Crossing to the dark side: those who nap through jetlag

Crossing to the dark side: those who nap through jetlag

This may well be the most controversial blog post I will ever write, because as everyone knows, you don’t do it. You don’t ever take a nap in the middle of the day if you have jetlag, you stay awake until whenever night time is in the country you have flown to.

So here’s my confession: I nap. On purpose. And I highly recommend it!

Why? Well, let me talk you through my jetlagged history. The first time I ever flew across so many timezones that I arrived at my destination the day before I left, I held to the maxim that one does not nap during the day if one is jetlagged. Unfortunately, we’d arrived in Rome at 6am, leaving a yawning gulf of time between touch down and sleep time. All the same, I bravely battled on despite having achieved only about 2 hours of broken sleep on a plane over the past 24 hours. I began the day with less than ideal muscle co-ordination, tripping over cobblestones, my own shoes, and, once, a parked scooter. The day wore on, and I ignored my aching limbs and red, throbbing eyes to feign interest in various statues and fountains in an attempt to distract myself until bedtime. Exhausted from my ongoing efforts to remain upright, I checked my watch. Roughly fifteen minutes had passed.

And that’s when it dawned on me: no good could come out of this day while I was so thoroughly dysfunctional. I was wasting an entire precious day of my holidays! And why? Because “The Rule” is that you don’t nap when you have jetlag. Well, I thought, it’s my holiday and I’ll nap if I want to. And so I napped... and then I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, and slept that night as per normal!

There is, however, a careful technique that I follow when engaging in this most dangerous of first-world-problem pursuits.

  1. Don’t oversleep. It’s a power-nap only. Set the alarm on your phone to maximum loudness. Allow yourself no more than 20-40 minutes on the clock (depending on just how bad the calibre of sleep on your flight was)
  2. If necessary, set a second alarm to go off at the same time, and place it a couple of metres away so you have to get up to turn it off.
  3. This is the tricky bit: when the alarm goes off YOU GET OUT OF BED. DO NOT PRESS SNOOZE. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF EVEN A MOMENT LONGER TO REST.
  4. Immediately go and take a hot shower. This is necessary because it prevents you from falling back asleep, makes you feel a bit less crappy, and also gets you clean.
  5. Coffee. Strong. Black, if you can take it.
  6. HAPPINESS!!!

I should be honest here, and say that when that alarm goes off after 40 minutes you will be dragged from the murkiest depths of unconsciousness and you will not feel remotely like getting out of bed. Your brain will try to tell you that you need more sleep, and your brain will be very persuasive about this, BUT this groggy phase passes in about 15-20 minutes, after which time you will feel completely non-jetlagged! And in doing so, you’ll have gained back a whole day from your holiday that would otherwise be spent moping around willing the day to be over.

So. I nap through jetlag. And have not, to date, been struck by lightning for so doing. Just a little idea to roll around while you’re planning your honeymoon, folks. Check out our sample registry for more ideas, or check out our home page for more info on how Our Honeymoon Registry works. Happy planning!

Comments | Posted in: Stories

Crossing to the dark side: those who nap through jetlag

Crossing to the dark side: those who nap through jetlag

This may well be the most controversial blog post I will ever write, because as everyone knows, you don’t do it. You don’t ever take a nap in the middle of the day if you have jetlag, you stay awake until whenever night time is in the country you have flown to.

So here’s my confession: I nap. On purpose. And I highly recommend it!

Why? Well, let me talk you through my jetlagged history. The first time I ever flew across so many timezones that I arrived at my destination the day before I left, I held to the maxim that one does not nap during the day if one is jetlagged. Unfortunately, we’d arrived in Rome at 6am, leaving a yawning gulf of time between touch down and sleep time. All the same, I bravely battled on despite having achieved only about 2 hours of broken sleep on a plane over the past 24 hours. I began the day with less than ideal muscle co-ordination, tripping over cobblestones, my own shoes, and, once, a parked scooter. The day wore on, and I ignored my aching limbs and red, throbbing eyes to feign interest in various statues and fountains in an attempt to distract myself until bedtime. Exhausted from my ongoing efforts to remain upright, I checked my watch. Roughly fifteen minutes had passed.

And that’s when it dawned on me: no good could come out of this day while I was so thoroughly dysfunctional. I was wasting an entire precious day of my holidays! And why? Because “The Rule” is that you don’t nap when you have jetlag. Well, I thought, it’s my holiday and I’ll nap if I want to. And so I napped... and then I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, and slept that night as per normal!

There is, however, a careful technique that I follow when engaging in this most dangerous of first-world-problem pursuits.

  1. Don’t oversleep. It’s a power-nap only. Set the alarm on your phone to maximum loudness. Allow yourself no more than 20-40 minutes on the clock (depending on just how bad the calibre of sleep on your flight was)
  2. If necessary, set a second alarm to go off at the same time, and place it a couple of metres away so you have to get up to turn it off.
  3. This is the tricky bit: when the alarm goes off YOU GET OUT OF BED. DO NOT PRESS SNOOZE. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF EVEN A MOMENT LONGER TO REST.
  4. Immediately go and take a hot shower. This is necessary because it prevents you from falling back asleep, makes you feel a bit less crappy, and also gets you clean.
  5. Coffee. Strong. Black, if you can take it.
  6. HAPPINESS!!!

I should be honest here, and say that when that alarm goes off after 40 minutes you will be dragged from the murkiest depths of unconsciousness and you will not feel remotely like getting out of bed. Your brain will try to tell you that you need more sleep, and your brain will be very persuasive about this, BUT this groggy phase passes in about 15-20 minutes, after which time you will feel completely non-jetlagged! And in doing so, you’ll have gained back a whole day from your holiday that would otherwise be spent moping around willing the day to be over.

So. I nap through jetlag. And have not, to date, been struck by lightning for so doing. Just a little idea to roll around while you’re planning your honeymoon, folks. Check out our sample registry for more ideas, or check out our home page for more info on how Our Honeymoon Registry works. Happy planning!

Comments | Posted in: Stories

From Michelangelo to the Minotaur: Stepping back in time in Italy and Greece

From Michelangelo to the Minotaur: Stepping back in time in Italy and Greece

Planning your honeymoon registry? Wish you could get some tips from others who’ve done the same? We’ve spoken to a few couples who used Our Honeymoon Registry and they’ve shared some ideas and experiences from their trips.

Bartek and Claire

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

Italy and Greece

Which honeymoon registry gift ideas worked really well on your trip?

A colleague from work gave us a gift of a gondola ride in Venice, which we loved! Also, a few family friends gave us some accommodation while we were there, which was right in the old part of town in a beautiful building with its own water-gate onto the canal. We would never have been able to justify the expense of such gorgeous accommodation if we were travelling normally, because you can stay much more cheaply out of town, so this was a great opportunity to make the trip special using the registry.

Favourite place to go there?

Santorini (Greece)

From Michelangelo to the Minotaur: Stepping back in time in Italy and Greece

How did you decide on the gifts you put in your registry?

Honestly… my ancient history class back in high school! I’d studied all these places in Greece and Italy but had never actually stood there and looked at the real things. So I mapped out places like the Sistine chapel, the ruins at Pompeii and the palace at Knossos as my starting point. Then I spoke to friends who’ve been there before and looked at travel books to see what other things were in the area that we might want to do, and any special accommodation we could stay at.

Best food experience?

Really loved the bread and tzatziki platters in Santorini. A big part of that was eating them outdoors gazing at the setting sun over the ocean with a few drinks!

Something you wish you’d done or known when you were there?

In Rome, we learned never to buy any food if you can see the Colosseum from where you are – it’s overpriced and nasty “tourist” fare instead of authentic Roman cuisine.

Best tip for travellers in that country?

Breakfast isn’t big in Italy… in fact I’m not sure it exists. So if you’re like me and can’t step outside without having had the most important meal of the day, go exploring to find shops where you can get things like fresh bread or fruit to take back to the hotel for the next morning (these are good even if you don’t have a fridge). I discovered the gelato shop down the road served a great natural yogurt with honey, which was my go-to option.

From Michelangelo to the Minotaur: Stepping back in time in Italy and Greece

Best tips for newlyweds who travel?

Schedule in some low energy gifts – even if you think you love energetic activities. Things like massages or theatre tickets are good for breaking up the more intense activities, because all travel has the potential to be tiring and stressful at times if it’s too full-on, and you don’t want something like that to stop you enjoying the time with your new husband/wife!

A few key items to pack for an awesome honeymoon in that country?

A few snappy outfits that don’t crush too badly and comfy flat shoes (putting those squishy inserts into the soles is a good idea) – no sneakers!! People dress impeccably well in Rome and I’d packed my usual travel wear of loose cargoes and floppy shirts. I had just a few nice outfits I could muster up, and ended up buying a few new things while I was there (I know, poor me!) because I felt like I stuck out so badly. When in Rome…

Comments | Posted in: Stories

From Michelangelo to the Minotaur: Stepping back in time in Italy and Greece

From Michelangelo to the Minotaur: Stepping back in time in Italy and Greece

Planning your honeymoon registry? Wish you could get some tips from others who’ve done the same? We’ve spoken to a few couples who used Our Honeymoon Registry and they’ve shared some ideas and experiences from their trips.

Bartek and Claire

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

Italy and Greece

Which honeymoon registry gift ideas worked really well on your trip?

A colleague from work gave us a gift of a gondola ride in Venice, which we loved! Also, a few family friends gave us some accommodation while we were there, which was right in the old part of town in a beautiful building with its own water-gate onto the canal. We would never have been able to justify the expense of such gorgeous accommodation if we were travelling normally, because you can stay much more cheaply out of town, so this was a great opportunity to make the trip special using the registry.

Favourite place to go there?

Santorini (Greece)

From Michelangelo to the Minotaur: Stepping back in time in Italy and Greece

How did you decide on the gifts you put in your registry?

Honestly… my ancient history class back in high school! I’d studied all these places in Greece and Italy but had never actually stood there and looked at the real things. So I mapped out places like the Sistine chapel, the ruins at Pompeii and the palace at Knossos as my starting point. Then I spoke to friends who’ve been there before and looked at travel books to see what other things were in the area that we might want to do, and any special accommodation we could stay at.

Best food experience?

Really loved the bread and tzatziki platters in Santorini. A big part of that was eating them outdoors gazing at the setting sun over the ocean with a few drinks!

Something you wish you’d done or known when you were there?

In Rome, we learned never to buy any food if you can see the Colosseum from where you are – it’s overpriced and nasty “tourist” fare instead of authentic Roman cuisine.

Best tip for travellers in that country?

Breakfast isn’t big in Italy… in fact I’m not sure it exists. So if you’re like me and can’t step outside without having had the most important meal of the day, go exploring to find shops where you can get things like fresh bread or fruit to take back to the hotel for the next morning (these are good even if you don’t have a fridge). I discovered the gelato shop down the road served a great natural yogurt with honey, which was my go-to option.

From Michelangelo to the Minotaur: Stepping back in time in Italy and Greece

Best tips for newlyweds who travel?

Schedule in some low energy gifts – even if you think you love energetic activities. Things like massages or theatre tickets are good for breaking up the more intense activities, because all travel has the potential to be tiring and stressful at times if it’s too full-on, and you don’t want something like that to stop you enjoying the time with your new husband/wife!

A few key items to pack for an awesome honeymoon in that country?

A few snappy outfits that don’t crush too badly and comfy flat shoes (putting those squishy inserts into the soles is a good idea) – no sneakers!! People dress impeccably well in Rome and I’d packed my usual travel wear of loose cargoes and floppy shirts. I had just a few nice outfits I could muster up, and ended up buying a few new things while I was there (I know, poor me!) because I felt like I stuck out so badly. When in Rome…

Comments | Posted in: Stories

Ice hotels and volcanic mud: The action-packed honeymoon to Scandinavia and beyond

Ice hotels and volcanic mud: The action-packed honeymoon to Scandinavia and beyond

Planning your honeymoon registry? Wish you could get some tips from others who’ve done the same? We’ve spoken to a few couples who used Our Honeymoon Registry and they’ve shared some ideas and experiences from their trips.

Nick and Viv

Where did you go for your honeymoon?
Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden), Iceland and Scotland

Which honeymoon registry gift ideas worked really well on your trip?
Quite honestly, most of them. We were really appreciative of a lot of the café and restaurant meals that people got for us and it was a really nice feeling to sit down in some amazing places and say “Cheers!” to specific people.

For us, the more active gifts such as kayaking, white water rafting and bike hire worked well, as they can definitely add up quickly in price!

Ice hotels and volcanic mud: The action-packed honeymoon to Scandinavia and beyond

Favourite place to go there?
Haha, all of them. We could honestly move to most of the places we went to.

How did you decide on the gifts you put in your registry?
Some of the gifts were places that we’d been to already on a previous holiday that we wanted to return to, such as the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Other gifts were things that we had learnt about on previous holidays and didn’t get to experience as it was the wrong season. Some gifts came about from spending some time cruising on the internet, and others came from things that our friends and family said they would like to get us. For example, we had souvenir Viking helmets as a gift which a friend mentioned would be a cool idea. That was one of the first things to go, and we had a lot of people say they were disappointed they couldn’t have gotten that for us!

When picking the gifts, we also made a conscious decision to have a big price range. That way people weren’t pressured to spend more than they were comfortable with, but could still feel like they were giving us something meaningful. I hate feeling like a scrooge when the only thing I have been able to afford on people’s gift registries are the pair of kitchen tongs!

Best food experience?
Best Breakfast – Sis Café Helsinki (Finland)
Best Lunch – Restaurant on Fjaderholmarna (Stockholm, Sweden)
Best Dinner – Icelandic Fish and Chips, Reykjavik (Iceland)

Ice hotels and volcanic mud: The action-packed honeymoon to Scandinavia and beyond

Something you wish you’d done or known when you were there?
In Scotland, we spent some time around the Ben Nevis Range and found a large mountain biking hub where you could rent bikes and ride on some of the world’s best downhill tracks. Nick’s really into that thing and would have loved to have done this (whilst I sat at the café reading a book), but we were so inadequately dressed that instead we both just had to watch other people.

Best tip for travellers in that country?
In the Scandinavian countries, save up lots of money if you want to enjoy your alcohol as it’s super expensive (or list a couple of nights out as gifts!).

Best tips for newlyweds who travel?
Don’t hold back on doing anything you want to do because it may seem “un-honeymoon” like. If you both like hiking up mountains or camping, then do it. If you’re not into beaches that much, then don’t go to those beach resorts that a lot of people seem to do for their honeymoons. Get what I mean?

A few key items to pack for an awesome honeymoon in that country?
Layers. Even though we travelled in Summer, there was still snow in places and we even got a day where the maximum temp was 6 degrees, and some nights were quite cool. Also, if you’re hiring a car don’t forget a cable to connect your ipod. An 8hr drive when there’s nothing you understand on the radio may make you both go a little crazy...

Comments | Posted in: Stories