6 Ways To Help Your Children Get Over Jet Lag
Love going for family vacations overseas but dread the jet lag that follows? While there’s no way to avoid the jet lag and there is no official ‘cure’ for it, these tips will help getting over it much faster and easier so that you can enjoy your vacation to the maximum.
1. Adjust to time zones before you leave
If possible, consider adjusting your child’s bedtime to half an hour earlier three to four days before your date of travel, as it can really help in getting over jet lag faster since direction of travel affects jet lag. Studies show to expect 2-3 days jet lag when flying west, and 6-9 days when flying east.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
You’ve heard it before. Stay hydrated throughout your trip by drinking as much water as possible (and not sugary, calorie-laden sodas). Water will help flush out toxins from your body faster and keep your body in top shape for the next phase of travel.
3. Adjust to the new time upon landing
Your phone will automatically change to local time at your current destination the minute you land. Follow suit. Stop calculating the time in your head to “what time it would be where we came from” and work according to the local, present time. This is especially important at night when jet lag usually strikes and the kids are awake in the middle of the night. Keep the lights low, give them a little snack and encourage them to go back to sleep, instead of giving sleep a miss and staying up all night.
4. Head for the sun
Vitamin D, fresh air and a little exercise are the best things you can do for yourself and for your kids when you land after a long haul flight. The light and sunshine help naturally re-set the body’s internal clock, and the outdoor fresh air will also be a welcome change to pressured cabin air. However, if you land late at night, consider spending the night at the airport hotel if possible. It avoids the hassles of driving into the city and delaying the kids from going to bed. The sooner their little body clocks adjust to the local time, the better it is for everyone.
5. It’s ok to have a short nap
If you land during the day and have little kids falling asleep on their feet, it’s ok to let them have a short nap to keep them going. However, make sure that it’s no longer than a two-hour siesta, otherwise it’ll be impossible for them to sleep later at night and get up fresh the next morning.
6. Take it slow
Most parents swear by having a busy morning as that’s the time every one has peak energy, and then spending the afternoon relaxing and having a short nap. But even if mornings are busy, do yourself a favour and plan an easy itinerary for the first couple of days after you land so that the kids have time to adjust.