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Restful Flight to Tel Aviv

Having traveled multiple times between the US and Israel, the time zone changes present a challenge. The best solution is to take a 2 week long voyage on a cruise ship or freighter between New York and Haifa. A compromise would be to fly to Europe and cruise the Mediterranean to Haifa. But really, air travel between the two destinations is the more practical option.

While international flights may be fun with free food, drink and onboard entertainment, the objective is to reach your destination bright, alert and well rested. So take advantage of flight time to SLEEP.

Besides the issue of jet lag, you want to be sure to avoid sleep deprivation. The flight from the East Coast to Tel Aviv is 10 hour long and coming back it's a 12 hours flight, so the most productive activity is not eating, drinking, and viewing the screen, but sleeping. Below are some tips you may find useful for logging in 6 -7 hours of solid rest:

EATING - After take off you may be tempted to wait around for the free airline meal, but you are much better off having a light meal prior to boarding the flight.

DRINKING - To avoid or cure jet lag, hydrate. The most efficient way of doing this is to drink water and avoid dehydrating beverages like alcohol or caffeine.

HEARING - The hum of the jet engines and people talking can be dealt with by putting on noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. Alternatively, high-quality earplugs will do just fine to block out the airplane noise or loud passengers.

SEEING - An eye mask is essential since there will be some daylight and bright cabin lights trying to disrupt your peaceful slumber during the journey.

BREATHING - Plane's air filtration systems are quite advanced and effectively filter out germs and viruses, which is why you should open up your overhead air vents.

CLOTHING - Keep it loose and comfortable. Layering is the key. I like to dress nicely for the flight. Once settled down, I ask the person behind me if it’s okay to recline my seat. I take off my shirt, cover myself with the airline issued blanket, and off I go to a state of peaceful slumber.

BUCKLING UP - Buckle the seat belt over your blanket, so that it is visible when the flight attendants come around the cabin to check that everyone is buckled up while you are asleep.

TIMING - Adjust your watch to acclimate yourself to the time zone of where you're heading. As soon as you get on the plane, change your watch to Israel local time. Use an app like Entrain or Timeshifter before you fly. Both help you gradually shift your pre-travel schedule toward your destination time zone based on your specific plans and preferences so that by the time you fly, you're already ahead of jet lag.

SLEEPING AIDS - Over-the-counter and prescription pills to consider:

  • B12 helps boost your mood, increases red blood cell formation, and gives you energy.

  • Vitamin C helps boost your immune system and fight sickness caused by viruses and bacteria.

  • Melatonin, a hormone our body produces naturally, promotes sleep, and should be taken once you board the plane.

  • Antihistamines - have a drowsy effect on some people.

  • Prescription sleep medication may also be useful. Consult with your physician about the risk/benefits.

Bon Voyage - Happy Travels

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