written by the home doctor team

We do a lot of planning before a big trip. There’s visas, foreign cash, vaccinations and hotels (by which we mean, the hours spent trawling through reviews). But what about your routine? Let’s take a look at how you can keep your body humming along while you concentrate on getting perfectly lost.

Here are some tips for surviving long-haul flights:

  • Water. Recycled air-conditioning on planes can dry you out so keep up the fluids. It’s a good idea to purchase a large bottle of water once your airside
  • Take a close look at the meal options on offer. If you’re on a low-calorie, low-sugar, gluten-free or vegetarian diet, your airline probably has alternatives available. It usually has to be noted on your booking 48 hours before wheels up
  • Stretching. Try and move your arms, neck and shoulders. Take a walk every few hours. The end of a movie is a good reminder.

Virgin Australia has published a list of travel tips. It recommends not taking sleeping pills, saying: “it will reduce the chance of you moving about during the flight, which isn’t good news for your circulation, and you’ll feel much groggier when you arrive.”


Sometimes the very fact our routine has been disrupted can make us unwell on a holiday. Yes, we’re talking about jet lag.

You know the kind of tired that makes your eyes hurt? When you yawn so wide your jaw aches? Damn, that’s tired. Let’s do our very best to help you avoid it.

Late last year Jezebel published an anti-jet lag calculator. Basically, pure genius.

It’s based on the idea that our biological clocks are linked to our stomachs (let’s face it, most things are) and a diet published in the Harvard Business Review.

Here’s the author Patrick Skerrett: “generally speaking, for each time zone you cross it takes about a day of adjusting to a new light/dark schedule to get in sync with local time at your new destination.”

“Dr Clifford B. Saper and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston now think that food — or, more specifically, the lack of it — may resynchronise body rhythms faster than light and dark.”

So, here’s what you do according to Jezebel:

Figure out breakfast time in your destination and for 12 to 16 hours before that time, you fast (water is fine). When it’s finally breakfast time in your destination time zone, you resume eating as normal.

Using their calculator, all you have to do is plug in your departure city and destination and it’ll figure out when you have to stop eating, and when you can break the fast.


Now, go forth and wander!