I have done CDG
3 times a year for the last 10 years (30 trips, mainly in J). I have also done 15 Round the world trips. Coming from Australia, travelling internationally at all normally means more than 8 hrs. Long haul for us is Oz-LAX
for example. Transatlantic therefore seems more like medium range.
I have worked hard at improving my travel experience and arriving in good shape. Here are some of my secrets:
Jetlag is a combination primarily of 3 distinct problemes:
- Above all - Dehydration
- Time zone shift / lack of biological clock synchronizaiton with destination
- Sleep deprivation
Manage your hydration. You cannot drink enough water to do this on a long haul flight. The ambient humidity is often less than 5% and you are loosing water faster than you can replace. This is improved in the A380 and 787 through systems to increase pressure and/or moisture in the cabin air. Take oral re-hydration salts in water as you would for a case of gastro. Above all, start BEFORE you board the aircraft and CONTINUE every 4-6 hours. This will make the single biggest difference for you.
Time zone shift. Plan backward from your arrival time. If you arrive in the morning, take one Melatonin 7-8hrs before hand on the flight and if at all possible sleep naturally in the following hours until arrival. If arriving in the evening work back 24hrs and take the Melatonin then (eg. start of a SYD
trip with evening arrival in LHR
) and try to sleep at the start of this 24hr trip.
If in Y, try to find a next support that allows you to sleep. Some Y seats have wings to support your head, otherwise you will need a chiropractor on arrival.
Obviously, a fully flat seat in J makes all the difference in this department and I spend a lot of my personl income on them given the personal travel I do between Europe and Australia.
In Australia there was a product call Flight Revive which gave a 6hour rehydration dose per sachet, but it seems now to be off the market. Normal electrolytic salt work the same but you have to take them more frequently.
Take fibre for digestion and avoid heavy meals and red meat as your digestion will be out of its cycle until the Melatonin and local sunlight start to kick-in.
There. Bon voyage.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.