Know your flight number. On approach, get out your boarding pass and memorize your flight number. You don’t want to be fumbling through your purse or carry-on as you’re walking up the jet way into the terminal. If this is a connecting flight, you will want to find the closest display terminal listing your next flight number and departing gate, and head that way immediately. If it is your final destination, you will need your current flight number to determine at which baggage carousel it will be arriving.
Change your watch. As soon as you get on the plane, change your watch to the time at the next destination. Your boarding and take-off times will be listed using the time at the destination. This helps minimize jetlag, too. If you don’t keep checking the time at home, you will soon assume the daily rhythms of the new zone. Another thing to help get yourself in the groove is to…
Get some nourishment. If it is morning when you arrive, go have some coffee, tea and breakfast foods (pancakes, pastries, etc.). If it’s evening, have a proper dinner. Don’t succumb to the urge to stay on your old schedule.
Get outside. When you visit a new place, the light is different, the air is different, and your entire sense of the world can be different. Take a walk if you can. Getting out into the sunlight or night light alerts your brain and body to what time of day it is, and again helps you ‘get with’ the new time zone.
On the way in, plan your way out. Check the in-flight magazine for the layout of the airport. If you’re picking up a rental car, take note of how far the pick-up lot is from the terminal and how you got there. Ask if this is where you turn it back in. Look at the airport and street signs on the way out, and watch for a good place to buy gas to fill up your tank before returning the car.
Don’t make it rougher than it needs to be. Follow these simple guidelines for a smoother transition.