The time difference between your home country and New Zealand can be big and annoying. It’s something you can’t deny. Does that mean you’ll have sleepless nights and exhausting days the first week of your internship in New Zealand? No, surely not. Follow this advice and you’ll be ready for your new rhythm in no time.
Start on time, make a plan
Make a plan in advance and start applying this, a couple days before your flight. For example, say you live in England. You have a flight on Saturday night 10 PM to Kuala Lumpur which takes you thirteen hours. After a three-hour stopover, you’ll make your way to Auckland in another 10,5 hours. You will arrive in Auckland at 1 PM local time. How to prepare for this? On Thursday night, go to bed early, like 10 PM. Thursday already? Yes, in this way, it’s easier for you to get to sleep early on Friday and Saturday – the day of your flight. Now you will theoretically wake up with five hours to go on your flight. Spend this watching the newest movies or playing games but manage to stay awake. Obviously stay awake at your stopover and then also the first three hours of your flight. Then try to go to sleep and when you wake up, you’re in Auckland. 1 PM is a bit late to wake up but you’ve done it before after a night out and it means you have to stay awake for less time, which is great because the first day in a new city is exhausting. So this is the plan. It will not exactly go like this for sure as you’ll probably sit next to a baby or you can’t sleep or they wake you up for food (which is not a bad thing at all). Read our other advice as well.
Drink coffee or eat a healthy snack
What’s better to get rid of exhaustion than a delicious cup of coffee? Caffeine makes you stay awake and allows you to control your rhythm. Also, it’s a bit of a placebo effect: once you know you had coffee and will wake up, you will actually wake up. If you’re not a coffee lover, a healthy snack will do a well. Snacks with a lot of sugar will give you energy as well but only for a short amount of time whereas healthy snacks will give you an energy boost that lasts. For example, eat a handful of nuts or a carrot.
Go do stuff
Keep yourself busy by doing stuff. Do not give your body an opportunity to get tired. We’re not talking about going for a one hour run or going to the gym, just simply going for a little walk or having a conversation with someone. Your brains will stay active this way. On top of that, if you’re doing something you like, the time will go by faster which means you can go to bed more early!
Do not look at screens all the time
As much as we love watching Gossip Girl or playing Candy Crush, your body doesn’t react very well to this light overdose. It will get restless. It’s very difficult with all these movies and games on the plane but try to vary with doing this and reading magazines or chatting with your neighbour.
Take sleeping pills or eat “sleepy food”
Sleeping pills allow you to steer your rhythm just like coffee. You can just buy them at the pharmacy. The people that work there can give you advice about the strength and kind. Do remember to take them in their original packages as the security at the airport can be very strict. If you prefer not to use medicines to stay awake, try food that will make you sleepy like bananas, cherries, yoghurt, dates, or peanut butter.
Prepare for a comfortable flight
You can prepare a lot when it comes to being comfortable on the plane. Bring a neck pillow, a blanket (if not provided), earbuds, headphones, enough water*, a sleeping mask (this eye covering thing), something to freshen you up, and enough magazines/ books. * = do empty your bottle of water before the security because you are not allowed to have big liquids in your hand luggage. We have published an article about how to survive a long bus journey, perhaps you can learn there how to make yourself comfy on a journey like this.
Allow yourself some time to adjust
We do understand you want to make the most of your internship abroad and you want to discover the city as soon as possible. But do not give yourself important tasks the day of arrival, as well as the day after. Explore your new city by foot without having to visit the bank or phone company. Just talk to your new neighbours, go for some food shopping at the supermarket, and enjoy. We made a list of things to do on a city trip to Auckland if you’re interested. Allow yourself at least four days to recover from your jetlag and get used to your new temporary home.