30 Things to do When You Have Jet Lag

30 Things to do when you have Jet Lag

It’s two o’clock in the morning. The flight from North America to Europe arrived early morning the day before and you had just enough time to buy that craved after chocolate before boarding your plane for other parts far, far from your passport country. On the day you arrived, after forcing your children to stay up until at least dinner time, none of you could keep your eyes open any longer. Finally, body and eyes heavy with sleep, you hit the pillow and were gone– only to wake up in the wee hours of the morning in your new time zone, wide awake and ready to conquer the world. The only problem is, your world is not yet awake.

So what do you do? It takes all the ingenuity in the world for the traveler, especially the traveler with children, to deal with jet lag. Here are just a few suggestions. Be sure to add your own in the comments! 

  1. Play a game — preferably a non-thinking game.
  2. Have a 2am tea party with your children complete with the box of shortbread biscuits, nope, on second thought those chocolates, you picked up at the airport.
  3. Rearrange furniture (especially if you live in a 5th floor apartment and haven’t met your neighbors)
  4. Write a novel about travel. Pay special attention to the character who has jet lag.
  5. Unpack
  6. Bake cookies and then realize your oven won’t go above 200 degrees Farenheit, 90 degrees Celsius
  7. Take a bath
  8. Wake up the rest of your family so you have company in your misery.
  9. Dye your hair
  10. Write a grocery list
  11. Toss, turn and curse
  12. Drink hot milk
  13. Do the laundry from your trip
  14. Download your pictures
  15. Write a blog about jet lag
  16. Do your nails with the color of nail polish most popular in the country you are living.
  17. Toss, turn and curse
  18. Cry
  19. Help your kids arrange their books and toys on a shelf
  20. Read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  21. Read Crime & Punishment
  22. Read everything Dostoevsky ever wrote.
  23. Tell jokes with your 9 and 10-year-old boys and see who can laugh the loudest.
  24. Click like on every single Facebook status that comes through your news feed. (Until your wireless service fails you)
  25. Comment on all of your friends profile pictures
  26. Tweet about Jet Lag
  27. Toss, Turn and Curse
  28. Help your children dress your cats in doll clothes and put them in the doll carriage.
  29. Then watch your kids run up and down your hallway with said cats.
  30. Answer the doorbell when your neighbors come up to tell you that you woke them up at 2am. Then sigh and make everyone go back to bed.

Readers, what would you add? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done to cope with jet lag? 

Blogger’s note – I’ve included this picture because it is a quote too good to die in cyberspace comments! Thank you Jenni Gate – someone who I hope will be a more frequent guest-blogger on Communicating Across Boundaries!

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17 thoughts on “30 Things to do When You Have Jet Lag

  1. Get out the biggest tome of Japanese grammar or Kanji that I can find and let nature takes its course. Zzzzzzzz!


  2. I started a Harry Potter marathon and drank tea and ate shortbread biscuits at 1 am after I got back from a trip to the UK last winter. Way better than sleeping!

    I’ve also tried going for a run at about 3 am after getting back from another trip… But then 3 separate cop cars kept circling around the neighborhood, checking up on me. Probably not the best idea going running so late…or is it early?;)


  3. I can tell you one thing that I have never done “Wake up the rest of my family so I have company in my misery!” I love the peace and quiet if I happen to be awake and no one else isn’t. That has been rare, however. Dostoyevsky is a great option–I have done that. My current favorite thing to do when I toss and turn is listen to audio books, particularly the marvelous Patrick Tull who has done the entire Master and Commander series. If Tull can’t put me back to sleep, nothing will. Great list!


  4. I love this list, Marilyn! I have re-posted it on my blog today, and I want to thank you for posting my comment in a picture. I would love to be a more frequent guest blogger here. Your audience is wonderful. :)


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