We have gone to Europe twice now. The worst part of the trip for me has been the same thing both times.
The flight there.
It is by far the most miserable experience of trip for me. The flight itself is not bad. In fact, the four trips I have had over the pond (2 there, 2 back) where some of the smoothest flights I have had. Flights to Europe are usually overnight flights which means you arrive at your destination in the morning. That is the problem. Since I cannot sleep on an airplane, I arrive at my destination exhausted and wanting a nice bed.
The simple solution would be to go to a hotel and sleep. Yet, that is the worst possible solution. If you do that, your internal clock will be set to time in the states. You will be up when everyone is asleep and asleep when everyone else is up. This is jet lag.
The best solution is to walk around. Plan for a small walking tour of some sights in the city. Try to stay up to at least seven or eight. For me, this means being up for nearly 36 hours. The first time we did this in London, we nearly fell asleep in the small café near Parliament. The world seemed to be spinning faster and faster. As the day went on, we were miserable. The next day we had a tour that left at eight. We stayed up until 7:30 the night before and slept like babies through the night. The next morning we were ready to go. Jet lag did not bother us at all.
For the cruise, it was a little different. We did take a small nap but timed nap. Again, because we did not just sleep all afternoon when we got there, jet lag was practically nonexistent.
This summer we are participating in a study abroad. When we get there, we get on the bus and start seeing the sights and then get some free time. The key again is not sleep when we get to the hotel, but to try to stay up to decent hour doing something preferably outside. Maybe, if I can sneak an hour or two of sleep on the flight we might do a walking tour of some London pubs.
- 14 Ways to Prevent Jet Lag (everydayhealth.com)