I’m a Wellness Writer, and These 11 Hacks Are My Secret to Beating Jet Lag

And they start at just $12 at Amazon.

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Hacks for Beating Jet Lag Tout

Travel + Leisure / Tyler Roeland

Jet lag is a pretty cruel joke. You meticulously plan your trip for months, only to arrive at your dream destination to be gobsmacked by nagging fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, and oh-so-fun digestive issues.

Especially if your trip is short (on my last overseas work adventure, I spent more time on a plane or at the airport than I did on the ground) or you need to be on top of your game when you land (I’ve traveled internationally to run two marathons), being sidelined by jet lag is far from ideal. 

Some of it is unavoidable. Jumping across multiple time zones throws off your body’s natural internal clock (aka circadian rhythm), which regulates your sleep cycle. 

I spoke with Dr. Daniel Rachal, a primary care physician at West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, Louisiana to find out why. “Jet lag happens when your body's natural circadian rhythm does not match the environment outside,” Dr. Rachal told me. “The circadian rhythm can adjust to changes in environment but not as quickly as an airplane can fly.” 

Generally speaking, experts say it takes about a day to recover for every time zone you crossed when traveling east (often considered the harsher of the two directions). When traveling west, it takes one day for every one and a half time zones crossed.

As a wellness writer who loves to travel, I’ve made it my mission to figure out the best ways to combat jet lag. While there’s no definitive cure, there definitely are ways to mitigate the negative effects. Read on for 11 products that have helped me feel my best so I can make the most of any trip. 

Gamer Advantage Horizon Glasses

Gamer Advantage Blue Light Glasses


Trying to sync with your destination’s local time prior to flying is one of the most effective ways to counteract the effect of jet lag. Here’s why planes make that hard to do: Your circadian rhythm is ruled by light, and one of the biggest disruptors of it are the bright fluorescent bulbs that produce excessive blue light. (You know, like the ones you find on airplanes and in airports.) And unless you watch zero movies, never pull out your phone, and never use your computer, your eyes won’t find respite even when the plane’s lights are dimmed after takeoff. 

I wear these blue light-blocking glasses while I’m in the airport and anytime I’m awake on a flight. They are insanely light and stylish, plus boast a powerful proprietary light absorption technology that protects your eyes from blue light exposure without the yellow tinge you find in most blue light lenses. 

  To buy: amazon.com, $190

2XU Vectr Full Length Compression Socks

2XU unisex-adult Vectr Full Length Sock


Another thing people may notice after a long flight is swelling in their legs and feet. “This occurs because the blood in our legs has to go against gravity to get back to the heart,” Dr. Rachal told me. “On long flights [after] you are sitting for several hours, the blood just stays in the leg and causes swelling.” 

That’s where a pair of compression socks comes in. The graduated compression technology in these socks helps increase circulation and decrease swelling and muscle stiffness. (I keep them at the top of my personal bag and slip into them once I’m in my seat.) If you’re a runner like me, you may prefer the dual-purpose Vectr Full Length, which offers not only compression but also features blister protection, achilles support, and an intelligently designed toe box that gives you a more natural foot splay while running without any friction or hot spots. 

To buy: amazon.com, $50

Lululemon Stretch High-Rise Jogger Full Length

Stretch High-Rise Jogger Full Length


If you overheat easily, you need comfy joggers to kick discomfort before it causes you to lose sleep on a flight. What I love most about these pants — other than that they’re as comfortable as sweatpants while being stylish and passing for downright professional — is the fabric. Made from what the brand calls “Luxtreme,” it’s stretchy, cool to the touch, and impossible to wrinkle. They are a dream for long travel days. 

To buy: lululemon.com, $118

Dooeys Blush House Sandals

House Sandals | Blush


While you can’t exactly recreate bedtime comfort from an airplane seat, one thing that has made a big difference is my footwear. Feeling trapped in boots or sneakers on long, international flights is less than relaxing, so I always stash a pair of thin slippers or slides in my personal bag. Made from apple leather, cork, and recycled rubber, these lightweight, open-toe slides are cozy and chic, and with a cushioned insole, they are super comfortable and give just enough arch support while I’m walking around the plane.

To buy: dooeys.com, $130 

Vapur Collapsible Water Bottle 2-Pack

Vapur Collapsible Water Bottles


A plane’s cabin pressure and low humidity can also affect the severity of jet lag, Dr. Rachal told me. Staying hydrated before, during, and after your flight is essential. Translation? A trusty hydration flask needs to be part of your travel essentials. 

Unlike bulky glass and stainless-steel water bottles, this one weighs 1.5 ounces when empty, and lays flat or folds up incredibly small to fit in any bag or purse; unlike other flexible, bladder-like containers, my pick stands upright when filled and is easy to drink from thanks to a secure-when-closed cap. I always travel with two: One is filled with water and one with an electrolyte drink, so I can sip regularly throughout my flight. 

To buy: amazon.com, $19 (originally $20)

LMNT Electrolyte Powder Packets

LMNT Keto Electrolyte Powder Packets


Drinking a ton of water while traveling is great. Mixing in some electrolytes makes me feel even better — especially on trips where I’m going to be really active. At just 10 calories per packet and no added sugar, these travel packets deliver a salty blend of 1,000 mg sodium, 200 mg potassium, and 60 mg magnesium that help me feel less drained and sluggish during long travel days. 

Dr. Rachal said while these packets are usually safe for healthy travelers. However, if you have high blood pressure or other health issues that are impacted by high sodium levels, check with your doctor before trying this type of product. 

To buy: amazon.com, $45 for a 30-pack

Loops Dream Sleep Mask 

Dream Sleep Nighttime Slugging Hydrogel Face Mask


That dry, humid air on the plane? It doesn’t just dehydrate your body — it does a number on your skin, too. Capitalize on the benefits of slugging mid-flight with this Korean hydrogel mask. Loaded with six different antioxidant-rich, plant-based oils, simply wear it for 10 minutes then peel off; the leftover serum on your skin creates a protective overnight (or in this case, over-flight) layer that helps seal in moisture and leave your skin looking plump and refreshed when you step off the plane. (Bonus: the mask is clear, so it’s inconspicuous.) 

To buy: loopsbeauty.com, $35 for five masks

Mzoo Sleep Eye Mask

MZOO Sleep Eye Mask


The general consensus is that as soon as you step on a plane for a long flight, you should operate like you’re already in the time zone you’re traveling to. So, if it’s the middle of the night where you’re going during your daytime flight, trying to get some shut-eye is essential. 

Made from contoured memory foam, this best-selling opaque eye mask with more than 63,000 five-star ratings at Amazon gently but snugly wraps around your head to completely block out light. (I typically wear it every night at my hotel, too. I find it helps force my body to relax if I’m experiencing insomnia during my trip.) It’s especially comfortable if you can’t fall asleep right away, thanks to the clutch molded eye cups that let your eyes blink freely. 

To buy: amazon.com, $20 (originally $30)

Kieba Lacrosse Ball 

Kieba Massage Lacrosse Balls


As a former college lacrosse player, I have a handful of these lying around, and let me tell you: These small, hard rubber spheres are the ultimate hack for soothing tight, achy knots and tension caused by hours of sitting on a plane. Even if I feel great, I will always spend a few minutes mid-flight rolling out my arches to help boost blood flow and offset stiffness. After landing, I use it as a total-body massage tool at the hotel, lying down on the floor or leaning against a wall to release stubborn knots in my shoulders, back, and calves. 

These Kieba lacrosse balls made especially for trigger point therapy are Amazon best-sellers with more than 15,000 five-star ratings. And, at 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches and weighing just 5.1 ounces, they’re super portable for easy packing, too.

Gin Gins Ginger Chews

GIN GINS Original Chewy Ginger Candy


I’m not an innately great traveler. I tend to feel the effects of motion sickness very easily. Between stop-and-go movement on the tarmac, cabin pressure changes during takeoff and landing, and bouts of turbulence mid-flight, my stomach turns just thinking of it. Although I’m not normally a huge ginger fan, I never travel without these best-selling chews. Made with premium grade, sustainably farmed fresh ginger, they are my go-to natural remedy when I’m starting to feel even the slightest bit off and don’t want to take medication. From indigestion to motion sickness, these are safe, effective, and seriously miraculous.

Don’t just take it from me, though: More than 10,600 reviewers who gave the chews five-star ratings agree. One customer who always takes them before flights shared, “Nothing else has worked for me in terms of my motion sickness except this product. [I] have been a huge fan of these ginger chews for a long, long time.”

To buy: amazon.com, $16

Blender Bottle GoStak Containers 

BlenderBottle GoStak Food Storage Containers


The combo of sitting for hours on a flight and your usual diet being interrupted can cause you to be less regular than usual. Combined with drinking enough water, consuming extra fiber can help you negate these jet lag-related intestinal issues. And, we’re guessing you’re going to need a handy spot to store that fiber that’s separate from your other pills and snacks. 

Enter GoStak containers. From snacks to supplements, these GoStak jars are perfect for health-minded travelers. The sleek jars are made from a sturdy BPA-free plastic, with lids that seal securely so you never have to worry about leaking. Plus, they all click together to form a neat and compact stack in your bag. The smaller containers are great for pills and healthy snacks like almonds and another can hold your fiber capsules, while the larger jars can fit multiple scoops of protein powder.

To buy: amazon.com, $13

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