These Things Make It Easier To Pack, Because I’m Never NOT Going To Wait Until The Last Minute

It’s that time of year again when I pretend I’m still in college and escape somewhere warm for spring break…even though technically spring break is non-existent in the corporate world. And while I’d like to think I’ve matured since the all-inclusive, binge drinking, spring break bikini days, my packing habits certainly haven’t.

What can I say? I’m a procrastinator. I tell myself that I work well under pressure, but really I’m just too lazy to be bothered until 30 minutes before I have to leave for a flight. Because I’m a last-minute packer, I always end up bringing 15 bathing suits, 10 pairs of shoes, and enough anxiety to run a small town into the ground—and that’s just a 5 day trip. Thankfully, I’ve found a few tricks through the years that have helped transform my suitcase from a dumpster fire to feeling like I (sort of) have my shit together.

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These Packing Cubes That Will Keep Your Sh*t Organized

Once you try packing cubes, you’ll literally never go back. It’s truly a game changer if you’re the kind of person who tends to overpack. (In other words, all of us.) It helps you organize the different types of clothing you’re bringing while the compression lets you pack twice as much shit in one carry-on. That’s a win-win.

BAGAIL Compression Packing Cubes, $29.99, Amazon

Toiletry Bag For Your TikTok Influenced 10-Step Skincare Routine

The only time I’m actually proud of the way I store my beauty products is when I’m traveling. When I’m home, I pretty much just throw everything under the sink in such an disorganized way that I’ll be swearing that, “my sister must have stolen it” when I can’t find my favorite lipstick. This solves that issue and makes it so easy to ensure I have every step of the 10-step skincare routine I learned on TikTok with me at all times.

BAGSMART Toiletry Bag with Hanging Hook, $29.99, Amazon

Travel Containers So You Don’t Risk Losing Your Full-Size

Speaking of my 10-step skincare routine—there’s literally no way in hell I’ll be risking an explosion of my new vitamin C serum on the plane. Plus, if I put all my full-sized skincare products in one carry-on, that’s all I’d be packing. This set offers so many different container options, from sprayers to jars. The possibilities are endless.

Morfone 16 Pack Travel Bottles Set, $22.58, Amazon

Cord Organizer So You’re Not a Hot Mess On the Plane

This might feel a little high-maintenance, but I’ve never been more thankful for this organizer than when I’m sitting in a coach seat made to fit a toddler, rifling through my bag looking for a phone charger. You’ll thank me later, I promise.

FYY Electronic Organizer, $12.99, Amazon

Travel Jewelry Box Upgrade From a Ziploc Bag

For as long as I can remember, I literally packed my jewelry in a ziplock bag. And every time, while trying to untangle a bangle from a necklace, I would swear that I’d never do it again. I’ve finally come to my senses and purchased this jewelry case. It’ll keep your jewelry more organized than Khloe Kardashian’s pantry.

Travel Jewelry Case, $50,

Laundry Bag To Keep Your Clean Sh*t From Smelling

No one talks about the struggle of packing your shit up at the end of the trip. I would venture to say it’s one of the most depressing times of life. Let’s not forget the struggle of keeping clean and dirty clothing separate. Kind of like the packing cubes, this helps organize your dirty clothes and keep them away from your clean ones, so they don’t infect your entire suitcase with the smell of BO.

JHX Dirty Clothes Bag, $14.99, Amazon

The Best Tricks To Get Cheap Flights To Almost Anywhere

Along with people not understanding the difference between prosecco and champagne (Google it) or knowing the importance of a hostess gift, overpaying for plane tickets is right up there in our top three biggest pet peeves. Don’t judge us—nobody ever said pet peeves were supposed to be rational. There have been countless times that we’ve had to hold ourselves back, whether in the office, out to dinner, or on the bus after hearing someone proclaim “I just scored the BEST deal to London! $800 each! Can you believe it!?” We realize it’s probably not a social norm to unleash a slew of travel and flight savings tips on a complete stranger. Luckily for us, if you clicked on this post, you’re probably somewhat interested in hearing a few of these tips, and we are SO excited to share them with you. 

For those who missed our latest Betches post where we busted 5 of the most common finance myths, we’re Lauren and Kelda, millennial sisters (and avocado toast lovers) living in Seattle, WA. Together we run Hello HENRYs, a blog on all things personal finance and travel. Why should you trust our travel tips? While we aren’t travel agents, interns for Rick Steves, or anything of that nature, we do travel often and do so at killer prices. Between the two of us, we average nine countries and countless states each year, while still working full-time jobs with limited vacation days just like you. We haven’t spent more than $500 to go to Europe in years and cover over half of our trips with miles and points alone. How do we do it? Here are six of our best tips for making your dream trips happen on a dime.

Be Flexible Around Location

We get it. Sometimes flexibility is just not an option. However, 9 times out of 10, there is some element of flexibility to a trip and, if you truly want to find the best flight deals, you need to be open to it. Below are a few examples on ways to be flexible when it comes to location in particular.

Don’t Be Tied Down To An End Destination

The world is a huge place and, while we’ve been lucky enough to travel to many amazing places, there are tons of places that we have yet to go and all of them sound pretty appealing. Frankly, at this age, most people haven’t been everywhere yet, and simply just being more open to the exact location can help so much. Say you know you want to travel to Europe, but are open to exact cities, and want to go during a set time frame. Simply enter your starting destination, the continent or region you’re hoping to visit and the date range. Google Flights will pull up a map displaying the cheapest flight to each city within the region for the dates selected.

In this specific example, you can see that you could fly to London for just $406. If you simply just want to go to a region, an interactive map like this is a great way to find the cheapest destinations. 

Be Open-Minded About How You Get To Your End Destination

Let’s say you are 100% sold on traveling to a specific country in Europe. Maybe visiting Greece, Croatia, or any of the typically more expensive flight destinations. Chances are you’ll have a stop or connection on the way to these top beach destinations anyway. Use a map like this to find the cheapest nonstop flight into Europe and then book a cheap flight from there on RyanAir, EasyJet or any of the low cost European carriers. This is how we traveled to the Greek Islands during peak travel time (July) of last year for a fraction of the cost. 

Think Outside of the Box When It Comes to Exact Point of Entry

Most major cities have more than one airport, but most have one that is the primary or most highly trafficked airport. If you’re tied to a specific city or country, be sure to research all of the airport options. London, for example, has four airports. Paris has three. When booking flights to other countries, be sure to play around with airport options. Some are obviously more conveniently located to the city than others, but, when the cost difference is sizable, we’ll spend an extra 30 minutes on public transportation to get there. The same goes for departure airport when we’re coming from the US. We live in Seattle and have two local airports. While one doesn’t operate flights outside of North America, we still always check prices. If it connects us to a domestic international airport at a major cost savings, we are willing to take the extra flight. 

Be Flexible Around Dates

Sometimes the exact location is inflexible. Maybe you’re visiting a specific city for a friend’s wedding or exploring Maui has been a lifelong bucket list item and you aren’t willing to sacrifice the specific Hawaiian island. In this case, try to be flexible with dates whenever possible. There is often more wiggle room than you think.

Two years ago, Lauren was heading to Las Vegas with a group of girlfriends for a birthday weekend. The location was a non-negotiable for the birthday girl and, at first glance, you would think the dates would be too. I mean, duh, you can’t change the day you were born. However, when they played around with dates, they found it was actually cheaper to fly in Thursday after work, instead of Friday morning as planned, even with the additional night of hotel costs factored in. Nobody needed to take more vacation days, plus they woke up rested and ready to go Friday morning, while saving money on their trip. So many wins. 

Another example and amazing way to use Google Flights is to search for a specific length of time at any date in the upcoming year to an exact location. Let’s say that you know you want to go to Hawaii sometime this year for a one week vacation, but are open to when exactly you take the trip. Simply enter the departure and arrival airport, the length of time for the vacation and the window of time that you are open to waiting.  

This is how Kelda scored $200 round trip flights to Kauai for September of last year. She entered that she wanted to visit some time in the next six months and found a deal for the very next week! 

You’d be surprised what a huge difference moving your trip up or down by just a day or two can make, also. Google Flights highlights the best deals in Green to help you easily plan your travel or vacation window. In the example below, for round trip flights to Barcelona, leaving on October 12th vs. October 13th is an almost $200 fare difference!

Set Trip Alerts

Whether your upcoming vacation is non-negotiable, such as for an interview or wedding, or if it’s totally flexible, such as just wanting to go home and visit your mom sometime in the next year, we set alerts for every single trip we have in mind and receive email notice or notifications on our phone when prices are particularly low. Our favorite ways to do this are through Google Flights and Hopper. We use both platforms because not all airlines pay to be included in both algorithms. For example, we love Hopper, but Delta is not included as one of their tracked airlines at this time. Because we live in a Delta hub (Seattle), we definitely want to track those flights as well, so we also set alerts on Google Flights. 

In addition, Scott’s Cheap Flights is one of our favorite services for scoring insane flight deals. It’s simply an email subscription with both free and premium options that alerts you when an airline has a mistake fare—often lasting just a few hours to a day. At this time, Scott’s Cheap Flights only tracks mistake fares for international trips, but we have booked many a trip through their email list. At times for trips we knew we wanted to take, like last year when Lauren needed to fly to Thailand for a friend’s wedding, but also for trips that we didn’t necessarily have planned, but the deal was too good to pass up. Hello, $400 RT to Curaçao.

my only hobby is sending my friends cheap flights to their city with the 👀 emoji and then forgetting to ever text them back

— dirt prince (@pant_leg) December 10, 2019

Along with this, after we get an alert on a super low price, whether that’s through Google Flights or Hopper, we always do one last check on Southwest if our flight is domestic. We rarely fly this airline and it isn’t included in any algorithms at this time, but every now and then, it ends up offering a cheaper price. This doesn’t happen too often, but we still always take the time to check before booking.

Use Points and Miles Wisely

First, it’s important to understand the difference between points and miles, as many people use these terms interchangeably. 

Miles are tied to a specific airline or airline alliance and are earned primarily through actual flights taken with the airline or spending on an airline specific credit card, such as the Amex Gold Delta Skymiles Card. Miles are not transferable outside of the airline alliance.

Points are earned through third party credit cards tied to banks, such as the Chase Sapphire card (our personal fave). Long story short, points essentially equate to cash, but, if you have picked a good card, can also be transferred to miles, giving you much more flexibility. Why does this matter? Sometimes flights can show vastly different fares depending on if you’re paying with cash or using miles. Last month, we went to LA and flights were showing $400 in cash, but only 12,000 miles. Pretty big difference. Sometimes, it can be the other way around and the price in miles is vastly more. Having points gives you the flexibility to redeem for the cheapest fare possible. 

Okay, now that we have that out of the way. Two major tips here.

Never Leave Miles On The Table

For the most part, everyone has one or two airlines that they fly most frequently, often dependent on whichever airlines have hubs in their city. For us, that’s Alaska and Delta. Most people have frequent flyer numbers for their primary airlines, but not for any others. We randomly fly American or United once, maybe twice a year, but still always collect frequent flier miles for these trips and have been able to use the miles earned to redeem for free domestic flights, even though our travel with them is so infrequent. 

Similarly, if you’re flying internationally on an airline that you don’t expect to use often, if ever, always check their alliance and find the domestic airline partner. Enter the frequent flier number for the domestic airline partner to earn miles on your flight. Lauren flew Asiana Airlines to Thailand last year and found that they were partners with United. She entered her United number and, because of the long length of the trip, earned enough miles from that flight alone to redeem for a domestic flight to Denver last month. 

I deserve a vacation. I deserve I deserve.

— Kay (@KaylarWill) December 9, 2019

Lastly, many airlines offer partnerships to earn miles outside of actual flights taken or credit card spending. For example, Delta partners with Lyft to give you 1 air mile per dollar spent with Lyft and doubles the air miles if the Lyft is taken to or from an airport. There are countless similar offers out there and we recommend taking advantage of as many that make sense for you. 

Know The Value Of An Air Mile

Just because you have air miles to use doesn’t always mean that it makes sense to use them. The Points Guy publishes a recap on current points and miles valuations each month. Let’s say he values 1 American Airlines mile at 2 cents. You should, typically, only use miles to book when the cost to redeem miles is less than the cash value of a trip. Doing some quick math, if you’re looking to book a trip that is quoted at $600, you should only use miles if the mile redemption is 30,000 miles or less. 

Obviously, we are finance gurus first, and if the $600 is going to cause some financial strain and taking the trip is non-negotiable, we always support redeeming the miles even if it ends up slightly below value, to prevent spending the cash. 

Don’t Be A Diva

In pretty much all other areas of life, we can be a little bit high-maintenance, but when it comes to traveling, this is one area that we are willing to sacrifice comfort. If taking big trips often and at a low price is something that you really want to do, you have to be willing to go as basic as possible.

For example, this new evolution where an airline can charge you $50 just to pick a seat? Who cares? It may seem cheap AF, but we have never once paid for this option. Honestly, a majority of the time, if you book on the same reservation as your travel partner, the airline will end up seating you together anyway and, in the few cases that doesn’t happen, you can try asking your seatmate to switch or the gate attendant to help reassign your seat. In the rare case that none of these things work, is it really that big of a deal to sit alone? We don’t think so.

Done looking at Instagram until everyone is back from Capri, Greece, Lake Como, Africa, Israel, and wherever else their parents are paying for them to vacation

— Ashley Fern (@disco_infern0) July 3, 2019

Along those same lines, we never pay to check a bag or pay for a meal. Some of the best international flight deals come if you elect to carry on only. Doing so can sometimes save $100 a ticket. We’ve taken three week vacations with just a carry on. If we can do it, so can you. When it comes to the meal, who really likes airline food anyway? We’d rather pack our own snacks than pay up to $50 up front for a dry chicken breast.

Lastly, you will be fine in economy. Seriously. We’ve taken 19-hour flights in a middle seat in the last row of the plane. We aren’t going to lie and say it was glamorous, but we can suck it up if it means saving hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of dollars on a flight. We’d rather use that money to upgrade our accommodations, cover a spa day, or just keep it in the bank. In some cases, there can be killer miles deals to be had by fluke for business or first class fares. In those cases, definitely go for it.

These aren’t hard and fast rules that we think everyone needs to follow, but just tips that we follow to be able to travel as frequently as we do and at such low costs. If you’d rather take just one trip a year luxuriously, then by all means, you do you and we want to see the pics! 

Truly, helping people take the vacations of their dreams is one of our biggest passions in life, and these tips, while extensive, are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our approach to affordable travel. More resources, along with complete travel itineraries, individual consultations and trip planning sessions, can be found on our website

Images: Gerrie van der Walt / Unsplash; Google Flights (3); pant_leg, kaylarwill; disco_infern0 / Twitter

7 Sneaky Ways Hotels Trick You Into Paying More During Your Stay

I recently spent the night at a bougie hotel in LA with gorgeous views of the Hollywood Hills and generously provided free snacks, condoms, lube, and alcohol in the room. “Wow, I finally made it,” I thought to myself, followed by not-so-humble bragging about the fully stocked minibar on my Instagram story. I ate some of those snacks like the hungry HBIC I was… only to be slammed with a $76 bill on my credit card the next day (for Pringles, cashews, and some goddamn peach rings???). When I shared the devastating news that those snacks were NOT free with my Instagram followers, countless crying laughing emoji reactions flooded my DMs. I was repeatedly mocked and reminded how much of a naïve peasant I actually am for not knowing this “obvious” fact, which wasn’t obvious because there were no price tags or menus in sight. FML. 

It turns out this isn’t the only trick hotels have up their sleeves to con us into paying more. What popular and little-known schemes should we beware of? I asked frequent travelers and travel experts about other sneaky ways that hotels secretly run up our credit card bills by the end of our stay so I we can avoid falling for them next time around.

1. Half-Free Minibars With Motion Sensors

So yeah, the stuff in the fully loaded minibar in the hotel room isn’t free. You pay for what you take. Great. I learned that lesson the hard way. Jennifer Melroy, lover of national parks and founder of travel blog National Park Obsessed, confirms I’m not an idiot and this is a common problem among travelers. “The sneakiest way I’ve seen hotels try to get guests to pay more is the half-free minibar. Select items from the mini-bar are free, but you have to carefully read the mini-bar price list to figure out which products are free and which ones are not.” 

But wait, that’s not even the worst part. Sometimes you’ll wind up paying for what you DIDN’T take. “Many hotels use motion sensors in their minibars that will charge you if you so much as touch or slightly move an item,” adds Mona Molayem, full-time millennial luxury travel blogger at UNREAL. Good rule of thumb when it comes to hotel room minibars: Look but don’t touch (unless you want to pay the price).

2. The “Complimentary” Breakfast Buffet

Hungover and hungry in the morning? You might want to walk a little bit further than downstairs for breakfast. Lisa Dorenfest, blogger at One Ocean At A Time, who spends a ton of time traveling both on land and by sea (hence the blog name), has seen that higher-end properties pull tricks like charging more for “breakfast included” rates than for paying the “no breakfast” rate. She explains, “My experience is that the smallish 3-star local hotels are less likely to take advantage of travelers. The rooms are clean, breakfast is included, the service is often superior, and the experience is, well, more local.” All the more reason to shop local. Support the small business owners who run that diner up the road instead.

3. Hidden Wedding Preparation Fees

once you accept you're going to be bleeding money, the entire wedding process will start to get a litttttle bit easier

— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) July 25, 2019

Congrats on getting hitched! To thank you for spending a huge chunk of cash in reserving a room block for you and your guests for your wedding, some hotels will tack on a bunch of hidden fees to your bill. HOW SWEET. “Couples are often unaware of site fees, catering charges, linen or furniture rental add-ons, lighting additions, etc.,” says Lauren Grech, CEO and co-founder of worldwide event management and design firm LLG Events & LLG Agency. Grech adds that this especially happens to those who are planning a destination wedding, since they don’t get to see the venue or meet all of their vendors in-person before the big day. Rude AF. Brides and grooms, beware.

4. Shuttles & Transportation Costs

One scheme that Tanner Callais, founder and editor of “everything cruising” website, has noticed while traveling is that hotels will offer transportation packages that seem like a great deal… but they’re actually a trap. “While many hotels offering these packages are right near cruise ports, we’ve seen instances where booking the package can cost considerably more than just taking an Uber or Lyft. So yes, you get a ride to the port, but it comes out much more expensive than if you just went on your own.” I guess you really do pay for the luxury of convenience, even when it’s disguised as being “included.”

5. Stuffed Animals For The Kids

Okay, I don’t really like kids, but even I can admit that this is cruel. “Family travel hotels put a stuffed animal on the bed so that when the kids walk in they assume that they are getting a new stuffed animal. The parent can either seem like the bad guy or pay $30 plus for a stuffed animal they didn’t plan on,” adds Melroy. Imagine being a kid and getting all excited that you got a brand new toy, then your parents don’t spend $30, so you’re left heartbroken AND toyless? Tragic.

6. Changing The Name On The Reservation

Okay, this one blew my mind. Ready for the worst sneaky fee yet? Shout-out to Mitch Glass for this pro tip. Glass is a travel blogger who runs the travel blog Project Untethered, and he also agrees that “hotels can be sneaky little money-sucks.” (Money-suck might be my new fav insult.) STORY TIME. He recalls, “Recently, my mother-in-law got back from vacation and noticed a weird $200 hotel charge to her credit card. After some angry phone calls, she realized her husband originally made the reservation using his name—but he didn’t actually go on the trip.” What the hell?? “This, apparently, is not allowed. At checkout, the hotel charged a $200 ‘name change fee’ to her card without notifying her. Long story short, be careful when booking for a friend or family member. They could get screwed.” WILD. This hotel needs to be put on blast.

7. Using The Hotel Computer, Printer, Or Phones

International wifi and cell service sucks. Common knowledge. That’s why hotels nicely provide tech for us to use when in need! JK. Using the computer, phones, and other machines aren’t always free, either. Nope, you can actually be charged per minute, per piece of paper, or a flat rate fee. “While staying at a popular hotel once, I tried to use the computer in the business center to print my boarding pass for an upcoming flight. It cost me $10 to use the computer for 15 minutes, plus another $2 to print one piece of paper!” Molayem shares. To avoid these ridiculous charges, she recommends kindly asking the hotel front desk or concierge to schedule dinner reservations or print boarding passes for you for free instead of using the phone in your room or the business center. 

How To Dispute Unexpected Hotel Charges

So what do you do when these unexpected charges pop up? Even though you might want to call up the hotel and threaten the innocent customer service rep who answered the phone, that’s not actually the best idea. According to Greg Ramey, co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of group travel platform BACH, the key to fighting a surprise bill is to kill them… with kindness. “Politely ask the front desk for an understanding and, depending on the type of charge, there’s a strong change they’ll waive it for you.” I took Ramey’s advice and asked the manager of that hotel I stayed in to remove my $75 minibar charge and guess what?! He didn’t. Maybe it’ll work for you, though.

SMH. Dear hotels, on behalf of all of us here at Betches, STOP F*CKING CATFISHING US or else we’ll drop names next time. Please. (Am I doing the kindness thing right?)

Images: Pixabay, GIPHY (5), Twitter @betchesbrides

9 Tips From Experts To Actually Get Over Jet Lag

Traveling is the best, but jet lag is the worst. Nothing screams “I need another vacation” quite like getting home from a refreshing trip and immediately feeling like you got hit by a bus. Post-vacation blues are real, but this article isn’t about how to cope with hard-hitting reality kicking in after a week of ignoring work emails and drinking 47 piña coladas per day on the beach in Cabo. That sh*t goes without saying. We’re covering how to deal with (and prevent!) sh*tty traveling side effects like dehydration, a lack of energy, existential dread, and the inability to sleep. Otherwise known as jet lag.

Going away soon and want to make the most out of your trip? Just got back from somewhere and wondering WTF you can do to stop feeling like a zombie? I spoke with a bunch of frequent travelers and travel experts who shared these nine tips, tricks, and products to help you adjust your circadian rhythm and start feeling normal again ASAP.

1. Drink Superfoods Like Ginger, Lemon, And Turmeric

“Every time I land after flying to the west coast or someplace with a higher altitude than New York, the first thing I do is take a ginger shot. It literally brings me to life, like I can feel it rejuvenating my body and giving me energy,” says Dakota Nowicki, frequent flyer and founder of @wanderbeyondher, a worldwide community and Instagram account for women who love to travel and attend retreats. “Ginger helps to clear out your sinuses and boost your immunity, especially with all those germs on the plane,” she explains. She also suggests adding turmeric and lemon to your ginger shot if you’re feeling extra.

On the other hand, Lily Kunin, nutritional health coach and founder of Clean Food Dirty City and Clean Market, who offers plant-based recipes for healthy eating, travels, and beauty, says her go-to immunity-boosting recipe is a combo of apple cider vinegar and turmeric. “In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups of water to a boil with the turmeric, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and add black pepper, ACV, and raw honey. Strain the turmeric out, pour into a mug, and enjoy!” Sounds weird AF, but I like earthy hipster drinks, so this is right up my alley.

2. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is KEY when it comes to recuperating from or preventing jet lag. According to Dr. Charles Brenner, the Chief Scientific Advisor for Tru Niagen, who discovered and patented a unique vitamin that regulates energy metabolism and promotes healthy aging, “There’s low humidity in airplane cabins, which tends to dry us out, so drink plenty of water and try to minimize diuretic beverages.” This can be super challenging, because we’re typically offered lots of caffeine and alcohol when flying. Brenner suggests being mindful of consuming foods that strip away moisture from the body, like dried fruit, salted nuts, and the oh-so delicious crackers, chips, and processed foods with high sodium content that airlines graciously offer in-flight.

As the CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga, a mindfulness and movement expert, and a nationally recognized speaker who regularly travels for work, Hope Zvara’s best travel hack to help fight jet lag and fatigue is drinking water. On the way to the airport, she drinks 8-10 ounces of water, no matter what time of day it is. Once she’s through security, she fills her 20-ounce water bottle for the flight. After she lands? She drinks HALF her body weight in ounces of water EVERY SINGLE DAY. “Staying hydrated has played a huge role in how I feel post-flight. I also like to add things like lemon or lime to my water for a little extra boost of hydration and flavor.” 

Sigh. I *hope* to someday drink as much water in a week as Zvara does in one day of traveling. 

3. Dose Up On Melatonin

Some people swear by melatonin and others have thrown it in the trash, but this safe, natural supplement can help stabilize your biorhythm, reset your sleep schedule, and knock you TF out in no time. 

Lia Garcia is a full-time travel blogger at Practical Wanderlust who flies around the world with her husband for a living (jealous). “If I’m arriving early in the morning, I’ll sleep the entire time. I knock myself out with melatonin, cozy up in a blanket, and snooze so that I wake up refreshed(ish) and ready to explore,” Garcia shares. “If I can nail that first night by falling asleep at just the right time and waking up at a reasonable hour, I can usually avoid jet lag altogether.”

Dosing melatonin is the biggest jet lag help for Daniel Gillaspia, the founder and full-time traveler behind travel blog UponArriving, as well. Gillaspia is a nationally recognized expert in the travel field and has been featured in National Geographic, HuffPost, and other outlets for his work. “I recently finished up an around-the-world trip where my body didn’t know what time zone it was in when I arrived home. As soon as I started taking 5mg of melatonin in the evening, my body started to respond and I could finally get to sleep on a regular schedule. I think melatonin is key to shaving a day or two off your jet lag recovery.”

4. Sync Your Schedule With Local Time Zones

Whereas melatonin is life for some, others say it all has to do with timing. Bill Fish is a certified sleep science coach and the co-founder of Tuck, a company devoted to sharing evidence-based news and info that helps people sleep better, and he claims that changing your watch and computer to the local time of your destination can drastically combat jet lag. “When you arrive at your destination, go through your standard routine for that time of day. Don’t arrive in a new city at 7pm and immediately get ready for bed. Have a meal and acclimate yourself with the new time, then go to bed at the normal hour you would in your home time zone.” 

So is Fish saying that we shouldn’t catch up on sleep and we should stay out and party all night once we land in Cancun to sync our schedule with the new timezone? Down. “While it may be difficult during the first day, the sooner you assimilate your body and brain to the new area of the world you’re in, the better you’ll feel for the rest of your trip.” I’ll take that as a yes.

If you need help tracking your daily activity on vacation or at home, fancy wearables with sleep tracking capabilities can offer insights into just how much REM sleep you’re getting and how healthy you’ve really been. Especially when traveling to different time zones, wearing a device like a Fitbit can be your guide to getting your sleep and exercise routines back on track.

5. Manage Your Diet

Traveling can totally disrupt your digestive system and cause you to eat like sh*t or not want to eat at all. That’s why making sure you’re watching what you eat and drink is super important before, during, and after you travel.

“Eating a healthy diet while traveling can keep your digestive system working properly, which helps your body process the new time changes and effects of travel much easier,” says Adam Kemp, a professional basketball player who regularly travels to 20+ European countries to play ball in the big leagues. He’s not a vegan, but he says he’s noticed that eating a plant-based diet significantly reduces his jet lag. “Whether it’s through salads or smoothies or anything else, eating or drinking a lot of kale and spinach is always a go-to for me.”

I can vouch for this based on my own experience. Sometimes drinking coffee spikes my anxiety and makes me sick on flights, so I’d rather find natural energy in other ways. Eating healthy snacks like Ritual Energy bars (that are equivalent to a cup of coffee) or taking probiotics (shout-out Culturelle) give me the boost I need to save my stomach on vacation and feel good enough to get through that dreaded first day back to work once I get home.

Sarah Marie Perkins, aka Ms. Colorado 2020, agrees. “I’ve found that bringing healthy snacks in my purse helps me fight airport junk food cravings. Easy snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated like carrots, RX Bars, Barney Butter single packs, and nuts are some of my faves. Making sure I’m continuing to eat healthy helps me not feel so awful both on my trip and when I return home.” On the other hand, Renee Belz, M.S. is a certified nutritional consultant and co-host of Biohacker Babes Podcast who fasts while she travels. “Food can be a great way to signal to your body what time of day it is, which is another reason why you shouldn’t eat in the middle of the night. Fasting during the travel day can help reset your circadian rhythm.”

6. Exercise

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “You want me to f*cking exercise when I’m jet lagged and barely even get to the gym when I don’t go on vacation?” Uhhh…ya, bitch! Let’s explain why.

People try to avoid working out when they’re feeling jet-lagged because they think it’ll make them even more tired, but that’s actually not the case. Sam Williamson, who works as a marketing executive at WeSwap Travel Money, a pre-loaded travel card and currency exchange rate company, tells me, “Do some light exercise in the mornings. Going for a morning run outside is the best way to exercise as you’ll also get some exposure to daylight, further helping you to regulate your body to your usual time zone.” 

Kimberly Keller, best-selling author of two books, including one on healthy traveling called Ultimate Health On The Go, also suggests that exercising or walking right after you arrive somewhere helps the body’s metabolism adjust easier to any time difference. 

7. Get A Massage

Okay, so I didn’t convince you to exercise…what about a massage? TBH, that’s more my style too. If you’re too lazy to hop on a treadmill after your vacation, just lie down and let someone else move your body for you. Tons of spas offer unique jet lag massages for this exact reason.

Haven Spa in NYC offers a 90-minute Tourist Massage that’s designed for travelers who sat on a plane locked in one sitting position for hours, walked way too many miles, stood in long airport lines, and carried around heavy backpacks or suitcases, etc. Professional massages like these focus on healing the parts of your body that ache the most post-vacay like your feet, legs, lower back, shoulders, neck, and head to help you feel refreshed in no time.

8. This “No Jet Lag” Supplement

Marisa DeSalvio is a travel agent, the CEO of DeSalvio Travel, and had traveled to 31 countries… and she’s never had jet lag. Her secret? These homeopathic No Jet Lag Pills. And she’s not the only one who recommended these pills to me. Courtnie Nichols, who is the CEO and Founder of TravelBash, a boutique travel company that offers awesome customized trip planning services, also suggested these pills to me that she claims “have no side effects and actually works.” Full-time millennial luxury travel blogger Mona Molayem of @monacorona (whose job sounds like a damn dream) is another traveler who swears by this supplement. “It’s a homeopathic blend of herbs that you take while flying to help you adjust to the new time zone.” 

I mean, I’d literally never think to buy a pill called “No Jet Lag” off Amazon, but I guess it really works if these pros use it on the reg. 

9. Use Natural Face Masks, CBD Products, And Life Hacks

International model Angelina Galt finds that taking the natural route can help ward off nasty side effects whenever she travels overseas for photoshoots. “What I find helpful to fight off jet lag is taking homeopathic supplements a few days prior to the flight and throughout the days after the flight. After flights, especially long ones, I try to nourish my body with healthy foods and lots of rest. To look more refreshed, I’ll double face mask, first with an exfoliating clay mask and then something soothing and moisturizing.”

Travel and hospitality publicist Dani De la Osa is an avid airport dweller who believes one of the best ways to beat jet lag is to go all-natural as well. “If you need help falling asleep, valerian root, chamomile tea, and even Kava can be powerful relaxers.” 

As y’all already know if you’ve read my other posts on CBD lube and CBD for skin care, I love me some natural feel-good products. CBD is awesome for spicing things up in the bedroom and managing pain, but it’s also super helpful for recovering from jet lag. CBDfx and CBDistillery both make vegan hemp oil gummies that help me fall asleep at night and reduce anxiety, which are two common symptoms of jet lag. Good Day also makes a delicious CBD cold brew coffee to perk you up yet keep you chill once you get back to work after your trip ends.

And nothing screams “natural” louder than diving inward and practicing mindfulness, am I right?! Emmy Crouter, MSW, LSW is a Denver-based millennial psychotherapist who shared some really amazing therapy tips to help us recover from jet lag. She suggests setting yourself up for success before you even pack for your trip. “Coming back from vacation to a messy apartment, loose ends, and unfinished projects at work is the absolute worst. In the weeks leading up to a vacation, make a to-do list of the tasks you’d like to accomplish before you depart. When you return, anxiety will be mitigated.” Well, that makes complete sense. And so does this: “Before you even touch your suitcase, clean your house, put away your laundry, and water your plants—whatever you need to do to set yourself up for a smooth return back to reality.” 

Crouter continues, “Finding gratitude in the fact that you were able to take time away, that you experienced new people and places, and (hopefully) had a fabulous time can help ward off the post-vacay blues. Spending ten minutes journaling about the following questions can help put things into perspective while trying to keep your eyes open at work : What was amazing about my trip? What was the highlight? What was the hardest part? What did I miss about home? What am I looking forward to doing now that I am home?” 

Cheers to that. Happy and refreshing travels, my friends! Now excuse me while I go travel to Colorado to indulge in some legal CBD and therapy so I can run away from my responsibilities test out all of these jet lag recovery tips for myself.

IMAGES: Pexels, Giphy (7), Amazon