How to Arrive in Germany Ready for Oktoberfest3 min read
The mayor of Munich will tap the first Oktoberfest beer barrel on September 17th, kicking off over two weeks of celebration in the heart of Bavaria. Every year, more than six million people from around the globe take part in this festival commemorating the 19th-century marriage of King Ludwig to Princess Therese. It’s a chance for family and friends to connect over beers, pretzels, and amusement rides fit for kids of all ages.
If you’re one of the millions who will be making the trip, follow these travel tips and you’ll arrive rested and ready for the party.
Choose a Late-Day Flight from the U.S. to Munich
Take advantage of the six-hour time difference between the East Coast of the United States and Munich by booking a late flight. Flights from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. are ideal, and many carriers will have multiple flights around this time slot. If you’re traveling from the Midwest or West Coast, the same general principle applies: time your flight so you’re leaving to cross the Atlantic Ocean in the late afternoon.
Use a Natural Sleep Aide, But Time It Right
Using a natural sleep aide such as melatonin can help you fall asleep early on your flight, which means you’ll be using all of your over-the-ocean time for some shuteye. Other over-the-counter sleep aides will work too, but some have side effects or ingredients such as acetaminophen that you may not need. Don’t take your melatonin until after the flight attendants serve dinner, since they’ll likely wake you to see if you would like something to eat.
Shower, Shave and Brush Your Teeth as Soon as You Land
If you took a flight late in the afternoon from the United States, you’ll arrive in Munich early in the morning. Go through your normal morning routine to wake yourself up as soon as you arrive: Shower, shave, brush your teeth and comb your hair. If you won’t be arriving at your final destination or hotel until later in the day, take advantage of the shower facilities in the Munich airport. They are clean, well-stocked, and cost 15 EUR.
Power Through Your First Day in Germany
No matter how tired you feel, your best bet is to avoid sleeping or napping when you arrive. Staying awake until at least 8 p.m. on that first day will help put your circadian rhythm in sync with the local time. You’ll wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and ready for the Oktoberfest celebration.
Treat Yourself to a Recovery Day after Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest is a fun party…sometimes it can be too much fun. For a unique and revitalizing experience after your day in the beer tents, take a trip south to the town of Tegernsee. Relaxing spas nestled in the Bavarian Alps along the Tegernsee Lake will help you wash the toxins away. After the spa, walk the streets of this quaint town and explore attractions like the 8th-century Benedictine Abbey, museums, restaurants and castles.
Bonus Tip: Make the Most of the Flight Home
It’s fine to nap during the return flight home, but keep it to two hours or less. This will put you in the best position to sleep at a normal bedtime when you’re back in the United States. Instead of napping too long, stock up on movies and books, or catch up on some of the work you put off while at Oktoberfest.
Image courtesy of CNN.