Trek Talk - ElderTreks Blog

 

IS JET LAG UNAVOIDABLE?

Some people get an exceptionally severe case of jet lag no matter what they do. My humble opinion is jet lag just happens. Lots of blogs address the question. Even medical sites give jet lag advice. I think, like many people, no matter what I do, I can’t avoid jet lag. The definition for Jet lag is excessive sleepiness, but my primary symptom is getting dizzy.

FOR ME JET LAG IS UNAVOIDABLE.

I get vertigo as well as being tired. That’s how I can tell that lack of proper rest weakens my system. Jet lag comes on when a traveler goes to a new time zone by airplane. My radar is now on alert for jet lag symptoms. My body clock sometimes doesn’t have a chance to adjust to the sunrise/sunset rhythms in a new time zone.

When I am traveling, I am physically careful for the first few days. These are some tips that help me. I stay up until a normal bedtime hour, walk as much as I can and stay out in the sun whenever possible. I suggest drinking a lot of water and never taking a deep nap. Rest is helpful, but sleeping before bedtime doesn’t help me. Even if jet lag is unavoidable, there are things you can do to improve the symptoms.

JET LAG IS INEVITABLE FOR ME, BUT I KEEP TRAVELING

I have tried a lot of remedies, and nothing works. The one thing that sort of works for me is a cat nap. Cat naps feel like you are just about to fall asleep, but you catch yourself and wake before you fully go to sleep. Staying up as long as possible while my adrenaline is pumping helps me adjust to the new time zone. Unfortunately, when I arrive home – nothing works.

THE REAL DEFINITION FOR JET LAG

Jet lag, medically referred to as desynchronosis, and rarely as circadian dysrhythmia, is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian travel on high-speed aircraft. For example, someone traveling from New York to California feels as if the time were three hours later than local time. Jet lag was previously classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders. source: Wikipedia

ONE DAY FOR EACH TIME ZONE FOR YOUR BODY TO ADAPT

But, when I get home I notice my Jet lag. Nothing can take my mind off of the upset stomach and sleepiness.

The bad thing about jet lag for me is it brings on vertigo. I fell in Africa, collapsed downstairs in Jordan, and tripped in Rhodes. The African fall injured my right foot. In Jordan, I broke my camera lens, lens cover and hurt my wrist. My Jordan header made me oblivious; I was out of it for a few minutes. In Rhodes, when I noticed something was wrong, I sat down at a restaurant. The restaurant manager was helpful. He could tell I wasn’t feeling well. He helped me out and gave me tea. For me, things get disoriented. I can feel jet lag coming on in my vision. I believe vertigo goes hand-in-hand with jet lag. However, it doesn’t bother me enough to stop me from traveling.

Think about the possibilities, because you might also get vertigo. According to my doctor, vertigo is triggered by jet lag, PTSD, lack of sleep and/or a virus. My advice is to be aware and know your body. I think knowing about jet lag or any medical condition helps you recognize the cause if you experience them. Hopefully, my story helps you.

AVOID JET LAG BY BUILDING A SLEEP SCHEDULE

Create a custom sleep schedule, make a coping plan to deal with Jet lag. Jet Lag Rooster-A free website to help reduce jet lag so you can enjoy your trip.

COPING WITH JET LAG

•    Start by resetting your biological clock before leaving by getting up an hour early for a few days before departure

•    Eat well, drink a lot of water

•    Be relaxed and comfortable, avoiding worry and stress (anything you forget can buy there)

•    Take cat naps and sleep on the plane

•    Stay up and go to your furthest destination so you are busy until you drop into bed

•    Burn up your energy and get exhausted

•    Some think exercise and the sun will help; see if it works for you

IS JET LAG UNAVOIDABLE?

WHAT DOESN'T WORK

•    Ambien and other sleeping aids only make it worse for me

•    Melatonin and No More jet lag don’t work for me. They did, but they stopped working. Give them a try and see if they work for you.

•    Drinking makes my jet lag worse, and my sleep is full of crazy dreams

•    To sleep or not to sleep?  Try taking a nap, it might work for you.

Remember, travel comes at a cost, but it’s worth it.

Thanks to Kate at Where in the World is Kate for being this week's Guest Blogger. To read more, visit Kate's website here.

 

 

Where in the World is Kate? - July 19, 2016
 

Small Group Travel

Many adventure travelers have spent most of their lives traveling solo, avoiding groups and touristy experiences. As you age, your expectations and needs change, and you may ask yourself, “Should I travel in a small group?”

As times change, and as travel experiences change with them, travelers have begun to expect authentic experiences, but with the safety and security of being with a group. Small groups have the opportunity to take your travel to the next level (if you travel with the right company!). Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are considering taking a small group adventure tour:

1)   Are you concerned about safety?

Safety nowadays is a big concern for many travelers. Traveling in a small group helps you stay safe in remote places in the world. Your Tour Leader is well versed in the destination, knowing where to go and where to avoid. They understand the area, know the nearby hospitals or clinics, and are well versed in handling any situation that arises. This means you will always be in good hands.

2)    Are you traveling on your own?


Traveling solo is a reality for many people who want to see the world. Small groups are perfect for solo travelers because you get to meet great travel companions and share the travel experience with other people. Avoid single supplements by sharing a room with another person and it’ll stay affordable as well.

3)    Do you want the small details taken care of for you?


Everyone loves to travel! Not everyone loves the nitty-gritty details, logistics and organization of a multi-day tour across countries. There are visas, paperwork, hotel bookings, bus schedules and so much more when booking on your own. Trust your vacation experience to the experts! These are the ones who know exactly how to deal with all the details so that you don’t have to!

4)    Do you like a planned itinerary?

If you are the type of traveler who likes knowing where you’re going and what you’re going to see, a small group is perfect for you. Having an itinerary for your travels allows you the security in knowing what you will do and see, but also the flexibility of allowing for time for unplanned experiences. You never know what you might encounter on the side of the road, or you might stop at a traditional Indian wedding or view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small groups allow for those spontaneous moments, while still allowing you to do and see what you traveled across the world to do.

5)    Do you enjoy learning from other people?

When you travel with a small group, you never know who might be traveling with you! The beauty of adventure tours is the fact that you spend time with like-minded individuals who are curious about the world and seeing the same destinations. You might meet a photographer, who can teach you about lighting the shot well, or a teacher who’s been to all the countries in the Western Hemisphere, or the Tour Leader who speaks 5 languages. The experiences you have with your group mates are sure to last a lifetime.

If you’ve answered YES to all these questions, you should travel in a small group! Consider ElderTreks for your next small group adventure. Check out these great itineraries HERE.

 

- July 13, 2016
 

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