This may surprise you, but I’ve only recently started actually enjoying traveling. I used to have crippling flight anxiety which didn’t leave much room for you know, leaving. But that’s a story for another day.
Because I’ve only started feeding into my wanderlusting self, I experienced jet lag for the first time only two years ago. And when I say I experienced it - ohhhhhh did I. We laugh about it now, but while walking the streets of Paris after not sleeping on the plane, landing at 10AM France time (which is already 3AM CST) and trying to stay up all day to get on the correct time zone I’m pretty sure I blacked out. Like, distinctly walked 3-4 blocks and then I’d wake up and not realize what the heck I saw for those 3 blocks. We had reservations that on our first night at 6PM (11am THE NEXT DAY CST) and I remember being so tired I didn’t even eat and cried on the way home in the Uber. True story.
So, it’s safe to say, while I was so excited for our last trip to Italy - I was terrified about jet lag. I had only truly experienced it once before and it was so awful I made sure to book nothing for the entire first day totally anticipating that it would miserable.
I started researching ways to avoid jet lag, here’s what I found:
Avoid alcohol 48 hours before and during your flight (lol. Vacation mode + free alcohol on a flight, spoiler: I didn’t even entertain this).
Bring a 1L water bottle with you and ask the flight attendants for water every time they walk by. Aim to achieve your daily water intake during a flight of 6 hours or more (for me, that’s about 3-4L)
Bring your own healthy, veggie filled snacks. Avoid salty airplane food.
Walk around every hour. Head to the bathroom, stretch, do a few minutes of yoga in the back or take laps up and down the aisle.
Wear compression socks or leggings to help with blood flow.
Try a hydration IV 12 hours before your flight.
The last one is what saved me, I think. To be honest, getting ready for international travel is stressful. You’re busy trying to pack, clean, get ahead in work, take care of the dog, communicate with your partner, communicate with your coworkers and somehow make an effing flight and not forget your passport. Things like making healthy snacks (without refrigeration), avoiding alcohol (lol) or bothering the flight attendants asking for water can be done but isn’t easy and isn’t something I prioritized.
But, I did prioritize heading over to H2O Health Hydration Oasis the morning of our flight to get an IV drip that filled my body with fluids for hydration, anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting nutrients. To be honest, talking to Dr. Fox (owner and current Pediatric anesthesiologist - as in she literally works in the hospital system right now AND runs a business. #Boss) about what was in my custom made “cocktail” to beat jet lag, I was skeptical but optimistic that at least I’d be hydrated before a huge flight and had a little extra in me to beat disgusting air circulation and germs on the plane.
I had no idea it would actually help me:
Sleep on the plane
Feel hydrated with energy even AFTER the flight
Alleviate some of my pre-flight anxiety
Isn’t that nuts? 1 1-hour session the day of my flight left me cool, calm and collected in the modern location for a fraction of the cost of an IV in the hospital. Not that I’ve ever thought about going to the hospital for additional hydration - but apparently it’s totally normal. Dr. Fox answered all of my questions honestly, with humor and even sat with me during part of my drip. I was given oxygen with essential oils of my choice (lavender, duh) and she explained every step of the way.
Here’s a few fun facts I learned from our convo:
They take insurance and HSA. Whether you’re physically sick, hungover, traveling or want to maintain a good wellness routine - you’re set with support from your health care
The needle used for the IV is actually smaller than the needles if you’ve ever had to get an IV in the hospital. It’s totally comfortable and you can move around with it in (I didn’t test this theory so I def pulled the “Stiff arm” and sat there awkwardly).
Once the needle is inside your arm, it’s flexible “like a noodle” - Dr. Fox and I had a great laugh over this whole situation because the visual of a noodle in your arm is a goodie.
If you were to decide, perhaps, that you wanted to take the pill version of any nutrients that alleviate jet lag (or otherwise) - your body can actually only absorb 30% of the nutrients. I was told to “not even get me started on gummies. They are BS” :-P. An IV allows for 100% absorption meaning you’re getting every ounce of the nutrients recommended immediately.
It’s safe to say every international trip I plan from now on will include making time for an IV beforehand. Make sure to check out H2O Health Hydration Oasis on Instagram, they’re the first of its kind here in Wisconsin!