A Pre-trip Extension in London

The question often comes up of how to avoid jet lag. You can scour the internet and find various different "remedies" and "tricks" on how best to avoid jet lag after a European flight. Sometimes though, jet lag is just unavoidable. While the remedies and tricks found on the internet may be helpful in easing the symptoms and discomfort of jet lag, they are not going to solve it entirely. 

Having jet lag on a group tour can be exhausting and you may not be able to hit the ground running when you arrive. In an effort to get all that you can from your experience, here's a potential solution to help avoid jet lag before your Discover Europe tour.

The solution is giving yourself extra time to recover from the international flight. You can do so by spending an extra night or two before your tour to break up the trip and allow your body to acclimate to the time change.

Here are a few ways to help ease your journey:

Take the day time flight

Daytime flights are currently available from Boston, Newark, New York, Washington DC or Chicago and depart around 8 or 9 AM. Most airlines allow you to check in and choose your seats 24 hours prior to your flight. To check in, you go online to the airline website and there will be instructions on how to check in. This will eliminate some of the hassle at the airport once you arrive. You can download your boarding pass on your mobile device, print it at home before your departure, or you can do it at the airport when you check your baggage. Getting to the airport three hours ahead for an international flight is essential now as security and baggage lines can be quite long, so think about staying at the airport hotel the night before you fly- especially if you live any distance from the airport.

Download a map of the public transportation system

Getting from the airport into the city on arrival is typically easy and cheap, but knowing ahead of time where you are going will eliminate any potential panic once you arrive at your destination. Research ahead of time where you will be staying, and the neighborhood, to help to familiarize yourself with the area before you arrive. Of course, if you are just arriving early at the first hotel of your tour, Discover Europe will be providing you transportation in from the airport. 

Hunker down and order room service

Once you are in your hotel room after such a long journey- relax! We don’t suggest going out again that night even though your body clock is much earlier than the actual local time. Enjoy a meal, put your feet up and have a glass of wine. Check out time in London often isn’t until noon, so take your time in the morning. Coffee and tea are provided in the room, have a “cuppa”, look at the map and plan your day. You can leave your luggage with the concierge if you are traveling on that day. If you're staying in London, you can walk around your neighborhood and find a wonderful place to have lunch. You can also enjoy the free museums that London has to offer such as the Tate Modern or the British Museum.

By the time you catch your connecting flight (or if you're staying to meet up with the rest of your group in the same hotel) you will be rested, relaxed and ready for your Discover Europe tour! Your brain may be telling you that it is only 5 PM back home but your body got up very early and has been traveling all day, so you should be ready to sleep. Then you sleep through the night and wake up on European time...at least that's the theory! It may not work perfectly in practice, but we can vouch for the fact that it does really help.