West is Best; East is a Beast – Beat Jetlag

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West is Best; East is a Beast – Beat Jetlag

If you’re like anyone else on this planet you’re gonna get hit with jet lag when crossing time zones, and IT IS AWFUL. It’s something that both my mom and I get hit with pretty hard, and was a HUGE consideration when planning her surprise trip around the world. The two BIG places that we wanted to visit where literally on opposite sides of the world: Bali and Grasse, France.  I’ve had a lot of people ask me how my mom, 75, was able to cope with jetlag and avoid exhaustion on such a trip?  The biggest principle we adhered to was….West is Best; East is a Beast

No joke. Jetlag can ruin the trip.

You’re out of it. Exhausted. Feeling sick. Your mind plays tricks on you. Believe me…it has allllll has happened to me. It’s one thing when you’re back home and out of it. It’s a whole different thing when you’re in a far off place, spending money, time and supposed to be LOVING every minute. WE COULD NOT LET THIS HAPPEN.

So we headed west…cause west is best.

We all met in Boston to catch a very late Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. It left around 2am. We could just as easily flown out of LA, but we opted for the LATEST possible flight we could get, and make it as long as possible. This way my parents could enjoy all of the luxuries of Cathay First and, by forcing themselves to stay up late for the flight, start to adjust to our destination time. It also meant we could trick my mom into thinking we were going EAST, only to switch it up and fly WEST.

  • We chose our first leg to arrive very early in the morning into Asia as well…to help us adjust.
a map of the world with red lines
courtesy of gcmap.com

Flying West means you just have to force yourself to stay up to a reasonable hour after landing.

As I said before…we left at nearly 2am out of Boston. We were all pretty excited for the trip and didn’t fall asleep til probably 5 or 6am Boston time. This wasn’t too bad as that means it was 5 or 6 pm in Hong Kong. So even if we fell asleep right then and there, we weren’t TERRIBLY off kilter for adjusting to time.

You can see we had a few things to do before trying to get some shut. Like toasting Krug and eating incredible birthday cake.

Whereas when flying east…you battle the beast.

I get messed up every time. For instance…if I hop on the 9:35pm flight out of LA to London and don’t fall asleep for a couple hours it’s already 7:35am in the morning. If I sleep for 5 or 6 hours I’m waking up in the early afternoon London time. That means getting to sleep that next night is going to be very difficult…for me at least.

We planned the trip to avoid this situation.

We also chose a couple add on locations within the same time zone. The rule of thumb that we used was a day for every hour the time was different.

Beijing, Bali, and Singapore are all in the same time zone. In total we were in that region for roughly 12 days. This meant, before moving on west to Dubai, we would fully adjust to that area of the world. This meant a 4 hour time zone adjustment wouldn’t be as severe. We spent enough time in each location to try and adjust to the zone fully before moving on.

My folks flew every long haul in First Class. It made a HUGE difference not only in experience, but getting rest.

We didn’t want the trip to be a grind, so the biggest goal was getting mom and dad into First Class for every long haul cabin. That made the journey much easier as well.

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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  • Evan July 7, 2017

    Yes I suffer horrendously with jetlag – my partner doesn’t. Flying East to Asia from the UK is indeed a beast – this year to Bali it probably took me 5 days to adjust – hideous. It struck me when reading your posts about this trip that it would have been hard on your parents given their ages and jetlag – so I think this is a very useful post. I agree flying TO the US for Brits is easy, and again I agree it’s less of an issue when flying back East to your own bed is less of a trauma. Terrible when you have to go straight back to work though!

    • Miles July 7, 2017

      Evan – totally! And thank you for the positive feedback 🙂 I’m sorry to hear that you’re affected like we can be. The worst!

  • jlivin July 7, 2017

    Good advice! I get destroyed by jetlag :/

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