Travel Expertly – Tips on How to Avoid Jet Lag

Avoiding jet lag when you’re flying coast-to-coast or around the world is definitely possible if you know how to do it. A survey by Conde Naste said that 93% of travelers get jet lag and even 96% of flight attendants get it as well. Jet lag is no fun as it can affect your ability to enjoy your vacation if you get sidelined by the extreme tiredness that often accompanies adjusting to long flights across many time zones.

My first true experience with jet lag occurred on my first trip overseas to London and after that experience, I vowed to learn the secrets of avoiding jet lag. I had a red eye flight from JFK to Heathrow and arrived at my hotel around mid-day. I was so extremely tired when I checked in to my hotel that I proceeded to take a very long nap. This was exactly the wrong thing for me to do as it took several days before I eased into the rhythm and flow of London’s time zone. I’ve since learned a lot of tips for avoiding jet lag and no longer have my trips sidelined by it.

First, you need to know that traveling across different time zones is the number one cause of jet lag. It happens most frequently by going from the west to the east, but you can get jet lag by traveling east to west also. Second, I have learned that a huge reason for experiencing jet lag, at least for me, is purely psychological but that does not mean there are not physiological reasons impacting the feeling of jet lag as well.

Here are some tips that I’ve collected and applied over the years that seem to work very well. I used these tips for avoiding jet lag when I traveled from Los Angeles to Finland and back in four days for a video shoot with Travel Editor Peter Greenberg. I produced a “Search for Santa” segment at the Arctic Circle featuring Peter for ABC-TV’s Home Show.

1. Get little or no sleep the night before you travel. Believe it or not, this is a great tip for avoiding jet lag. I usually have so much to do the night before I take a long flight, that I stay up very late the night before my trip taking care of last minute details such as packing my suitcases and taking care of lots of odds and ends. This activity has actually served me very well as I then find it very easy to fall asleep on the plane and arrive at my destination ready to take in the sights. By sleeping on the plane, it helps me to quickly adjust to the new time zone that I’m traveling to and it’s very helpful for avoiding jet lag.

2. Take a Tylenol PM or Melatonin to help you sleep on the plane. I find that if I have a little help with a sleep aid to induce a nice relaxing sleep, I get the rest and sleep I need while I’m on a flight and this is very helpful for avoiding jet lag. For me, that means just ONE Tylenol P.M. or about 15mg of Melatonin (with one-to-two 5HTPs) but you should use it responsibly. I get Schiff’s Melatonin at Costco and it’s very inexpensive and I will sometimes take Melatonin throughout my vacation to help reduce the effects of jet lag as it helps me adjust my sleep pattern for the new time zone.

Before you rely on Tylenol PM or Melatonin for a trip, you really need to take them for a “test spin” before your flight to determine if they are effective for you or not. I initially tried these sleep aids on a Friday night when I knew I could sleep in or relax on a Saturday if they made me too tired after taking them. This is VERY important to do this. The recommended dosage on a Tylenol P.M. is TWO tablets. I have NEVER taken two tablets because one tablet is more than enough to induce sleep for me. I only want to get a good night’s sleep. I do not want to feel groggy for an entire day so that’s why you personally have to determine how your body will respond to this suggestion. I’m also personally not a fan of the prescription sleep medications so I can’t comment on using them for this purpose.

3. Do NOT drink alcohol or caffeine when you fly. Drinking alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas during your flight will dehydrate you and contribute to your feeling of jet lag – so just don’t drink these beverages on your travel day. I know that sounds harsh but you certainly don’t want to drink alcohol (including wine and beer) if you’re taking Tylenol P.M. Now, if you must have a cup of coffee, then wait and have your brew in the morning right before you’re arriving at your destination when the flight attendants are serving breakfast. Save the drinking for fun spots, swim up bars, pubs and dining out when you get to your vacation destination. If you don’t follow this travel tip for avoiding jet lag, then you will really pay for it on your vacation.

4. Do drink plenty of water. It is very important that you drink plenty of water when you fly as dehydration will contribute to your physical feelings of jet lag. Some airlines try to keep passengers hydrated on long flights by coming around with water, but they don’t usually do a very good job of coming around enough and that’s why I always make sure I have at least one-to-two liters of water with me. I also ask for extra water when the flight attendants come around offering drinks. Drinking plenty of water while I’m on a coast-to-coast or international flight greatly contributes to avoiding jet lag.

5. As you travel, slowly start setting your watch ahead to the correct time zone at your vacation destination. This is the single most important tip to avoiding jet lag. You should slowly start setting your watch ahead an hour or two during your flight to the correct time at your destination. Make sure that you have your watch set for your destination’s time zone several hours before you actually arrive as you will be psychologically set to jump right into the new time zone. I’ve used this tip for avoiding jet lag for over twenty years and it works wonders at alleviating jet lag for me whether I’m traveling coast-to-coast or flying half-way around the world. In my opinion, most jet lag is purely psychological and getting your mind fixed on the new time zone is one of the easiest things to do to avoid jet lag.

6. If you arrive at your vacation destination in the morning or afternoon, do NOT go bed when you arrive at your hotel. I made this mistake only once and learned my lesson quickly. Drop your suitcases at your hotel and then go out and explore your destination for the day. Take a double-decker bus tour and get a quick orientation to your city or lay on the beach for the day. Have an early dinner and then go to bed early your first night at your vacation destination. You’ll sleep a very good sleep and be quickly adjusted to the new time zone by morning.

Finally, make sure that you get up and move around while on a long flight because sitting in a cramped position for hours at a time only adds to the misery of getting jet lag and could also have some very serious (even deadly) implications. Get some exercise while you are on your flight. You can twist and stretch out to keep your muscles relaxed or walk up and down the cabin if possible every once in a while. This can keep your feet from swelling up.

Now I don’t know if these tips will work for you, but I can tell you that they’ve worked for me for years and I have yet to experience jet lag at my vacation destination since implementing these tips for avoiding jet lag. Just remember, you don’t need to let jet lag ruin your business trip or vacation. If you use these tips suggested here for avoiding jet lag, you will enjoy your trip!

For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs and also as a road warrior of business travel. In addition to traveling around the world, she has flown all over the country to produce and direct video shoots and live television productions. She has produced on location from Ceasar’s Palace on the Vegas Strip to Universal Studios Hollywood to the beautiful island of Oahu.

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Presenting: Chris Ronneseth – Adventure Travel Expert!

I recently had a chance to talk to Chris Ronneseth of Trek Holidays (see interview preview) who gave me a good overview of adventure travel, an area of travel I definitely would like to explore sooner than later…

1. Tell us how you got into the adventure travel business.

I grew up around travel. My father, Allan Ronneseth founded the company in 1972 and with a passion to see the world in a different way than the norm, we had the opportunity to travel to countries that were considered exotic at that time and to some extent still are today. Venturing out on my own traveling while attending University I became more and more passionate about the world beyond North America. With a degree in marketing, I ventured off first to New York and later to Toronto working in sales and marketing for technology companies during the tech boom. Having learned the skill of sales in an industry outside of travel but backed with an upbringing rooted in adventure travel, I made the progression to heading up sales in Eastern Canada for the family business where I now provide support to our network of travel agents across Eastern Canada as well as compiling our monthly newsletter on adventure travel trends.

2. What countries have you traveled to?

Africa: Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Egypt, Morocco

Europe: UK, Greenland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria

Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Hong Kong

South Pacific: Australia, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji

Americas: Canadian High Arctic, USA, Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands,

Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia

3. Please share with us your top three travel memories of all times.

A. Peru -The last descent into Machu Picchu on the famed Inca Trail from the Sun Gate after seeing sunrise over the site, being the first to enter the site at daybreak and having a feeling of peace, harmony and strong magic in the air.

B. Vietnam – Travelling the countryside of Vietnam by motorbike and stumbling upon a hidden and seldom visited Buddhist Monastery resulting in a three-hour visit with a young Buddhist monk learning and understanding each other’s ways.

C. Namibia – Skydiving at sunset at Swakopmund on the coast where the Atlantic Ocean meets the blood-red sand dunes for as far as the eye can see. One of the most tranquil moments of my life.

4. What is adventure travel and how has it evolved over the last few decades?

Adventure travel used to mean high adventure back when the company was founded in the seventies, it was time when the ‘hippie-trail’ was hot and buses used to travel across Asia from London to Kathmandu with itineraries that were largely invented along the way. Today it is about the small group experience and about experiencing a destination rather than simply seeing it. It is about participation and understanding of cultures, history and customs and being able to take that experience away as enrichment to your daily life.

5. Who goes on your adventure travel tours and why? What is the age, gender, nationality and income level of the people that go on your tours?

Adventure travel is largely about the passion to do it. For this reason it crosses boundaries of age, gender and income since the common goal of the travelers is the experience regardless of their life at home. However the largest demographic for us and the most important growth demographic is the baby-boomers who have experienced the traditional beach vacation several times over and now have the time and disposable income to travel to more exotic destinations. Nationality is generally made up of largely English-speaking nations with the makeup in order of numbers being Brits, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, Americans, some mainland Europe, some Latin American countries and the odd Asian traveler.

We offer more than 120 countries worldwide generally just about everywhere. However countries currently deemed to be unsafe for travel (eg. Iraq, Afghanistan) are not included but we expect they will be in the years to come as the situation stabilizes.

7. What type of accommodation is offered?

We offer generally speaking anything from 2 star budget accommodation to 6 star lodge experiences in Africa and everything in between. However what is common to all places we stay is that they must be clean, comfortable, centrally-located and most important have character that is reflective of the destination.

8. How do these tours work for single travellers? Do you provide a travel-mate matching service? What happens if I prefer single accommodation?

Our tours are designed with single travellers in mind. In fact 50% of all our travellers come by themselves. We match people up of the same gender and like age to share and avoid charging them a supplement. If clients prefer their own room, we can do this on approximately 60% of the tours, usually the more upmarket ones, but at a rate that is fair and affordable.

9. What about meals?

Depending on the trip we generally include breakfasts and some dinners but almost never lunch as many people like to be out at midday making their own discoveries. However when trekking or in the countryside or where alternatives do not exist we will always include meals.

10. What are the unique benefits of adventure tours as compared to other types of travel?

A sense of achievement, quality of experience, traveling with a small group of just ten people on average, generally better value than comparable bus tours, camaraderie with individuals that share a passion for this type of travel.

11. What type of activities are offered in your tours?

Sightseeing is a major part of every tour but beyond that we want to include as many cultural experiences as possible such as homestays with local families, village visits, etc. We also have many optional activities available such rafting, sailing, jeep safaris, day treks, etc.

12. Is there such a thing as adventure tours for families?

We now have tours built especially for families to travel with other families where children are age six and up. There is a large demographic of ‘late-starter’ families who never had children until in their 30s. Many of these people traveled with us in their 20s or backpacked independently and now want to give that experience to their children. They are not interested in introducing them to the ‘coca-cola’ culture pervasive in today’s society. These have been met with great success.

13. Please share with us practical advice for someone who’s never tried adventure travel.

Safety is a state of mind. Most people who elect not to travel to exotic destinations do so because of a fear for their safety while in the destination. If you heed the advice of your tour leader and be practical almost any destination in the world can provide a safe, secure and memorable experience. Where we have had problems with safety it has almost always been a disregard for common sense and advice. Don’t be afraid of experiencing other cultures, you will almost always find that your curiosity will be the best guide though it all and that same curiosity will be reciprocated by the people we meet along the way. It is about learning and understanding other people as much as they need to understand us. It really does shrink the world. Our second biggest problem would be dehydration, when traveling to hot, dry countries or where activity is involved such as trekking ensure you drink lots of water!

14. How much time do you travel yourself these days?

Generally 5 or 6 weeks a year. It is imperative to my sales knowledge and experience and I owe it to my customers to be the expert in what we do! All of our employees are given wonderful travel opportunities which goes straight to our company motto: Expert advice from those who have been there!

15. Where are you going next?

I plan this year on escorting a trip back to Egypt in April, to South Africa in May to experience some of our new properties we work with and to hopefully take a side trip to Mozambique. Later in the year I plan to make my way to Turkey and the Patagonian outdoors In Chile & Argentina.

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Buy Tickets for Cheapest Flights to Australia From Leading Travel Experts

In this day and age, availing tickets for the cheapest flights to the preferred holiday destinations across the world is not a problem. There are several travel agencies that offer cost effective airline tickets to popular destinations located across the globe. Australia is one of the favorite holiday spots of people from U.K. and they can buy tickets for cheap flights to Australia from any of the travel agencies based across the region. And, whether the vacationers want inexpensive flights to Perth, Cairns, Melbourne or any other city of Australia, finding travel experts is not a difficult task.

When people think about vacations in Australia, cheap Sydney flights is their first demand. This city houses the world famous Sydney Opera House as well as the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, which are extremely popular among tourists from U.K. It possesses exquisite natural as well as man-made sightseeing locations that mesmerize the visitors. There are several renowned travel agents who provide flights to Sydney at discounted rates, as well as special travel packages for families.

Melbourne is also preferred by holidayers, who love this city since it is the cultural capital of this unique country-continent-island. Cheapest flights to Melbourne are well received by one and all, who enjoy sightseeing at Grampians National Park, Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island among others. Flights to Melbourne are available throughout the year as it is a major commercial hub as well as one of the most visited cities of Australia. After taking a comprehensive tour of the city, tourists can take cheapest flights from Melbourne and take check out other cities on their tour of Australia.

Cheap flights to Brisbane provide the visitors a chance to see a whole city via CityCat and CityFerry, which are water based modes of travel. But, if the vacationers want to see national parks, museums and galleries, hills, marvelous pieces of architecture, beaches and conservation parks within a single city, cost effective flights to Adelaide will be perfect for them. What’s more, the travel agencies offering the inexpensive airline tickets to every popular city in Australia also provides cheap return flights to U.K.

Now, no vacation to Australia can be called complete unless the itinerary includes the Great Barrier Reef and only the flights to Cairns allow the tourists to check out this natural wonder. There are innumerable organizations based in the travel sector that offer inexpensive flight tickets to this city and many more throughout the year.

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How to Find Online Discount Hotel Deals – Tips From Travel Experts

Everybody knows that these days it’s cheaper to book their hotel rooms online for the best discounted room rates. So everyone usually heads straight to the many popular Internet travel agencies that we see so much on television and in magazines advertisements. But wouldn’t it be great to know where people working in the travel industry find their special hotel deals?

There are many reputable online travel agencies to choose from today. Most are not so well known because they are not as heavily advertised on television. Though they are popular amongst travel experts and seasoned travelers. When you do research on hotel deals you will find their names coming up first on search results.

But travel industry insiders know that in order to get the best hotel rates possible they primarily use the services of hotel reservation agencies based in the country or region they are traveling too.

For instance if I wanted to find an affordable 3 star hotel in New York City I would use US based online hotel agencies such as CheapOstay.com or HotelClub.com. Both companies have a solid reputation for reliable services and for offering discount hotel rates in the United States, though they are not as well known as Expedia.com or Priceline.com, even though CheapOstay.com and HotelClub.com offers better hotel room rates and more hotel choices.

The reason for that is Expedia and Priceline or another similar all in one travel service provider does not specialize in the hotel market.

Travel experts know that online hotel agencies are able to provide travelers with unique hotel discounts and promotions. They know these specialized agencies focus on the hotel niche so they are much more knowledgeable about traveler’s needs and demands for the best hotel room prices.

Regional online hotel agencies work closer with the hotels they are partnered with so whenever there is a special deal or upcoming exclusive promotions they are the first to receive them so that in turn they are made available to travelers. Hotels know to take advantage of the huge Internet presence that online hotel agencies possess and it increases the likely hood of a traveler coming across their hotel property.

Since these discounts are exclusive you will only find them on these agencies’ websites that wouldn’t be offered by the hotels directly.

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Travel Expert: How to Take a Two Week Vacation to Phuket Like a Travel Pro

It’s official. You have booked the flights, made the first hotel reservation and are getting ready to pack up for your long awaited trip to Phuket, Thailand and chances are you could not be more excited. From the pristine beaches and picturesque islands to the incredible food and friendly locals, Phuket is what many would consider a vacationers paradise. If you are hoping to make the most of your two-week trip to Phuket yet aren’t exactly sure what to fill your days with, consider the following options while there.

Dig Your Toes in the Sand

As mentioned before, Phuket is home to some of Southeast Asia’s best beaches filled with golden sands and waters perfect for cooling off from the hot Thai sunshine. There are plenty of beach options to choose from and depending on what you are after, each one offers something different than the rest. The best ones include…

Patong: If you don’t mind the crowds and are more of the partying type, this would undoubtedly be the beach to head to. Filled with plenty to see and do surrounding the beach area, you are guaranteed to be far from bored and constantly entertained while there.

Karon: Head about 15 minutes north from Patong and you will reach a much quieter and laid back beach with plenty of room to sprawl out and enjoy. There are still some vendors here but definitely less than at Patong.

Bangtao: Located halfway between Patong and the airport on the west side of the island is where you are going to find one of the longest stretches of shoreline. Within the Laguna Complex, there are tons of upscale resorts and beach clubs lining the shores as well.

Go Island Hopping

If you haven’t already, be sure to set aside at least a 4-5 days in order to explore the many islands just off shore from Phuket. Transportation options of getting there are typically ferries and some airlines that fly to the Krabi Airport and depending on where you want to go, some even offer private boats for hire. Some of the islands you won’t want to miss out on include…

Ko Tao: This is one of the top (and cheapest) places to get PADI scuba certified and as soon as you submerge under the waters, you will surely find out as to why. Koh Tao offers a party scene and also a more laid back scene depending on what you do.

Ko Phi Phi: This cluster of islands is perfect for adventurers looking to explore some well-known areas like Maya Bay where Leonardo DiCaprio spent time filming The Beach.

Ko Lanta Yai: Located near Ko Phi Phi, this is a popular spot for families to head as it is filled with plenty of soft sand and activities for travelers of all ages to enjoy like snorkeling, sea kayaking and cave explorations.

Wander Through the Markets

After you have spent time digging your toes into the sand, exploring different islands and soaking up that much needed Thai sunshine, set aside time to wander through the many markets. Here are some of the best ones…

Weekend Market: Without a doubt the biggest one and located right on the edge of Phuket Town, you will find a plethora of treasures and gifts along with enough food to fill you up for days.

Indy Market: Another Phuket Town gem, the Indy Market is in a safe location and offers the hippest and trendiest fashions from clothes to jewelry along with of course delectable Thai cuisine.

Sunday Night Market: They shut down a whole street for this one that is perfect for completing a U-Turn walk through where you’ll find children dancing and performing, a clown showing off tricks, souvenirs and another array of Thai dishes.

Rest, Relax & Rejuvenate

Although the constant adventures and thrills can be quite exciting while on vacation, chances are you were hoping for some much needed rest and relaxation time. The good news is that the Thai people are famous for their ways of providing just that. Head to a nearby spa (they are everywhere) or even indulge in a coconut oil massage right on the beach. Whether you want a traditional Thai massage to work out those neck kinks or you want a gentle and soothing massage, it is all possible while in beautiful Phuket.

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