Sharing insight, expertise and best practice on business travel management

Author archive for

9 tips to help business travellers deal with Jetlag

9 tips to help any business traveller deal with Jetlag

If you’ve travelled on a long haul flight, the chances are you’ve experienced jet lag at some point especially when travelling on business. But what is Jetlag? The medical term for Jet Lag is Desynchronosis or flight fatigue. It is a temporary disorder that causes tiredness and insomnia amongst other symptoms as a result of air travel across different time zones.

Although jet lag is inevitable if you travel on business, here are nine tips to beat flight fatigue when travelling...

#1 Adjust your sleeping patterns

This idea is best practised four days before you travel. It works by trying to change your sleeping and eating time to coincide with the times you'll do them at your destination. While it may seem a little strange, doing this a few days in advance makes it easier and quicker for your body to adapt to the local time zone.

#2 Medication

This tip requires speaking with a qualified doctor for advice before undertaking and is typically only used when you are involved in travelling to a destination with more than a four-hour time difference. It works by using the prescribed sleeping tablets for a maximum of two days either side of your business trip.

#3 Avoid day time flights

 When taking an overnight flight, you are more likely to get some sleep while up in the air, compared to flying on an afternoon flight. So generally, if you're travelling for over 4 hours or crossing time zones, an overnight flight is probably the better option. An overnight flight helps you replicate your regular schedule as much as possible, making it easier to reset your body

#4 Avoid or limit alcohol inflight

Dehydration is a large contributor to jet lag so doing everything you can to stay hydrated is a must. The air onboard an aircraft can dehydrate passengers, so drink plenty of fluids and steer clear of the alcohol. A glass of wine or beer may be tempting, but it's likely to dehydrate you quicker leaving you feeling sluggish/tipsy and increasingly tired.

#5 Avoid caffeine & Carbs

Ideally, avoid caffeine 12 hours before and during your flight while avoiding overeating. Although caffeine helps keep the body awake longer, it is more likely to disrupt your sleep pattern reducing the quality sleep time you could be enjoying.

#6 Keep hydrated

 Try to drink at least eight fluid ounces of water for every hour you are in the air to avoid dehydration. This will help to keep you healthy when on the road but also flush out any toxins that may be lurking in your body. Not only will your skin thank-you but your body will feel less sluggish leaving you to get back to business.

#7 Freshen up

While looking after yourself on the inside with the above tips do not neglect the outside either! Why not take some moisturising lotion, lip balm and a hydrating spray with essentials oils on board (ensure they are within the guidelines for carrying liquids). This helps keep your skin soft and hydrated.

#8 On arrival

Try and spend as much time outside in the fresh air as you can.  You can do this before business meetings helping your body adjust to the climate and your surrounding.

#9 Try and stay awake 

Now we don't advise business travellers to feel like they need to invest in eye-propping matchsticks to stay awake! But do try to avoid taking that much-needed nap to recharge your batteries’ upon check-in. Persevere and head to bed as close to a “regular bedtime” in your new time zone as possible to ensure a deeper, longer sleep. You should feel even more refreshed when you wake.


We know travelling on business can be a tiring experience. Traveller well-being is paramount so do what you feel is best for yourself and always consult your doctor before taking any medication. If you have any tips on how to beat Jet Lag while travelling on business, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comment box below.

Business Travel Glossary

About Andrea Harrison

Andrea is a key member of our account management team, and uses her 30 years business travel experience to optimise our customers’ business travel programmes. Andrea has been with us since 2002 and before that spent almost 15 years working for one of the world’s largest travel management companies.
More by Andrea Harrison