jet lag

Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: The Cure for Jet Lag

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

Rest. Plain and simple. Even though a few hours’ rest is sometimes really, really hard to come by. Oh! And a spicy bloody mary. That always seems to make things right. – Two for the Road

I have never really had a problem with jet lag. I have an amazing ability to fall asleep on flights. There have been flights where I have fallen asleep before takeoff and woken up as the plane pulls up the gate. I can honestly say that I have often arrived after 24 hours of travel and felt fresh, ready for the time zone and able to go. – James Alexander Adams

We don’t have any secret snake oil when it comes to jet lag. We just try to adjust to the local time as best we can. We often try to sleep on the plane to adjust to our arrival time. – Nomadic Frames

I firmly believe in shocking my body into the new time zone as quickly as possible. Going to sleep and waking at the local times is essential (so no going to sleep early). I also drink plenty of water avoid excess alcohol during my first few days. Okay, well at least the water part. – The Expeditioner

Staying awake on the plane, or sleeping on the plane depending on which way around the world we are traveling. – Eight Miles from Home

Exercise. I always try and do exercise when arrive in a new time zone. For about 20 years I have been travelling multiple times a month in my old global marketing job and had to get over jet lag FAST to be on the ball for meetings. Exercise worked for me. – Gary Bembridge

It’s never been as big of a problem for me as some say it is. Only when traveling with 12 hours time difference do I get sleepy, and then I simply need time to adjust, no easy solution. Otherwise with 6 to 8 hours or such, I never had an issue! – Etherium Sky Films

Sleep. If we don’t wanna miss out on something, we’ll sleep where we are (on the beach, on a bench, on the bus, in a chair… you get the idea). – Rural Movement

We have no remedy at all. Hahaha we try to sleep as much as we can but it never works. We just got home from Thailand and we are going on 5 days of waking up at 3 a.m. If anyone else has some good remedies please let us know :) – Mindful Wanderlust

No napping, none at all. Stay up until it’s bedtime at your destination. Get in the sun if it’s still up, and have a nice big stretch before bed. – Mike Corey

When you find it, tell me. Jet lag tends to knock me sideways on occasion though I do always follow the recommendations to exercise, adapt to local time as strictly as possible upon landing, and to avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water. – Alex in Wanderland

Luckily, I’ve never had jet lag (not on my trip from Europe to Central America or on my trip from Europe to Australia). I think it’s because airplanes make me sleepy. So when I arrive in a new place, I usually feel like I’ve just woken up and I’m ready to explore. – Rubén Alonso

Sleep and patience. – Kristen Sarah

The one thing I always do when I arrive at a destination is try to stay up as long as I can in order to adjust quicker. Another thing I would suggest is to wear an eye mask on long flights, as the light tends to make jet lag worse. – David Hoffmann

I don’t have a remedy for jet lag, it screws me up every time… so I guess…. SLEEP, oh yeah and beer! – Joshua Johnson

Jet Lag? What’s that? I just power through any sleepiness by being really active, like going for a run. – Ryan Van Duzer

Honestly… 5 minutes of scuba in the pool! It seems to work well for hangovers too, but you didn’t hear that from me (it’s certainly not recommended at your local dive shop). – Travizeo

The excitement of traveling always conquers any weariness I might experience. A cold, local brew is a must at the end of a long day of traveling though. – John Piazza IV

Drink if it’s just a 3-hour difference. Drink and sleep if it’s more than 6. – Eduardo Gato

Don’t give in!! Years ago, I went on a cruise with my family. After landing in Barcelona, we had a couple of hours to explore the city before the ship set sail. However, instead of taking advantage of this, my sister and I collapsed in our cabin and slept the whole time. I look back on it and slap my forehead! We missed an entire afternoon of exploration! So my advice would be to try and push through the jet lag and stick to the local time. – Gloria Powell

C-O-F-F-E-E. – Patrick J. McDaniel

If you are on a long flight try to slee’ in tune with the time zone you are flying too. This might cause you to miss getting food but honestly its only airplane food and that isn’t that disappointing to miss out on. The last long flight I took was Hong Kong to Toronto and when we landed in Toronto at 8 p.m. they were trying to feed us breakfast as it was morning time in HK. That can definitely mess a person up. Also drink lots of water! – Cailin O’Neil

If you are excited about the adventure, these kind of things are not a problem. Living every moment with energy you don’t suffer jet lag. – Josep Gutierrez

No need. Jet lag is one of my favorite things. Nothing beats waking up at 3 a.m. and getting a full day of work in before everyone wakes up. – Justin Weiler

Fresh air and lots of water. – Sarah Zareen

Brian: I start adjusting my schedule as much as possible a few days before a trip. If that’s not possible we just end up doing more stuff later in the evening and deal with the fatigue. If I’m traveling +/-12 hours difference I’ll sleep on the plane and force myself to adjust to the schedule when I arrive. – Wesley Adventures

Embrace jet lag, wake up early, stay up late. – Andrew Kamphey

Whatever you do, don’t think about what time it is back at home. Change your clocks right away so it’s easy to adjust to the new time zone and never look back. – Juliana Broste

Netflix—leave it to a good TV show to keep you awake all night and rest your clock. – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

I don’t know. I don’t really think about jet lag. I just kinda fall asleep in places and then realize I was tired….dumb. – Bobby Christian

See item 3 in the answer above. – SPESUS

Sleep. There’s just no fighting it. Also, lots of water on the flight and movement. I often get up and stretch including touching my toes and reaching for the ceiling. – Gina DeGirolamo

I strongly believe in exercise over a nap. You need to get the blood flowing with a run, swim or workout of some kind. Also, water is the remedy for everything. – Gareth Leonard

I am a non-napper. When I get to wherever I am going I force myself to stay awake until it’s “bed time.” For example, if I am on a 12-hour international flight and I land at 10 a.m. local time, I will keep myself busy and make sure I stay awake until its 9 p.m. no matter how tired I am. Then I get one good night’s sleep and I’m ready to rock the next morning. Some days are better than others but the non-napping approach works for me! – Monique Soltani

It really varies depending on where you come from, but my general rule of thumb is If you arrive before 8 p.m, stay awake at least until 8 p.m. Don’t try to overdo it on the first day (if you can). Generally, even if I fall asleep between 8 and 10 p.m, I’ll still wake up at 2 a.m. Don’t reach for your phone, or a book, or walk around. Just do your best to zone out and sleep in for a couple more hours. You’ll wake up at around 5 a.m. wide awake. Start your day. It’s early, but over the next few days, you’ll wake up later and later. The other option is to be zone-blind. Sometimes I have no idea what time zone I’m in or when I’m “supposed” to be awake or sleep. I think even my body is confused so it doesn’t try to fight jet lag and I fall asleep when I want/need to. – Kien Lam

Jet lag is a constant battle for us but we tend to go against the grain and take that mid-afternoon nap that everyone tells you you’re not supposed to do. It feels so good to get to the hotel, have a shower, and then take a nap for an hour or so. We then get on with the day, try to stay up until a decent hour and turn in for the night. For the most part, we can always sleep through the night. It’s getting up that’s the problem. – The Planet D

Good question. Generally, I find it helps to sleep as much as you can flying eastbound and stay awake as much as you can flying westbound. – Jason Leppert

Have a shower upon arrival and then stay awake until the evening of the time zone you are in, that way you will get a good night’s sleep and be ready the next day. – Adam Baker

Sadly, we have none. If we’re tired, we sleep. If we’re hungry, we eat. We figure our bodies will sort it all out later. – Because We Camp

Take a walk and stay hydrated. – Eszter Vajda

A cup of hot tea, meditation and some quick cardio to follow. – Carri Wilbanks

I stay up all night before my flight and force myself to stay awake in the new destination at least until 9 p.m. It works 75% of the time. – Travelista Teri

Take a walk or keep active. – Mark Wiens

I don’t really have one but I always force myself to sleep or stay awake at the appropriate times to try and adjust to my new time zone. – Mick Hobday

Eating a whole bunch of different type of candies. – Gustavo Matias

We don’t really have one, honestly! Micah has a hard time kicking it no matter what he tries, and Jenna never really gets hit with it because she normally sleeps at such random times. – Wander The Map

I (John) get hit by jet-lag really hard. I’ve got a 2-word solution – THAI MASSAGE. Always does the trick. Worth every penny. We don’t see it as a luxury. We see it as part of the airfare. – Lost & Found Travel

We don’t fly, we drive. Thankfully there’s not really any ‘van lag.’ Grin. We do suffer from a sort of travel daze on first waking up—trying to readjust and remember where we parked the night before. – Armando Costantino

It starts on the plane. As soon as I get settled into my seat, I set my watch to my destination. I don’t sleep on the plane unless it’s night where I’m going, even if it’s the middle of the night where I am departing from and I’m tired. And vice versa—if it’s night in my destination, but full daylight in my departure city, I will sleep on the plane (not gonna lie, sleeping pills are highly useful here). And once I land, I truck through getting onto the local schedule—no naps whatsoever! You have to suffer through one awful, tired day, or one sleepless night, but then you’re good to go! – Nathalie Basha

Try to adjust your sleep schedule to the time zone you’re visiting 48 hours before your trip. If that doesn’t work, get all the sleep you can on the plane. As a last resort, get an espresso and bottoms up! Hopefully you’ll be having such a great time on your trip, you’ll never want much sleep anyway! – Global Lipstick