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Time Zone, Daylight Savings & Travelling

Time Zones, Daylight Savings & Travel

When it comes to travelling unless you are staying near home you are likely to face some difference in the time zone. Whether that change is a simple one hour change for daylight savings or crossing the international date line. The topic of time changes can be a tricky concept to work through at times.

For the most part when you are travelling finding out the correct time is easy. Especially these days with smartphones, there is a good chance you won’t even need the internet to find out the correct local time. But in saying that it is always worth doing just a little research to make sure. Making assumptions almost never ends well.

Time Zones

I think for the most part we are all aware of what a time zone is. But more the challenge is knowing which time zone we are travelling to at times. Especially when we have connecting flights travelling across long distances.

The variances that time zones create around the world are very beneficial to maintain the concept of day and night. But make it rather difficult when travelling and have created a whole market for websites just on this topic online. Sites Such as Time and Date have functions you can look at every aspect of time and date for any location in the world. So it does not take a lot to find and research the location you are heading to.

Time Zone - Salisbury, Canada on Time and Date

Above you can see a random location that I searched for on Time & Date when I typed in Salisbury. Even though that is a suburb of Brisbane I clicked the town in Canada. It gives you the details of the current local time and also details the actual time zone and the fact they currently are observing daylight savings time.

Daylight Savings

While time zones are something that is fairly consistent, the observance of daylight savings is not so clean cut. Not all locations within a time zone will observe daylight savings. Additionally, depending upon the hemisphere can depend on which time of year it is observed.

Again the Time and Date website does offer an answer in some way. First, if you are looking at the individual place you will see it above. If you are more interested in a general look you can see it notated on their World Clock Difference Page. If a location is observing daylight savings it will be marked with a red asterisk. At the time of writing on the 12th of March 2018, there is a total of 112 locations marked as daylight savings.

The issue with daylight savings time is that it can change on different days. If it happens to be the day you are travelling, that hour can make a difference. So it is something worth knowing in advance, and a simple check is all it takes.

Cruise Ships

When it comes to travelling by cruise ship on some routes you will be sick of changing your watch by the end of the cruise. Because cruise ship travels at a reasonably slow pace, they rarely pass between more than one time zone at a time. So you are gently moved forward or back one hour at a time. Even if you are undertaking longer crossings such as a Transatlantic cruise, you will likely be moved one hour at a time instead of the entire difference all at once.

I can tell you that I much prefer the one hour per night approach over the big differences you can get when flying. But in saying that it is not all that fun to have to change your watch 8 or so times in a 28-day cruise. It just feels like you are always changing the time.

Relying On Technology

While there is potentially the option to rely on technology for getting the time right. It can also be a bad idea and soemthing that I have personally experienced the bad side of. I had travelled to Auckland for work and I thought I would just need to change the time on my phone, which I did. After setting my alarm I went to bed thinking nothing more of it.

The following morning I woke up to the alarm, thinking it was 7 am. However, at some point in the night, the phone had automatically reset to the time zone it was set for instead of the time I had set. It was actually 10 am, so instead of having four hours to get ready and get to work, I had just one. Kind of annoying but one of the downfalls of relying on technology.

Time To Travel

Whichever way you look at it the more important aspect is the fact you are travelling. That you are getting out there and seeing the world. The time is somewhat secondary to the travel unless of course, it causes you to miss a connection. So at the end of the day take a minute and look up the information and know before you go.

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