If you’re planning a big trip, you’re probably also wondering how to beat jet lag. One of those unpleasant things about traveling is the jet lag that can come from traversing the long distance. Though people experience the effects of jet lag in different ways and for varying durations depending on health, stress level, and other factors, the good news is you can take steps to beat it.

Strategize Your Sleeping

Travelers often try to outsmart jet lag by intentionally sleeping only for a few hours before hopping on a long haul flight. Whether you do that so you’re tired enough to sleep through the airtime or just excited for your trip, not sleeping the night before the flight is a bad idea. Getting a good night of sleep before you fly better prepares your body to cope with the effects of jet lag.

Loosening up your at-home schedule for a few days beforehand will also give you a big advantage. If you’re usually rigid with sleeping and eating, relax that schedule as much as possible. This will help you adjust to sleeping and eating in a new time zone.

Eat and Drink Wisely

Though it sounds extreme, another trick is to start eating in line with your new time zone — before you go. Eating your bowl of breakfast cereal before bed can get your body functioning on the right schedule.

On the other hand, once you land, you shouldn’t rely on caffeine to keep yourself going. The stimulant will mess with your body’s ability to get to sleep, and though you’ll feel better temporarily, it will increase the time it takes to recover from jet lag.

And like so many other things, water is key to beating jet lag. A hydrated body is a body that’s functioning well. Drinking a lot of water will help counteract your jet lag.

Find the Sun

Look for a flight that gets you in during the day if you can. Arriving in daylight makes it more tempting to start exploring right away. Set your watch to the new time zone as soon as you land and get moving.

The sun simply makes our bodies feel better, so seek out as much sunlight as possible in the first few days. Unless, of course, you’re on a winter hunt for the Northern Lights — then you might need to rely on the hydration hack.

Build in a Stopover

Stopping for a day or so en route can help your body adjust in increments. You can also find great deals on flights this way, not to mention exploring a cool new place you might not otherwise get to see.

Taking a few simple steps before you fly and once you arrive can make a big difference. Learn how to beat jet lag so you can have fun exploring, without the exhaustion that so often comes with long trips. A few thoughtful tweaks to your routine will let you prevent jet lag and recover from it faster.