Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

What does the typical European traveler do when they arrive in Europe, go to sleep or try to stay up all day?

What does the typical European traveler do when they arrive in Europe, go to sleep or try to stay up all day?

Old Oct 19th, 2001, 12:11 PM
  #1  
Justine
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
What does the typical European traveler do when they arrive in Europe, go to sleep or try to stay up all day?

How many of you have arrived in Europe, from the United States, after sitting up all night on the plane just plain dead tired. As a regular traveler to Europe I still do not have an answer what the best thing is to do regarding sleep when I arrive in Europe. <BR> <BR>These appear to be the best options: <BR> <BR>1) Head straight to the hotel and go to bed and sleep until you wake up. When night time comes, even though your not tired , do your best to sleep again, maybe by using a pill. <BR> <BR>2) Bring pep pills and drink alot of coffee all day and make every effort to stay awake until sunset, even though you would give a million dollars to just get some sleep, then go to bed at 9:00 pm or so to adjust to Europe time. <BR> <BR>3) Go to your hotel in Europe and take a nap for a few hours, but not any longer. That way you will still be tired at 10:00 pm, or your regular bed time. <BR> <BR>4) ??? <BR> <BR>I am looking for advice. Thanks.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 12:18 PM
  #2  
pat
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We usually go to our hotel and take a shower and then start sightseeing right away (no museums the first day but walks in town and just acclimating) We have dinner and stay up until at least 10pm. By the next morning we are ready to roll. I find I am too hyped when first getting there to go to take a nap.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 12:21 PM
  #3  
Anita
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sorta depends on when you arrive... Coming from Los Angeles, our experience has been that we arrive late morning to noonish. Most hotels won't give you access to your room until later in the day, but they'll allow you to leave your luggage. We like to get out in the fresh air and walk around. Eat as late a lunch as possible (because you probably won't be able to find a place for an early dinner), buy something to snack on and crash by early evening. Basically, we stay awake as long as possible on the arrival day. I use an over-the-counter sleep aid; my husband doesn't.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 12:22 PM
  #4  
Gregory
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi, <BR> <BR>Living in Scotland I have returned from the USA on a number of occasions and I find what works depends on where in the USA you are coming from; <BR> <BR>From the East Coast, I generally arrived early moring ie 6-7 am. I found by getting home and having a coulple of hours sleep , I was not feeling too bad and then get to bed at the normal time in the evening. <BR> <BR>From the West Coast, generally arriving in the Early afternoon, then it is coffee time and try to get to bet a little earlier than normal. <BR> <BR>Any other solutions?- Apart from the Ģ5000 first class airfare so your seat becomes a bed? <BR> <BR>
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 12:24 PM
  #5  
Carrie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Have been to Europe twice both times arriving in the morning hours from O'Hare. I think th efreshening up at the hotel is a good idea. Unfortunately, I've never had the pleasure of my room actually being ready. Thus, no shower and certainly no nap. I take a sleeping pill while on the plane and try to sleep the entire way over and then when I get ther I drop off my luggage and "freshen up" a bit in the public restroom area and get out and WALK. Stay in the sun and keep going all day. I do go to bed earlier that first evening (by 9pm their time) sleep well and am rested the next day.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 12:27 PM
  #6  
Millie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We've always stayed awake the first day because, coming from Denver, we arrive in early morning (6-10am) and our room isn't ready. We try to get a feel for the city and country, and then try to be asleep by 8pm. <BR>However, now there are flights from Denver that arrive in Europe in late afternoon or early evening. That's what we're taking next week to London. I think this will be better. Just have a light, quick bite for dinner, and then to bed, and should be on schedule the first day.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 01:37 PM
  #7  
European
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I have experience only of two US to home flights, but I fly to Singapore or Bangkok several times a year. My option is your number 3. No matter what time the plane lands I get two hours nap, take a shower (in that order, shower wakes up and that I donīt want), unpack, and then go to local time. If it is late I go out and have something light to eat and go back to the hotel and back to bed. If it is daytime, I get up after the nap and start doing what ever I want to do. And then go to bed in the evening at normal time (local normal time). No pills of any kind, those would just mess up my system.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 02:09 PM
  #8  
Mel
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The first two times I went to Europe and arrived early morning, I waited patiently (though sleepily) until the 2:00 time that they said we could check in. All subsequent times, I've written/e-mailed ahead and VERY nicely told them how very, very much I would appreciate it if they could find any way possible to allow me to check in on arrival or, at least by noon. I've never been refused. After checking in and freshening up, we walk around the neighborhood for a couple of hours (good time to buy postcards and stamps so you can get them mailed and--if you're lucky--they'll beat you home). We go back and take a 2 hour nap from 4-6. I admit it is VERY hard to wake up and get moving at 6:00 pm, but once we do we're find. Go out for a nice dinner, explore the territory a little more and we're ready for bed around 10:00pm. Seldom have any problems on the following days.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 02:15 PM
  #9  
D.J.
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I would have to say, its option #3 for me.I cant sleep sitting up on a plane, and need a few z's to refresh.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 02:57 PM
  #10  
John G
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I NEVER EVER sleep right after I have arrived. I do not go to Europe to sleep, I go to experience. I usually drop my bags in my room, then go, go, go....Also, if I slept as soon as I got there I would wake up at 9 PM. Then what would I do? I think sleeping as soon as you get there will screw you up and make your jet lag WORSE.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 03:23 PM
  #11  
Rex
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Increasingly, I try to shoot for arrival at noon or later. A few tricks include: <BR> <BR>Make your first destination somewhere a few hours away (by train) from the airport where you land. <BR> <BR>Book flights that require a second leg after arrival in Europe; this is primarily applicable when one change is required from wherever one originates, and the choice is only between one change IN the US (with non-stop onward to the final destination) <I>versus</I> non-stop across the Atlantic, with one stop IN Europe. I haven't been able to use this often, as Columbus (Ohio) doesn't have ANY non-stop trans-atlantic flights. <BR> <BR>When there is sufficient reason to rent a car upon arrival, go for a (SHORT) out into some nearby countryside, and find some nice place for a lunch or picnic. The arrive at the hotel at noon or later, take a shower and a SHORT nap, if desired, to keep going on a reduced-objectives afternoon. <BR> <BR>One problem with the "keep going" strategy, starting at 8 or 8 am, is the desire to eat supper at the "nothing available" hour of 5 pm, followed by crashing for the night soon thereafter. And then waking up at 2 or 3 am. <BR> <BR>Best wishes, <BR> <BR>Rex <BR>
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 03:35 PM
  #12  
janis
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
When I was younger I never experienced any jet lag and didn't consider napping. As I get older - what I find works for me is to arrange an early check-in (can be done), or when that isn't possible I book my flat or hotel for the travel night. It does cost extra - but a LOT less than a 1st class seat. That way my room is available no matter what time I arrive. <BR> <BR>I unpack, freshen up, run to a local shop to buy basic groceries (if I am renting a flat), relax for 30-60 minutes (never go to sleep), and by then it is early afternoon. I go out for a leisurely walk or maybe an open air city tour bus. Stop in a cafe or pub for an early dinner (maybe 6:30 or 7PM). Then either back to the flat for some TV and to bed by 9:30, or if I have energy - a little more walking. I usually am back on normal time by the 2nd day. <BR> <BR>The only 2 times I napped upon arrival really screwed up my internal clock - I was awake all night and sleepy the next day.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 04:21 PM
  #13  
Fwhiteside
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The best ( but most impractical ) solution is to get yourself a job working shifts. I used to be a Computer Operator on a large IBM Mainframe working 12 hour shifts day & night. I would come off a 12 hour dayshift & then the day after do a 12 hour nightshift, I also did a lot of overtime during my days off. After this our flights to USA & back to UK seemed just like normal to me !
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 04:26 PM
  #14  
Thyra
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We come from LA, and 99% of the time we take an all-night flight. By the time we actually get to our European destination it is early to late afternoon. Call me a wimp, we usually, take a shower and crash for about 3 hours, force ourselves to get up, have dinner and stroll, until around 11 ish. <BR>However last time we went to Ireland, we managed to party at a pub in dublin until 10 pm, directly after our flight.. go figure. But the next day we were fairly well spent.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 04:32 PM
  #15  
Lori
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Flt from LA gets us into London about noon but by the time baggage is collected immigration gone through and the ride into where we rent an apt. it's about 2 p.m. We freshen up, unpack and go buy groceries, tube pass, stamps, whatever. Nothing complicated or heavy duty! We stay awake. The best way to get over jet lag is to stay awake until about 8 p.m. and then go to bed. We do this every trip and it works great, we really don't suffer from jet lag going over --- now coming back is another story. It's a daytime flight and it's really a long one! It takes 3-4 days to get over it I think. Try and sleep on the plane (Tylenol PM), drink plenty of water and remember no matter how tired you feel at least you are not at work! <BR>
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 04:36 PM
  #16  
Capo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
A couple times I've been so tired upon arrival in Europe that I've practically fallen asleep while standing up. In those instances, I've taken a very brief nap (an hour or so) and then spent the rest of the day walking around/staying awake until roughly my normal bedtime. <BR> <BR>Otherwise, I don't take a nap at all.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 04:41 PM
  #17  
Janine
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Its really important to try and get into the local routine as quickly as possible. If arriving in the morning, I try to avoid a day-time nap. But I do take it pretty easy on the first day - drop off luggage, and go for a bit of a walk around the area. Maybe an early meal at the hotel, and go to bed in the early evening for a long sleep and wake up early and refreshed and ready to go the next day.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 05:49 PM
  #18  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
After the long flight from the west (we have frequently been up nearly 24 hours), I begin hallucinating in the late afternoon if I don't take a short nap. We leave bags at the hotel if our room isn't ready, have a stroll and eat some lunch (no sleep makes my stomach grubbly), back to hotel for short nap and a shower, and then back out for more walking and a normal/late dinner. I think the key is sunlight (if it's there) and exercise.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2001, 09:28 PM
  #19  
kmarie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
In order for me to manage the stay-up-all-day-until-an-early-bedtime plan, I've found I have to create my own routine for the plane. If I'm going to get anywhere near enough sleep on the plane, I can't be on their schedule for drinks, meal service and an all-too-brief quiet time. A packed sandwich, fruit, yogurt and bottled water--none of their alcohol, caffeine, or carbonated drinks--make a simple dinner before or shortly after boarding. I might read a bit, but I never watch the movie--I might get interested and stay up too long! Then, eye mask and music on the headset help to block out the activity in the cabin and, with any luck, I'll get four or five hours of sleep before our landing at dawn. With a much-reduced activity level during that first day (outdoors, in the sunlight, as Carrie suggested) and an early dinner, I'm ready for a good night's sleep and no problems the next day.
 
Old Oct 20th, 2001, 12:02 AM
  #20  
Ladybug
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi, Justine - we start from Hawaii on a red-eye, eventually getting to Europe about mid-morning two days later. Don't get much sleep on planes so a trip to Europe is really grueling for us. But once we arrive in Europe we try to forget about U.S. time and switch to the local routine. <BR> <BR>That means unpacking and relaxing for less than an hour (or leaving our bags at the hotel if the room isn't ready), then walking around in the sunshine to take in nearby sights (adrenaline keeps us going, I guess) till late afternoon. We have dinner at 6 pm or so (skip the after-dinner coffee), return to the room, shower, try to stay up till 9-10pm. My husband usually can't last past 8pm. We awake around 7am, have a leisurely breakfast an hour later, then resume our sightseeing. Very little, if any, jet lag problems for us in Europe with this routine. <BR> <BR>We don't nap on that first day, because it didn't work for us when we went on an East Coast trip many years ago. <BR> <BR>Going home to Hawaii, we learned the hard way (wiped out for days) that it's best to stopover on the mainland for at least a week to break up the journey. So we visit our grandkids, which makes it easier to leave Europe in a happy frame of mind. <BR> <BR>I agree that jet lag is a problem with a highly individual solution for each of us. You'll probably just have to keep trying different variations of those systems you mention. I wish you the best of luck, Justine! <BR> <BR> <BR>
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO