We’re so lucky to live in Hong Kong where travel is often cheap, accessible and beautiful destinations are just a hop, step and a leap away. And with so many public holidays to take advantage of, I am perpetually planning our next adventure, while also trying to squeeze in long-haul trips to Ireland and the UK to keep the families happy! On top of all the fun stuff; work commitments mean that we’re expected to travel mid-week – sometimes at short notice – while still staying on our A-Game in the office.
While it may seem like a ‘First World Problem’; with the constant cycle of jet setting, comes the dreaded travel hangover that is jet lag. It affects me differently each time I transit through time zones and can linger for days or weeks as I welcome 3am, staring at the ceiling, ready to raid the fridge for pasta.
While it’s not realistic to completely avoid the pitfalls of jet lag, I have put together my top tips to minimise the strain on your mind and body, and make the whole experience of globetrotting much more bearable!
1. Readjust Your Body Clock
If your trip is planned well in advance, it’s always an advantage to gradually introduce your body to the new time zone. Shifting your daily regimes by a few hours can really help you to sync with your destination. As soon as you board the flight, set your watch and electronics to the local destination time. Many of us let our tummies dictate our eating habits when we arrive at a far flung place (show of hands for anyone who has ever dug into a tub of ice cream in the middle of the night on vaycay?). However, jet lag interferes with bodily processes and sunlight, and sleeping and eating at the right time for your environment stimulates them to function orderly again. Squeezing in some gentle exercise during daylight hours should also help to tire you out and have you ready to hit the pillow at a regular time.
2. During the Flight
Have a nutritious, filling meal pre-flight and eat lightly during air time – arriving hungry will encourage you to get into the rhythm of the local journeys-end and this will also aid digestion which can become sluggish mid-air.
Try to resist overdoing it on the wine or champagne and remember the golden rule: one on the ground is worth two in the air! A glass or two is a lovely treat and should be enough to help you nod off on a night time flight but limit it to that unless you want to wake up with jet lag and a hangover. So not a good look. Drinking at least two litres of water in flight will keep you hydrated and help you to feel fresh on arrival.
3. In Flight Essentials
You don’t have to be in business class to spoil yourself mid-air. Even if you’re squeezed into a tiny seat on a budget airline, travelling with a collection of your favourite products sets you up to look and feel fantastic as soon as you step out onto the tarmac. I make sure to have a little bag of mini products ready at all times that I can chuck into my carry case and rest assured that I will be fresh throughout the journey and feel the benefit on arrival.
Hydration is key – I advise to go sans slap for any flight over five hours – and make sure to pack comfy clothes to maximise relaxation. Remember to carry a nourishing face wash to use on board, or when you reach your destination, to kick-start the day or prime your skin for a good night’s sleep.
If you are lucky enough to travel business class with Virgin Atlantic, we highly recommend sleeping in the sky with their bespoke aromatherapy package, full of gorgeous “de Mamiel” and “This Works” beauty products. Each passenger will be gifted with a variety of perfectly blended oils and a selection relaxation techniques to aid sleep and banish jetlag. The packages are tailored for day and evening flights and my personal winner is the divine Deep Sleep Pillow Spray from “This Works” – a couple of spritzes of this lavender and camomile blend had me sleeping soundly after drifting off to a range of on board mindfulness films designed by ‘Headspace”.
4. Try A Holistic Therapy
Trust me, I’m all for nipping into one of the many massage spots for a cheap and cheerful foot rub, but after indulging in the utter opulence of the Four Seasons Spa, I am completely converted to their signature treatments and incomparable client care. After reading about their jet lag solution massage package, I was intrigued to see if it could ease the impact of frequent travel or relieve some of the stresses that come with living in a frenetic city like Hong Kong!
After a consultation process, guests are led to a warm footbath where camomile and red wine (yep, you read that right!) are used to cleanse your feet and prepare your skin for massage. The therapy is split into two ninety-minute parts: awakening in the morning with a mint and Tahitian sand scrub and an invigorating massage and returning in the evening to unwind with a tension-melting massage performed with a rich chamomile cream and a snug heated body wrap. Each and every detail at the Four Seasons is absolutely on point: from the expansive facilities that clients can avail of, to the magnificent surroundings of the massage rooms, to the personalised attention from the expert staff.
My body and mind had a profoundly positive reaction immediately after each session; emerging energised and reinvigorated after the awakening treatment and strolling home blissfully tranquil after the evening massage. I would readily recommend this for frequent fliers, overloaded girl bosses or anyone on the market for a few hours of sublime self-care. It is certainly one way to get your sleep back on track with lavish luxury.
With these tips in mind, I urge you to go forth and book another break to try them out for yourself – ya, like you needed an excuse!
Original article appeared on Sassy Hong Kong
All images courtesy of Sassy Hong Kong and Taking Hong Kong