Great tips! Thank you very much for sharing. I didn’t know about the recycled oxygen or the fact that humidity affects in our body that much when flying.
    What I like the most are the tips regarding every country. I always try to land late in the afternoon so I can go to sleep straight away. I don’t mind what time is back home, I’m tired enough after a ling flight, carrying bags up and down, sitting on the same seat for hours.. so it’s nice to have a rest and wake up the day after full of energy and and a rewarding shower!

    btw, thanks so much for the “boing 787” tip, couldn’t even imagine that the difference between aircrafts would affect my jet lag! 🙂

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  5. Thanks for this awesome guide for dealing with jetlag. I have a coming trip next year from Canada to China, so this guide is pretty useful to me, espcially when comes to meeting people, I will definitely refuse to hangout at my first few days arriving in China.

    Another tip I figured is to take a red-eye flight, if possible. I once took the night flight from HK (left at 1am) to London, I arrived in London at around 4am in the morning, did not sleep till 8pm and the jetlag was almost non-exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very useful tips. I try to adjust my eating times to the destination time-zones a couple of days before the flight. But of course you guys have to up and cheerful all the time whereas we have the luxury of resting a lot more before we get to work.

    Liked by 1 person

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