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Travellers learn to love long haul

Hours of flying time and potential jet lag are no longer putting Britons off long haul travel according to research by Jet Airways.

Only 1 in 5 respondents stated that the duration of a flight and likelihood of jet lag has stopped them from travelling long haul.

However, a massive 80% of respondents refuse to be deterred from visiting long haul holiday destinations such as India and Asia.

“Britons are going further and further afield in their quest for new holiday experiences. ABTA forecasts support this trend and highlights India as one of THE hot destinations for summer 2006[1]. BAA has also recently reported a rise in passenger traffic on long haul routes, with India as the fastest growing route,[2]” said Jet Airways General Manager UK & Ireland, Emmanuel Menu.

“India’s vibrant culture and attractions such as the Taj Mahal, tiger and jungle safaris and stunning beaches in the south are huge draws for Britons. And it seems that we all have our own techniques for dealing with the challenges of travelling such distances.”


Sleep is obviously a priority with 71% of respondents stating they are able to sleep for 1-4 hours on the flight itself. However the favoured method of helping to prevent jet lag, as identified by 55% of respondents, is to stay awake until the evening time once at the final destination.

26% believe that sleep and rest during the flight is also a popular way to beat the side effects of jet lag while 11% agree that adjusting their watch to local time is helpful. Only 8% think staying in the sunlight for as long as possible helps reset the body’s clock.

Nevertheless, nearly 50% of respondents lose on average half a day (4-6 hours) at their final destination through oversleeping and general tiredness. But then that’s what holidays are for!

Fatigue is the most common jet lag symptom with nearly two-thirds of respondents suffering from it, followed by lack of concentration (20%), headaches (20%) and irritability (15%).

Dr R J Kharas, Chief Medical Officer Jet Airways adds, “Travelling long haul can entail crossing multiple time zones, disrupting our sleeping patterns and unbalancing our body’s sleep-wake cycle, inevitably causing jet lag. Everyone is affected differently, but there are a number of ways to help reduce the effects. From the research we found that travellers view exposure to sunlight as one of the less effective ways to reduce jet lag, but it really is one of the best steps to reset the body clock to the right time zone.”

Top tips to beat jet lag from Dr R J Kharas, Chief Medical Officer, Jet Airways

1   Start as you mean to go on

Start the holiday experience early and avoid unnecessary stress at the beginning of your journey. Plan ahead, pack early and get to the airport in good time. Once on board adjust your watch so you can mentally prepare for local time. Then sit back and relax - your holiday starts now!

2     A little sleep does wonders

Excess light (11.4%) and noise (29.8%) were blamed for lack of in-flight sleep. This is easily solved by eye masks and ear plugs which take up very little space in hand luggage. Further encourage your body into slumber by dressing in loose and comfortable clothing.

3     Food and drink

The air on board a plane can be very dry due to the pressurised cabin. Avoid dehydration by drinking lots of water and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake. Eat a balanced meal and resist the temptation to over-eat as this can leave you uncomfortable.

4 Go easy on arrival

    Jet lag sufferers claim symptoms such as fatigue (65.7%), lack of  
    concentration (20.3%), headaches (20.1%), irritability (15.6%) and
    dehydration (10.3%) after long haul flights. Make life easier for yourself by pre- booking transfers and the first night’s accommodation or pre-planning your   route from the airport to hotel as simple tasks such as these can become difficult when travellers are tired and cranky.

    5. Exposure to daylight

When you can, expose yourself to daylight immediately on arrival at your destination, this will help to reset the body clock and adjust to the new time zone.

Follow these top tips and you’ll minimise the amount of time lost to jet lag. That’s extra time you can use to top up your tan on the beach, pack in more sights or just enjoying quality time with your travel companion.