Oh jetlag. A word that strikes fear into the hearts of traveling parents and frequent-flyers a like. As someone who has flown back and forth from England to America multiple times, I am well acquainted with the struggle to adjust to time zone changes and how hard it can be. For parents, however, it is an even harder obstacle to overcome. So parents, with this in mind, here is a comprehensive guide that attempts to tackle jetlag with kids so that the whole family can spend as much time enjoying their holiday as possible.
If you need to bring a phone or Ipad to keep the kids occupied during a long flight, try out these educational apps for kids.
If you’re taking a flight that involves a big time zone change, the best way to prevent lots of jetlag is through preventative measures. First things first, try and book a flight overnight as this will help maintain the natural sleep cycle once you’re airborne and on the way.
Of course, this is not always possible, so the next best thing sans night-flights is doing something that will eat up all the energy of the little ones before the flight begins. Before the airport, trips to the park and physical activity are fantastic, combined with little walks around the airport once you’ve arrived. Whether it’s the first time the kids have travelled or the tenth, the level of excitement will be huge so the name of the game is using up all of that energy.Combatting Jetlag With Kids And How to Get Them Back On Track Click To Tweet
Even if you do everything right, get your little tyke to sleep, there’s still a chance that they could wake up during the flight and cause a ruckus. Again, the goal here is to get back to sleep. Every kid has a favorite television show or a movie they know and love. These are great ways to get the kids back to feeling comfortable and relaxed, ready to drift back to the land of nod. Turn down the brightness setting on the Ipad, plug in some headphones, and hopefully it’ll be lights out sooner rather than later.
Lets be honest: even if you luck out and manage to pull off all of the above seamlessly, a big time change is still going to take its toll to some degree. Once you’ve landed, the key is to adapt quickly to the new time zone and get everybody’s body in rhythm with it.
If you’re visiting family, spend the first few days taking it easy at home catching up with everyone and letting the kids lounge about. This will help everyone adapt quicker. No matter where you are, try to wake up at a regular time, have a regular day, and go to bed as normal. Naps throughout the day and going to bed way too early or sleeping in too late will let your body think its okay to maintain its original rhythm and the trip can suffer because of it.
If you’re going out of the country, make sure to check out our guide about visas and passports for kids.
I wish you the best of luck with battling the all-mighty jetlag with kids and it is inevitable you will face it, but hopefully this guide has helped you become a bit more equipped in dealing with it.