What is Travel Advisory?

The Travel Advisory program is an information and vaccination service that is available to Drew University students who are planning to travel internationally. The program is designed to assist student travelers who are participating in either Drew sponsored programs, or independent travel. The purpose of this program is to advise students about safe and healthy travel, and help them plan for and receive the appropriate vaccinations.

Persons who participate in the Travel Advisory program receive a private 30 minute consultation where a customized travel and vaccination plan is developed. All recommendations are done with the traveler’s own health history and previous travel experiences in mind. Students fill out a travel questionnaire that will help identify any personal health risks. Recommendations and/or modifications are made in accordance with the personal health history and the CDC recommendations.

When vaccinations are recommended for a particular country, current CDC guidelines are used to determine whether the vaccine is required, highly recommended or optional. Travelers also receive information and advice about food and water precautions, travel tips, parasitic precautions, and malaria prevention. Most travel vaccines can be obtained on-campus at the Health Service at a discount. The Health Service is also licensed to give the Yellow Fever vaccine.

Jet Lag Reduction*

*This information was obtained from the Princeton University Health Services travel website. Princeton adapted this information from the brochure “From the U.S. to Seoul, How to Beat Jet Lag,” prepared by the U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Council, General Chronobionics, Inc. 1988.

Jet lag refers to the physical and mental effects the body suffers when traveling rapidly across numerous time zones. The condition results from the disruption of the traveler’s normal sleep-wake cycle. As a result, the traveler may experience indigestion, daytime sleepiness, headaches, changes in blood pressure, fatigue, and poor concentration. Symptoms generally begin when there is a 2-hour difference and typically increase with the number of time zone crossed.

Jet lag reduction involves the adjustment of major time cues. These include diet, light, exercise, drugs, and social interactions. Adjusting these time cues before and during travel can diminish the effects of jet lag and help the body reset its internal time clock to function in a new time zone.

Diet

Starch and sweet foods high in carbohydrates can cause sleepiness. High protein foods tend to make one more alert.

Light

Bright light signals the body to be active while darkness signals that it is time for rest.

Exercise

Physical exercise stimulates the body and makes it more alert.  It also helps you sleep better at night. Make sure you complete your workout at least 2 hours before bedtime.

Drugs

Depending on the drug, medicines can alter the biological clock significantly. If you take prescription drugs regularly, be sure to discuss a proper medication schedule during the Travel Planning Appointment.

Social Interactions

Conversation with others tends to be stimulatory and results in being more alert.

Traveling West:

Begin preparing for long distance travel three days before departure.

Day 1

  • This is considered the “feast” part of the program.
  • Consume more calories than normal. For breakfast and lunch, eat foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Dinner should be a high carbohydrate meal.
  • Snacking is permitted- high protein foods in the morning, caffeine is allowed only in the afternoon, and high carbohydrate foods in the evening.
  • Go to sleep at your regular bed time.

Day 2

  • This is a “fast” day, caloric intake should be a fraction of the previous day’s.
  • Breakfast and lunch should be high protein meals, while dinner should be high in carbohydrates.
  • Caffeine is allowed in the afternoon, but no evening snacks are allowed.
  • Go to sleep at your regular bed time.

Day 3

  • This is the day before departure. It is also a feast day, so follow the instructions given for Day 1.
  • You may want to stay up past your normal bed time.

Day 4

  • If your flight schedule allows, try to sleep in a little.
  • If you are a coffee drinker or enjoy caffeinated beverages, have two to three cups when you awake, and then avoid these drinks for the rest of the day. This caffeine “jolt” will get your body ready for flying west.
  • The morning of this day is a fast day. Eat low calorie, high protein food. Avoid eating until breakfast is served the next day in your destination city.
  • If your flight does not leave until late in the day, keep daytime activities to a minimum.
  • If it will be daytime when you arrive at our destination, try to sleep on the plane. Use a blind-fold to block out the light and wear ear plugs to minimize noise.
  • If it will be night when you arrive, try to stay awake as much as possible during your trip so you can sleep when you reach your destination.
  • The following day, eat a high protein breakfast and resume a normal schedule. Resist the urge to sleep in the middle of the day.

Traveling East:

For the three days prior to your departure, follow the same instructions listed above for travel to the west.

  • On the day of your flight, get up as early as possible and eat as little as possible. Caffeine should be avoided.
  • If you own two watches, set one with the home time and one with the destination time.
  • Stay active in the early part of the day and follow home time until 6 p.m. and then follow destination time.
  • Try to sleep on the flight until it is breakfast time in your destination city.
  • Treat this day as a feast day. Avoid caffeine, snacking, and get to bed on time.
  • The following day, eat a high protein breakfast and resume a normal schedule. Resist the urge to sleep in the middle of the day.