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News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: first time on a plane

15 Tips on How to Beat Jet Lag

Josh okungbaiye

15 Tips on How to Beat Jet Lag

Jet lag affects nearly all travellers that cross time zones. Long flights are the same for most of us: they start off with enthusiasm and energy but end with aches, pains and intense tiredness. We're stuck in a sitting position for an extended period of time, we're dehydrated, and our feet are swollen from water retention in the legs. For many of us, it takes a day to fully recover from this. Feeling this way is the last thing you want when you arrive at your destination, whether it's for a vacation or you're at the start of an important business trip. Wouldn't you rather arrive fresh-faced and full of energy?

Here are twenty tips that will help you conquer jet lag once and for all.

1. Be active before your flight

As we all know, the time between getting through security and actually boarding the plane can be quite a long process. During this period of time, you should take the opportunity to ensure you maintain a level of physical activity right before your body remains in the same position for a long period of time. Rather than sitting around waiting to board, enjoy the open space that the airport terminal provides you. Take a long walk, stretch your legs and if you're up for it, find some stairs and walk or run up them a few times in order to get your blood flowing.

2. Consider staying awake during the flight

Staying awake and wearing your body out, can help you fight off the jet lag and keep you in your circadian rhythm. Although many people encourage travelling caffeine free in order to avoid jet lag. Frequent travellers advise having some coffee during the flight in order to remain productive; this can include getting some work done on your laptop or reading a book.

3. Fly east early, fly west late

If you're flying east, getting an early start will give you the entire day and plenty of daylight when you arrive. On the other hand, leave later in the day when you're heading west. There's no need to lose a night's sleep by leaving early in the morning and you'll be gaining time as you go west.

4. Get a good night’s sleep before you fly

A big mistake travellers often make is sleeping for just a few hours before a long flight – whether it’s due to pre-holiday excitement or a deliberate attempt to tire yourself in order to sleep throughout the duration of the flight. This will only make it worse. In addition, last minute changes to your routine will only make it harder to adjust to new time zones, while getting a good night’s sleep before your flight will leave your body better equipped to cope with jet lag.

5. Walk up and down the airplane aisle

Once you're on board, your options for moving about become much more restricted but there's no reason to think that you can't stretch out and stay loose in-flight. Get up and walk the aisle. This is especially practical on longer flights, which tend to be serviced by larger aircraft. This will make it less awkward to get up several times during the flight.

6. Avoid alcohol and sleep aids

They both will only increase the disruption to your circadian rhythm and can have additional negative effects. You also don't need sleeping pills. In addition, a glass of wine isn't going to help either. These artificial stimulants will affect your ability to sleep and increase jet lag recovery time. Your body functions best when it’s hydrated, so drinking lots of water is a great way to offset the effects of jet lag.

7. Workout immediately after your flight

Once you arrive at your destination, one of the most important things for you to do is loosen up your tight muscles and joints with some stretching. It doesn't need to take long, just something easy to get your blood flowing.

8. Stay hydrated

Dehydration will negatively affect your body by making you feel tired. You're more likely to be dehydrated while traveling, so be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight.

9. Adjust your watch time

When you arrive at your new destination quickly adopt the new local time on all your devices. By doing this, it psychologically forces you to adapt to the new timezone. This also works wonders for adjusting your body clock. This only makes sense for longer trips across multiple time zones but has been found to be effective for trips lasting a week or more.

10. Give yourself time to adjust

Don't dive right into planned activities upon arriving at your destination - whether that's business meetings or sightseeing. Give yourself an adjustment period. Get a workout in at the hotel gym. Prioritise sleep and rest. If you can, schedule your least demanding plans early in the trip and the most demanding ones towards the end.

11. Take a nap

According to the National Sleep Foundation, a study by NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40- minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness by 100%. If you arrive at your destination wiped out and have a big meeting or event planned, take a nap lasting no longer than 45 minutes (anything longer could leave you feeling groggy and even more tired).

12. Adjust your food-related clock

What you eat - and when you eat - can have a big impact on jet lag. Eating meals that are lighter and consist of mainly protein can be beneficial for keeping your energy levels up after you arrive at your destination.Eating patterns affect our body's functionality, just as much or even more than light. Try to avoid heavy meals on the plane, and then eat as soon as you land. This should help your body to adjust to the new timezone.

13. Book a flight that arrives during the day

Catching sunlight after you arrive after a long flight can be very effective in helping to reset your body's clock. The best thing you can do after arriving, besides getting exercise, is to go outdoors and get some natural sunlight. Best case scenario: an outdoor workout complete with sunlight and exercise is even better and more effective in fighting off jet lag.

14. Change your sleep pattern before you leave

NASA prepares astronauts for missions by shifting their sleep patterns in the days before launching. According to some scientists who participated in research on the effectiveness, "you can actually shift somebody to anywhere in the world in about two or three days" simply by altering normal sleep patterns. Starting a few days before your trip, gradually adjust your sleeping habits to the time zone of your destination.

15. Pack the right things in your carry-on

Having things in your bag that will keep you feeling fresh can go a long way in fighting off jet lag. These include deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouth wash, ibuprofen, tissues, band aids, and an extra set of clothes. These will help you arrive fresh at your destination and could be helpful if an emergency comes up.

Use these tips to ease the discomfort of crossing multiple time zones and get the most out of every travel adventure you take.

Nicole Fernandez Medina


20 Tips for First Time Travellers

Josh okungbaiye

Travelling, although exciting, may come across stressful for those first timers. Here are a few tips to make your travels less stressful.

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1.    Respect the locals

 

When travelling to different countries, you may experience a cultural shock due to the major shift in cultural tendencies. This includes food, music, customs, religions and of course, language. My advice is, always be open to learning the countries ways of living, especially as you are the visitor.

 

2.  Try the local cuisine

 

As humans, we often result to sticking to what is within our comfort zone; especially when it comes to food. Although this may be suitable when in your home country, when travelling, I encourage you to try as many local dishes as possible. After all, you are travelling to experience a change in culture.

 

3.  Be flexible

 

When travelling you will more often than not face unplanned events such as transport delays, lack of money, or getting lost. These circumstances are perfectly normal and if anything would be extremely rare not to experience. Remember to remain clam and flexible. You 100% are not the only one that has faced this situation before!

 

4.  Don't be afraid to mingle with other travellers

 

Although your mother always told you not to speak to strangers, there are a few occasions where talking to strangers may in fact benefit you. One of these instances is when travelling; especially if you are travelling solo as knowing that people are in the same boat as you makes the whole journey a little less lonely and a little more enjoyable.

 

5. Attempt to bargain

 

It is no surprise that travelling can be costly. One tip I find especially useful when trying to save money, is to attempt to bargain. When renting a car, purchasing from street markets or even staying at a hostel, many times they bump up the price just incase you are willing to pay for it. If you think you can get it for cheaper, by all means, attempt to bargain a lower price.

 

6. Don’t rely on technology

 

Although we live in a digital world whereby our lives revolves around technology; if ever your phone, laptop or GPS were to fail you, you would be lost on what to do next. In order to avoid further confusion if this were to happen, my advise is to learn and remember addresses such as your accommodation as well as closest public transport. Furthermore, carrying a physical map is always a good idea in order to save your phone battery in case of emergencies.

 

7. Keep your valuables on you 24/7

 

It may seem like a burden to carry things you wont be using everyday such as a copy of your passport, but rather than leaving it at your accommodation, keep it close to you along with your other valuables such as your phone, wallet, keys and any other necessities you may need. This also serves as a form of ID if ever it is requested.

 

8. Travel for longer in fewer places

 

One mistake many first time travellers make attempting to fit as any destinations as possible in a limited amount of time. Although this may seem like a good idea when first planning the trip, when it comes to actually travelling you will find it’s more convenient to stay for a longer period of time in fewer places in order to fully feel as though you are explored that destination.

 

9. Have travel insurance

 

Although travel insurance isn’t always opted by many travellers due to wanting to remain within their budget; it is always better to be safe than sorry, especially when in a foreign country.

 

10. Be prepared for reverse culture shock

 

Finally, the same way you can experience a culture shock when first arriving at a new country, you may also experience a reverse culture shock once your travels are over and you return home. This is due to the extreme shift in activities, climate etc. Do not fret, there is always time to do some travelling.

 

11. Always carry local cash

 

When travelling to foreign countries, especially quaint towns within those countries, it is very rare for every place to take credit cards. Therefore, it is important to carry cash on you in order to avoid hassle; especially at important places like trains or buses.

 

12. Carry double ID

 

Many times some places do not take your foreign form of ID as valuable proof when purchasing alcohol or getting into +18 events. Therefore, it is always best to carry 2 forms of ID in order to avoid disappointment.

 

13. Purchase tickets for places you know you want to visit prior to arrival

 

By purchasing your tickets in advance, you’ll be able to skip long queues, especially for really touristic attractions; as well as find more deals, saving you some money.

 

14. Take guidebooks

 

Guidebooks usually include maps, key phrases as well as give you enough detail on certain sites which you otherwise wouldn’t have known. Guidebooks will overall give you a little more knowledge on your travel destination to make sure you get the full experience.

 

15. Research events going on while you’re there

 

Having knowledge on any events occurring at your destination will ensure that you don't miss out on fun events such as festivals, ceremonies and natural events. by attending these events, you will feel like a local in their home town as you fully experience their culture.

 

16. Bring a charger adapter

 

As countries have different plug sizes and voltage, in order to use your electronic devices you will need to ensure you bring a suitable adaptor to charge them.

 

17. Activate Free Roaming

 

Back in the day, phone companies would charge for roaming usage. Nowadays, roaming is completely free for the majority of phone companies. Make sure to activate it before travelling to get use out of your data, even while you’re away.

 

18. Bring snacks

 

When travelling long distance, make sure to bring small snacks with you in order to avoid paying for overpriced snacks on your chosen form of transport and stations.

 

19. Check-in with your doctor

 

Before leaving, make sure that you have all of the proper vaccinations in order to avoid any unwanted illnesses. Also ensure that you have renewed all essential prescriptions as you may not be able to find them if you run out.

 

20. Go with the flow

 

Although planning ahead seems like the appropriate option, allow yourself to get lost in the side streets on the way to your chosen attractions as you might encounter something completely unknown and unexpected that might surprisingly become the most interesting part of your trip.

 

Nicole Fernandez Medina

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Guide To Prevent Pickpocketing

Josh okungbaiye

Travel is a beautiful thing and exploring other countries is a wonderful way to open our eyes and learn about the World in a fun and exciting way. In addition to enjoying the sights and immersing yourself in culture it is really important to make sure your stuff stays safe from pickpockets. Pickpocketing is a major petty crime that affects people across the world, particularly tourists. Pickpockets ruin people’s holidays so to help out we put together an Ultimate Guide on how to protect yourself from pickpockets. All the tips are below. Happy Travelling. Enjoy!

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(1) Stay vigilant in crowds and stay away from commotions

Whenever there is any type of commotion or a sudden surge of crowds, BE ALERT as it is the perfect situation for pickpockets to create a distraction for their target. It can happen very quickly, so make sure you keep an eye on your belongings.

(2) Spread your valuables instead of keeping them in once place

Put your money, valuables and important documents in different compartments and pockets. This is so it decreases the chance of all your valuables being taken away at once.

(3) Watch your bags and luggage on trains

Keep a close eye and hold onto your bags and luggage on the train/bus. Also check they are not accessible through open windows or train/bus doors because thieves will reach through and grab items as quickly as they can.

(4) Avoid rummaging through your wallet or counting money in public

This is important, so you don’t make yourself more visible to be targeted by pickpockets. If you feel you need to count your money and sort out stuff in your wallet or bag, make sure to do it in the safety of your hotel room.

(5) Keep purses/backpacks strapped tightly to your body

Tighten the straps of your bag to your shoulders or arms, this will ensure extra safety with your possessions as it will be easier to detect any tampering and it will be harder for thieves to snatch your bag away.

(6) Secure your bag to an immovable object 

When you are at a restaurant or cafe, loop your bag’s strap around the leg of your chair, the leg of your table or your leg. This ensures that thieves can’t come by and quickly snatch your bag. 

(7) Keep your phone off the table

Smartphones and tablets are very popular for pickpockets to steal. Many people leave their devices on the table while they’re socialising and eating, which makes it easy for a thief to snatch it and run away.

(8) Limit what you carry

When sightseeing you do not have to carry a lot of stuff. It is advised to not carry a lot of cash or valuables on you at any given time during your vacation. It will be much safer leaving it in your hotel room.

(9) If you have a heavy coat you are at more risk

BE AWARE because it will be a lot easier for a thief to insert his or her hand in your pocket without you feeling anything. In order to increase protection of your stuff, make sure you put your things inside hidden pockets and compartments. This is very useful for tourists that will be travelling to colder destinations.

(10) Put both hands in your pockets when in highly crowded areas

Keep your hands covering critical pockets such as your front pockets when in crowds to prevent external access to your contents such as wallets, cash or ID.

(11) Don't carry your wallet or smartphone in your back pocket

By putting your wallet or smartphone in your back pocket, it leaves you open to be an easy target for pickpockets. Keep these high valued items concealed and out of sight completely.

(12) Be wary of any strangers approaching you

Ignore beggars and random individuals that approach you. It is more than likely they know you are a tourist and their approach will create a smokescreen leaving you vulnerable to being a victim. Please be aware that pickpockets can sometimes work in twos or threes against a target. So if you are approached, please ignore them and keep going.

(13) Leave your passport at the hotel

Your passport is the single most important document you will carry on your vacation, so if you don’t need to carry it everywhere with you, just leave it in your hotel room.

Just for extra pre-caution, you can create photocopies of your passport and keep them in various bags and pockets.

(14) Keep your hands in your pockets when walking through large crowds.

Putting your hands in your pockets when you are walking through large crowds creates a blockage to prevent any pickpockets from slipping their hands into your pockets to take your small valuable items.

(15) Do not speak with anyone while using the ATM/Cash machine

While withdrawing cash do not accept anyone's help in making a withdrawal. Whilst typing in your PIN number cover the keypad with your free hand so the PIN cannot be viewed. Also, watch out for an extra card reader at the front of the machine or where you swipe your card. These card readers are called skimmers and can capture the information from your credit card if you swipe or insert it. In order to ensure safety, go to a bank and withdraw cash from the check-in section or get assistance from the bank employee.

 

(16) Carry your theft-proof bag

Pickpockets like to target people that clearly look and dress like tourists. One of the telltale signs that make a tourist a target is when they wear their backpack on their front. That lets pickpockets know that you are a tourist and you are unfamiliar with your current environment. In order to avoid this, you should get a theft-proof bag that has hidden anti-theft zips that enables you to wear your backpack on your back without worrying about being a victim of pickpocketing. The bags are also made of strong sturdy material that prevents slashing. Here is the link http://www.highspiritbags.com/shop

(17) Final Tip

Most people assume pickpockets are dodgy looking men, but a large number of pickpockets are actually young girls and boys — usually around 10-18 years old. Most tourists don’t suspect that a young child would steal from them, so they’re less defensive around them. Sometimes, pickpockets are well dressed and you’d never expect them to be thieves. So as you are enjoying your holiday, just try to stay vigilant and aware and you will be totally fine.