‘I’m a flight attendant and I’d always avoid common drink before a flight’

Got a long-haul flight coming up or travelling to a different time zone? Express.co.uk spoke to ex-flight attendant and consumer expert, Jane Hawkes, for her best tips to avoid jet lag.

Often passengers will be offered a free glass of wine or alcohol on a long-haul flight but while it might be tempting to indulge, Jane recommends avoiding.

When it comes to coffee, Jane also urges passengers to steer clear of coffee if they want to feel fresh in their holiday destination.

She said: “It might be tempting to have a few cups of coffee to stay alert and awake but you could end up with an even fuzzier head.

“Due to its sedative properties, alcohol may help you fall asleep quicker. However it can impact your overall quality of sleep and a hangover as well as jet lag will make you feel even worse.

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“Listen to soothing podcasts and meditation apps to induce sleep and reinvigorate by drinking lots of water instead.”

While it’s easy to forget to drink enough water on a flight, it’s really important to stay hydrated at all times.

Passengers who are worried about needing the toilet can ask the airline for an aisle seat or book one when they check-in.

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Tourists travelling to a destination in a dramatically different timezone can try to prepare beforehand.

Jane said: “Making gradual changes to your bedtime and meal routines in the run up to your flight can help you adjust quicker when you reach your destination.

“For example if you are usually in bed by 10pm and the time zone you are heading to means that you’ll have to stay awake for a lot longer, edge bedtime first to 11pm then midnight and 1am.

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“Equally if you’re not a morning person but you’re going to have to be up with the larks when away, nudge your daily wake up times earlier before you fly.

“A general rule is that the number of days you will be jet lagged will equal the number of time zones you cross if travelling East and two thirds that number if travelling West.”

Ready to book a holiday? Check out some of the best recommended destinations for 2024.

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