Culture Shock and Time Zones

Learn how to avoid jet lag and find out how to overcome culture shock.

Jet Lag

Jet lag is the feeling of being tired or sluggish after a long flight, often occurring when travellers have to cross multiple time zones.  Once your body adjusts to the time change, which usually takes a couple of days, the jet lag will wear off and you will feel back to normal.

There are a few ways that you can reduce the effects of jet lag:

  • Make sure you are well-rested on the day of your flight.  This will help your body prepare for the time change.
  • Drink plenty of water during the flight.  Dehydration contributes to jet lag, so keeping hydrated will help you feel your best once you arrive.

Culture Shock

Culture shock is the feeling of surprise, uncertainty or disorientation that can be felt when people find themselves in a new or unknown environment.

It is very normal to feel some level of uncertainty when travelling abroad for the first time.

Here are some tips to help you overcome culture shock:

  • Do a little research ahead of time.  The more you know about your destination before you get there, the better prepared you’ll feel for all of the differences you’ll notice.
  • Travel guides are a great place to find out more about your destination.  They offer extensive information on the different sights you’ll see and the different foods and customs you’ll encounter. They will also give you and your friends some great ideas about what to do during your free time.
  • Talk to your Group Leader, Tour Directors and local guides.  While on tour, they will be able to explain and help you understand why things are done differently than in your home country.
  • Talk to your peers.  Share your thoughts or concerns and discuss any differences you notice throughout your tour with your classmates.  This way you can explore, learn and experience this new culture together.