Greetings from the Flight Deck—Welcome Aboard!

…Join me on an adventure. A journey. A celebration of flight, regaling tales of world travel, and musings on the “ups n downs” of the rarely lucrative but always rich airline pilot career!

Follow the Adventure

Follow the Adventure...

Join this Site!



Friday, April 20, 2012


People always ask me, How do you combat Jet Lag?
Well, there are no easy answers, and no real sure-fire remedies.  But over the decades I HAVE come up with what works best for me, and is standard advice I give everyone.  It’s simple, easy, and if you follow it, will cut your jet-laggishness by gobs:

1.) Sleep as much as you can, When you can.
2.) Wherever you are, THAT’S what time it is!
Th-th-that’s all, folks!!!
1.) Tired on the plane?  Cat-nap.  Exhausted when you arrive? Snooze!  Can’t keep your eyes open at din-din?  Fall asleep in your pasta bowl.  DON’T “plan ahead” and try to “manage” your sleep!  For example, don’t force yourself to stay up on the plane ride till local bedtime, when you can hardly keep your eyes open.  ‘Cause, what if local sleepy time comes around and NOW you got your second wind?!  Now you CAN’T sleep, when you need to!  And that first day doing Vienna’s "Sound of Music" Tour's shot.
The more you sleep, the quicker you’ll adjust to local time!

Conversely, if you pop up wide awake at 3am, there’s no sense in tossing and turning for the next three hours.  Go take a serene walk  around the Eiffel Tower!  There’s something sublimely serendipitous about being awake and experiencing the magic of life in a strange corner of the planet when the rest of the world is asleep around you!

2.)  Set your wristwatch to LOCAL time, and FORGET about the time at home!!!  I can’t stress this enough.   Psychologically, you are curious about the time at home, and your body wants to adhere to that schedule, which is completely irrelevant and temporarily obsolete!
When in Rome, do when the Romans do!
 Yes, these two rules can conflict, so Rule 2 is subordinate to Rule 1.  Just do this to the best of your ability!

As for pre-planning, if you have the flexibility and the fortitude, getting to bed an hour earlier each night for a few nights (9pm, then 8pm, then 7pm...) for a trip Eastbound (conversely 1hr/day later Westbound) might help...but it's a lotta work and tough to schedule.  Good luck with dat!

For me, Part of the joys of world travel is getting COMPLETELY lost and disoriented in a new corner of the world--language, locale, time...I lose even my own identity, become that feather on the wind in “Forest Gump”; it's an amazingly liberating and psychologically freeing experience to Let Go of ALL structure in your life!  You’ll find that that very same structure is its own gilded cage, and you have the POWER to cast it off at will!!
And you’ll come home, refreshed, with a whole new attitude and appreciation for your life!  Just make sure you schedule a couple of days to "recover" from your "R&R!"

Oh, yeah, you can do this stuff, too.  Except for the avoiding naps thing.  Du -umb!

A side note on sleep aids.  Just about everything I've tried SUCKS!  Most drugs just give me crappy sleep and I awake groggy and more fatigued than when I went to bed.  But, two things that seem to do it best for me are 1.) ignatia amara, a homeopathic remedy that allows you to relax rather than force you to sleep (thanks, Lisa, for this one!) and 2.) nothing beats a simple Tylenol PM!  Melatonin seems to work for many, though for me it's a bit "hit and miss."  (Ideally, take 3 hrs. before local bed time...)

If, at bedtime, you're not feeling it, try one of the above sleep aids.   It's all one big experiment when it comes to your own body and world travel...

And that's part of the big adventure--self-discovery--ain't it?!

Oh, and PS: The best travel tip I ever received came from my dad.  He was not a pilot, not a real world traveler (though he served on a Destroyer in the Pacific in WWII.)  He said,  "When you plan a trip, first lay out on your bed everything you want to take.  Then, put away half the clothes and take twice the money."

I've never gone wrong taking that advice!
PS:  Today some of you may have seen references to "Kony 2012."  Check this out!:


  1. Interesting blog. As a person that lived on the other side of the world, I know what jetlag is all about. You are right on the mark when it comes to your suggestions. You can never actually be all the way prepared for it. Last time I went out to Kenya, I warned the group to sleep on the flights. Ya, did they listen? Nope. Instead they were so exhausted when we arrived that the first few days they were miserable. I was fine-n-dandy. Their loss:)Hahah!

    I like Tylenol PM, but nothing really works for me. Unless a prescip, but I hate the groggy feeling too after taking something to help. Maybe wine???? Ha! of sleep is making me tired...So, lala salama Cappie. Thanks for another entertaining blog. :)


  2. I have traveled alot and I found your first rule, "Sleep as much as you can" is spot-on. It worked for Jet Lag so well that I use it now in everyday life!

  3. I never thought I could look forward to my next jet-lag!

  4. Hey Cap,

    I appreciate you are on your travels so the q is more rhetorical but what is the rule of thumb in the cockpit regarding naps - I've heard that on occasion it is allowed yet we also hear tales of all asleep up front??

    All the best!

    Dave from the UK

  5. Hey there Cappy.....I know one don't ever want to take Ambien(sleep med)...and glass of wine.....You just may end up....watering your flower bed naked.....Jeezus.....Yep!!!!!!!!!!
    so that is Big NO NO!!!!
    now ...Vick's formula 44........and the NyQuil.....will knock yo Ass out......too.......especially when you wash them down.........with more Wine!!!!!!:))))

    I agree with you.....Cappy......for once.......LOL

    Any time...Any place.....Any where.........Go Discover......your world even if just at Home......!!!...

    You'll be coming home soon.....;((((('ll need your more than help pull you through those awful 'post vaca' are you getting out early for good behavior..........:)))))....

    well it's about that time.........
    for Hump Day Margarita' excellent source of nutrition......I just have to learn to jump in the middle bed........when I'm seeing 3 at a time.....
    later Cappy.......

  6. THANK YOU ALL for keeping the Bloggin' alive during my absence! After my 30-hour travel marathon, I am now officially "home" and putting my own Jet Laggy advice to the test!

    Thanks Bon for being the 1st to reply...even though you now live on the "proper" side of the world, lol!!

    While I've yet to water my plants nekkid, getjets, on this trip I DID discover the joys of Ambien, and have to say it's the first pill I've found that gets you to sleep without nasty after effects...for those who can get a prescription!

    Matt, I'm always tempted to join in on the "sleep as much as you can" advice all the time too, lol!

    Havana Penguin (GREAT name!) let us know how it goes for you!

    Dave W I'll refrain from answering your Q, but respectfully direct you to my post, "Zen and the Art of Pilot Maintenance!!"

    Now, once the dust settles, off to write some more blogs!...

  7. Ha Cappie...You have never been to my "other" side of the world, which is absolutely amazing :). However, though I must admit this is the "proper" side to be on most times...LOL!

    Welcome Home!!!

    1. Correction, Dear. Been there, but only to the "North" side of the continent. Kenya on south is definitely on the short list!

      Lala Salama ;)

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Tamu!(sweet)...where did you go on North side? So, glad to hear it's on your short list. You will not be disappointed. I'll be your tour guide. "I take you good places, very cheap." Hahhaha! :) AND have great connections still. Nice job remembering the Swahili.

    Habari ya asubuhi...but now you get your lala salama since your all jet lagged up;)

    April 27, 2012 9:00 AM

  10. Welcome Home Cappy!!!!!!!!!!!

    back to driving the "Bus" for a change and not sitting in the back.........:))
    Did you find yourself.........being a bad 'backseat' driver......while living life as a 'lowlife' PAX...LOL
    kidding.....thinking you would have 'flaps this or flaps that..differently......
    Again Welcome Home......Coach......

    btw........I got your book I will be completing my reading....assignment....
    better be good.......You'll be getting a report.........
    Later Cappy....

    1. Haha so glad you joined the "enlightened" crowd, Miss T! Find a nearby beach or backyard pool, curl up, and enjoy!

      No, I always trust those fine fellows up front to do the driving for me while I squirm in my middle coach seat in "steerage" as an incognito peon, for the 16=hour trek across the planet. (A good way to squelch Cappy's ever-threatening ego!) My ears perk up whenever the Cap'n comes on, however, as I'm always impressed at how well the crew speaks English, which is usually not their native tongue!

      As we speak I'm whipping up a new piece for y'all, a "There I was"-type adventure that encapsulates the Thai travel experience, entitled, "The Girl, the Plastic Watch, and Everything!" (Although, hint hint, next up, more airline myth busting!)

      Stay tuned!!

    2. I'm on "Pins and Needles"..........with Anticipation!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Me too, Miss TWA. LOL! I think he's holding out on us a bit. Hahahaha! ;)

  12. Damn Damn........!
    I wish I wish there was a Icon.......that I could click........
    that made the sound of "crickets".........:)))))

  13. LOL ok, so I was off by a day. Tonight! Really!!

  14. Still got your head in the


Sorry, folks, due to more spamming, Word Verification is back on. If you have trouble posting, please email your comments to me and I will post it for you!