How To Beat Jet Lag From England To Australia In 8 Steps

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After flying all over the world, I’ve finally cracked it… I’ve learnt how to beat jet lag from England to Australia!

You might know that you’re more likely to get away without getting jet lag when you fly from Australia to England but coming back is usually a nightmare. It’s taken me usually about a week to get over it, but this time I did a few things differently and I didn’t get any jet lag at all when arriving into both London and back into Sydney.

This post is also great if you’re wondering how to sleep on a plane as well because I basically slept the entire way!

Here’s how you can avoid jet lag when flying between England and Australia.

1. Buy Phenergan


Yep, I had no idea what Phenergan was either until my hairdresser Stevie English told me that was his key for his entire family to skipping jet lag when flying between England and Australia. It’s an anti-histamine and when I asked for it over the counter, the first thing they asked was “Are you flying long distance?”. It looks as though Phenergan must be a common thing to take on long haul flights.

With the choice between getting the 10mg or 25mg tablets, they would only sell me the 10mg’s because they said the 25mg would make me feel hungover.

Truth be told, I didn’t need the 25mg in the end.

My flight from London – Sydney took place at the following times:

London Heathrow: 9:30pm – arrive into Kulaa Lumper at 6:00pm (13.5 hour flight)

Kuala Lumper: 4:00am (flight was delayed) – Sydney 12:00pm (8 hour flight).

My plan was to sleep as much as I honestly could throughout both flights because  arriving at 12pm on a Friday afternoon in Sydney was technically 3am UK time.

When you board the plane, the pilot usually tells everyone what the local time is. Set your watch straight away so you can try and adapt to the hours as soon as possible. There’s nothing worse than going on about how it’s like 5am my time right now. It doesn’t help anyone.

On the first flight, I watched one movie and then fell asleep for a solid 9 hours. This was purely because I took a Phenergan tablet about 30 minutes before I fell asleep. Interestingly I didn’t take one on the way to England and kept waking up every hour or so.

When I arrived into Kuala Lumper, I stayed awake the entire time whilst I sat there pondering about whether I should have made the effort to go out and explore the city.

When I got onto the second flight, because it was delayed by three hours and it was 4am, it made me psychologically feel like it was really late. Yet I was so hungry by that time and waited until I got fed a bagel on the flight before taking another Phenergan. To be honest, I was a bit tired but not enough to sleep. When I took the tablet, I passed out not long afterwards. When I woke up 5 hours later, we were landing in a hour or so.

The following day after we arrived, I took another Phenergan to make sure I slept through the night and it worked.

Side effects of Phenergan

I can’t say I woke up feeling amazing but I was just glad I slept. It’s the sort of tablet you only want to take when flying, not regularly as it will make you feel like crap if you take it more than you need to. Always check with your doctor before you take this tablet.

2. Buy a decent travel pillow


Something I have tried to get right for years is investing in a decent travel pillow. Trust me, we’ve tried loads of them but when we bought this one from Go Travel here, it has literally changed our world!

It’s got a decent cushioning to it, a strap that clicks in so it supports your neck and best of all, it actually makes you want to sleep when you put it on. Maybe it’s something to do with the cushioning but it works. We have to say Go Travel pillow is the best travel pillow we’ve ever found!

Turn the pillow around to support your chin as well.

We also read on this blog a little trick to turn your travel pillow around so that the neck rest actually supports your chin. This is a genius idea because it really does work. I tend to alternate mine throughout the flight which works a treat.

I also use this eye mask and these ear plugs every time I fly. Trust me, you’ll need them when all you want to do is sleep for as long as possible on the flight.

Buy Go Travel pillow here >

3. Bring some noise cancelling headphones with you


Steve recently bought these Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones and swears by them. When you’re on a long haul flight and you get given headphones for the entertainment. The downside is I’ve been on loads of flights where I can’t even hear the movie at all because the headphones have been so terrible. I then totally regret not investing in a decent pair.

If earplugs aren’t your thing, these headphones will certainly do the trick.

4. Pick your seat near the back of the plane


When you check in online, you get the option to choose your seat. If you have to pay extra for this service, when you drop your bags off, ask the person on the counter if you can move seats. It’s worked for me every time.

I have a bit of an OCD thing about sitting on the right hand side of the plane next to the window. The window seat gives you that extra head rest support and for me it generally feels like I have more room.

The key is to get a seat towards the back of the plane because they tend to block out a couple of rows at the back if the plane isn’t full. This means, you have more of a chance to change seats and potentially get a whole row to yourself. Always ask the cabin crew before the flight leaves if there are any other seat available as you’ve got some story about why you need to get more sleep on the plane.

Also, by being at the back of the plane, the line for the toilets never seems as bad and if you need to get any extra snacks or drinks, it’s easy to get them from the cabin crew.

If you suffer from claustrophobia when flying, I find that it doesn’t feel as cramped in at the back of the plane either.

5. Take your own water bottle onto the plane


I bought this brilliant water bottle a while back from Amazon and I take it everywhere with me. It’s especially good if you live in Australia as it keeps your water cold all day long, no matter how hot it is outside.

Take it with you in your hand luggage because there’s always water stations once you walk through customs which are usually located near the toilets.

Make sure you fill your water up so that you don’t need to go out of your way to ask for water on the fight and it’s free so you won’t need to spend a fortune on it at the airport. Makes me think back to being in LAX airport and we had to pay $15 for a bottle of water and a bottle of orange juice – crazy!

You water will stay cold and fresh for up to 36 hours with this water bottle which is awesome!

Buy the Oasis 1 litre water bottle right here >

6. Take a short nap when you land into Sydney

Because I booked myself into Sydney Central YHA when I landed into Sydney because we were living two hours north in Newcastle at the time (read our favourite 38 things to do in Newcastle here), it was an easy Sydney accommodation option from Sydney airport.

I chilled out for a couple of hours and then had a one hour sleep from 4-5pm. This actually did me wonders. Did I struggle to wake up? I was actually alright and coped pretty well.

7. Stay at Sydney Central YHA when you land into Sydney.


I found by staying in a hotel I was able to still feel like I was away. Staying at Sydney Central YHA in the middle of Sydney made me want to go out and do stuff.

If I had gone home, I probably would have gone straight to bed and would have woken up at some random hour like at 3am.

8. Have some drinks on your first night back


When I woke up after my nap, we got ready to go out for dinner. Because we were staying in the middle of Sydney, we made the effort to got out and the night actually turned into drinks so we didn’t actually get in until 1am. How I did this, I don’t know but it worked a treat.

The key is, wait until the evening to have the drinks. Don’t go straight to the pub if you land in the morning or in the middle of the day as you’ll probably crash a lot sooner than you think. Get yourself back on Sydney time straight away.

The next day I felt like I was back on Sydney time and just took one phenergan before I went to bed and slept the whole way through.

I know some of you won’t be able to stay in Sydney accommodation or have a few drinks later after you land because of kids and all, but at least try the phenergan and get yourself that brilliant travel pillow from here. You never know, you might be able to avoid jet lag too!

Read more of our Sydney posts below!

⇒ Where to live in Sydney >

⇒ We’ve finally found the best migration agent in Australia ?

⇒ Sydney vs London >

⇒ How much a family of 3 spent to move to Australia >

How to beat jet lag from England to Australia

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  1. Hi Annie. The best way I deal with jet lag is to land in Brisbane in the early evening. Then I can go to bed and go to sleep at a reasonable time. If I land in the early morning from a long haul flight it will take me days to recover as I will go to sleep early and wake at 2am. I have been travelling back and forwards to Australia for over 42 years and this is the only way it works for me. Otherwise it would be a stopover on the way to break the long flight.

  2. Thanks for the great tips! I’ve never taken phenergan for jet lag but a little hesitant as we have an 8 and 10 year old with us and am worried mum and dad will be totally zonked and not wake up if the kids do wake and need something during flight (I have melatonin for them). Would be keen to know if others take phenergan when they have kids with them. Does it totally knock you out?

  3. Just like to say, try the phernergan before you use it on the plane. I used to fly with my young son regularly from Perth to Sydney , always took the red eye ( as he was always a good sleeper & this was his natural sleep time, he’d sleep for the whole 5 hour trip). Then his little brother was born, so I was to do the trip alone with 2 kids under two. Someone suggested trying kids phernergan to guarantee the oldest boy sleeping through & I’d only have to deal with a fussing new born. Unfortunately the perfect traveller who’d slept every prior trip went hyper…….he didn’t sleep the whole trip nor for half the next day! So just a warning in some people it has the opposite effect.

  4. Phenergan is also a brilliant medication to prevent seasickness. I’ve used it crossing the North Sea and the Drake Passage. My travel doctor told me this is the medication frequently used by astronauts for motion sickness.

  5. Phenergan is also a brilliant medication to prevent seasickness. I’ve used it crossing the North Sea and the Drake Passage. My travel doctor told me this is the medication frequently used by astronauts for motion sickness.

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