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Old 07-19-2004, 12:27 AM   #1
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Hey All

I am looking at upcoming vacation time I will get at work, and it looks like for the rest of the year, I will only be able to take 4-6 day vacation (mostly around holiday time). With that in mind, my goal is to go back to Europe. I have been there a couple times before, but for long amounts of time (months), but never for a short period of less than a week. Has anyone done a trip like this before? I am wondering if this will screw up my body clock for a while with the rapid time changes. I guess maybe one good thing is that I might not have jet lag when I come back.

So, am I crazy for trying the short getaway or have other done it successfully?
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Old 07-19-2004, 12:55 AM   #2
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Nah...I don´t think you´ll be screwed up in terms of time changes when you get back. Just getting away for any amounts of time is good

Besides, everyone else will mentally be in holiday mode during that time, so it's all the same.

Go for it, bro B)
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Old 07-19-2004, 10:27 AM   #3
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Heck, yes! Many of the European trips have been short ones (some even less than your 4-6 days). Of course, I work for an airline, so sometimes have to do the quickie trips.

I find you can get a good dose of a city in three days. Two days of seeing its sights, and one on a short day trip out from the city to see something nearby. If you can find a cool day hike all the better...gives you a rounded set of experiences -- indoor, outdoor, cultural, historical, night life...

I say go for it! Take what you can...

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Old 07-19-2004, 10:48 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the advice! I think the one thing that scares me more than my body adjusting is two flights of nine hours within a one week period. The flight to the destination is always great, but the one coming home always feels like the longest day of your life.
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Old 07-23-2004, 08:18 PM   #5
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It isn't too bad, really.

Some advice, though:

1. Don't get boozed up on the flight over. Maybe have a glass of wine or two with dinner to make you drowsy and better able to sleep, but alcohol makes your jet lag worse.
2. Take some of those little cushy, foam ear plugs for the flight (and noisy hotels or hostels), as well. And if you have or can get one of those eyemasks with the elastic bands to wear on the flight, that'll make it easier to sleep, too.
3. On Day One in Europe -- do not take a nap when you arrive! If you do, you're screwed. You'll usually get there early in the morning. Check in to wherever you're staying and try to hang on as long as possible. If you can manage to go to bed at a normal hour on your first day, you'll be fine and jet lag will be no worries. As a hint, schedule active outdoorsy sights for the first day -- leave the museums for the second or third day.
4. Have fun!

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Old 07-26-2004, 01:33 PM   #6
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^ and there you go, straight from the Travel God himself.

mike, you're awesome!!
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Old 10-05-2004, 09:31 PM   #7
 
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Mike, you guys are awesome, where's my little "Must-do notepad"........
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Old 10-05-2004, 09:33 PM   #8
 
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Once I read in an article to avoid exposure to the sun when you first arrive because that will prevent your internal clock from "adjusting" to the new time, does anybody know anything on that? I'll try and find the article in a travel magazine I have somewhere and I'll post all of the details, promise...
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Old 10-06-2004, 07:09 PM   #9
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I've gone to Europe for 2 days twice. To Paris both times, left Friday night came back Sunday afternoon. I went with my dad whose an airline pilot, I flew on standby in buissness!

Anyways, I didn't get messed up at all really with time difference. Just, make sure that right when you get there, take a nap just for like 3/4 hours and you'll be fine.
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Old 10-06-2004, 10:54 PM   #10
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A handful of people at my work do short jaunts to France from the west coast regularly.. I use their advice whenever I get the chance to go.

Short trips: Unless you really have to, don't reset your body clock. Party, be nocturnal, whatever - you won't even notice. It's probably not the most sensible advice, but that's how it turns out for the guys who go home for the weekend.. They get there in the afternoon, party 'til dawn, sleep a bit, party some more, then head back.

Long trips: As hard as it is, sleep on the way over, just after the meal service. I like Ambien to knock me the hell out, but drugs and alcohol (like Mike said) are not recommended. Besides screwing you up more, they also dehydrate you, which is a bitch at altitude. All my medical friends recommend a Benadryl, though, which should make you drowsy enough to sleep. On the way back, try your damndest to NOT sleep. Watch the movies. Read. Crank the headphones. Go to bed a little bit before your normal bed time when you get home.. you'll experience minimal jet lag and won't be dragging all week.

I've followed this advice and, for the most part, it works pretty well... although I'm a lush and drink on the plane anyway. The tip for the way back, though, it's a lifesaver. Especially when you're like me and maximize your vacations by coming home the day before you need to be at work.
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Old 10-06-2004, 11:55 PM   #11
 
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ok guys I found the article and I don't know how accurate it is, but here it goes:

"Light tells your biological clock what time it is. Use it to your advantage, and you'll adjust faster. You should get light exposure as soon as you arrive at your destination, but timing is important. there's a critical phase in your biological clock that occurs between 3 and 5am at home when you're primed for sleep, during that time you reach your sleepiest point and every bodily function slows down. So, light before that critical phase moves your body clock westward and after it moves your clock eastward, for instance, if you're flying from California to London, an eight-hour difference, if you arrive early in London, you should avoid light until after 1pm London time, which would be 5am at home. If you went immediately into the light that morning your internal clock would stay on California time. Although it's impossible to avoid light completely, keep your light exposure to a minimum, even speding time indoors once you arrive.
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Old 10-06-2004, 11:56 PM   #12
 
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By the way, when we went to Brazil in the beginning of the year we had no problem to adjust over there, but when we came back, I think the whole timing deal didn't work out for me and I suffered jet lag for about a week!! that stinks!!!!!! :greenguy:
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