Successful professionals who travel can’t let jet lag slow them down. They have to be fast, efficient, and ready for anything, no matter which time zone their job takes them to. With a BlackBerry smartphone or tablet along for the flight, app-savvy jet-setters can easily outsmart travel fatigue and get on with business as usual. Here’s how you can, too.
Too tired for complicated travel hangover remedies, sketchy old wives’ tales, and risky sleep aids? Put your weary mind on snooze, and let our favorite jet lag Rx apps do (most) of the work for you. Take two — or, better yet, all of them — and call us in the morning. You’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in no time.
1. Travel Helper
Download: Travel Helper
Objective: To help you keep your muscles loose, limber and relaxed in-flight.
This illustrated app gently guides you through a relaxing head-to-toe “aviation stretch.” Use it to unwind one cramped muscle group at a time before, during, or after your flight. You’ll recover more quickly from not budging for hours in the air. The app delivers simple, step-by-step directions for a brief but effective series of stretches that blend “traditional yoga and modern physiotherapy.” Each posture is fittingly accompanied by trippy new age rhythms. Don’t forget to stash your groovy USB lava lamp in your carry-on, baby!
Stretch, groove, and repeat (as often as the person seated next to you can stand) to nip common travel-related aches and pains before they creep up on you, including stiffness in the neck, back, legs, and other areas that tend to tense up when squeezed into cramped airplane seats. When you arrive at your destination, you can also use Travel Helper to prep your body for long, sedentary meetings or even to warm up for and cool down from a hotel gym workout. Health bonus: Regularly stretching while sitting for extended periods lowers your risk of deep vein thrombosis, a potentially life-threatening condition.
2. BrainWave Tuner
Download: BrainWave Tuner
Objective: To hypnotize your brain to tame stress related to travel, jet lag, and work.
Using high-frequency electroencephalography (fancy speak for brain wave therapy), this popular app promises to show you how to hypnotize yourself to fight insomnia, expand your attention span, induce sleep, sharpen your mental focus, and play lots more subliminal Jedi mind tricks on yourself. In theory, you’ll learn to dupe your gray matter into believing it’s been in a wacky new time zone all along.
Slip your headphones on and let the app’s ambient white noise options (undulating ocean waves and softly sifting sand) lull you to deep into dreamland in flight, back at the hotel, or at the office. But, please, not during meetings! Sanity tip: Skip the windshield wiper setting. Since when is a squeaky mechanical racket soothing?
Objective: Find food you like nearly anywhere in the world.
You are what you eat, even at 35,000 feet and beyond. Nutrition experts warn that scarfing junk food down during travel can worsen jet lag symptoms, weaken your immune system, and make you look all the more appetizing to bacteria and toxins (potentially) lurking in the local water supply. Any or all of these could lead to sick days in strange lands, canceled flights and meetings, and lost business. So do your busy body good, and use Urbanspoon’s GPS food-finding app to avoid tempting fast food pick-me-ups and reach for nourishing eats instead.
True, Urbanspoon serves up gobs of junk and health food options. But hungry, jet-lagged travelers are better off biting off its healthy, slow food recommendations. The app’s fun,straightforward interface helps you narrow down the choices by neighborhood, cuisine type, or price. For the healthiest results, search with terms like healthy and health food (and even if they’re not necessarily your thing, vegetarian and vegan). Bon appétit!
For a bigger taste of Urbanspoon, check out our Tecca review.
Objective: Track and maximize your workouts on the road — or anywhere.
Business travel keeps you on the go, not out of shape. A good, sweaty workout is a powerful, proven antidote for jet lag. GPS exercise tracking apps like Trekker make it easy to plan, map, quantify, and share your physical activity anywhere in the world, any time. Now, whether you walk, run, hike, bike, or even letterbox, there’s no excuse to slack off while traveling!
This is especially true when there are countless downloadable GPS walking tours of practically every major city in the world, fitness centers open 24/7 at most major hotel chains, and more stash-in-your-suitcase travel exercise equipment available (and affordable) than ever. So go on, feel free to pump some SkyMall AquaBells after you settle in at your destination. You’ll wake up your senses, familiarize yourself with your new surroundings, and sleep better too.