6 Cures to Jet Lag with Kids So You Can Jump Start Your Trip
Jet lag has a miracle cure! Ok, not really. I’m sorry to tell you this, but there is no fast and easy way to get through jet lag with kids instantly or even quickly. You really just have to plow through it the best you can. However, there are a few things that can make jet lag easier or more tolerable, even jet lag with babies. A rested parent means a well-adjusted kid. So, while some of these tips will work for wrestling jet lag with your children, more are for you so you can face your trip head on and help your kids push through those first two days.
Hydrate like there is no tomorrow
Yes, water is your best friend. It will flood your system, flush out those toxins that built up on the plane and get your body ready to face the next adventure. Stay hydrated throughout your trip. Don’t let the local food, wine and sweets steer you away from the healing power of H2O. Carry your Hydroflask water bottle everywhere. It keeps cold beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot beverages hot for up to six hours, making it the perfect bottle for any destination. And yes, I’ve tried it with both. It really works.
Fruit gives you a boost
Not everyone may agree with this, but for my body, nothing sets me up for success in a new time zone like fresh fruit and fruit smoothies. All of those vitamins hitting my system in one go is a blessing. A bunch of carbs just slow me down and make me want to sleep even more. If I want to push through, fruits and veggies are what I need. Sometimes my appetite isn’t quite ready for a big salad, so fruit is the way to go. Watermelon and strawberries are two of my go-to fruits. Soursop is my favorite (AKA guanabana fruit in Latin America) when I’m in Asia and it’s available.
Sunshine kicks jet lag with kids
Vitamin D, fresh air and a little exercise are the best things for you when you land in a new time zone and are suffering from jet lag with kids. Unless you arrive at night and can go right to sleep, plan on dropping your bags at your hotel and hitting the streets. Start walking in one direction or head to the nearest attraction you have wanted to see. Don’t worry, you can go back again when you have a clearer headed. This will just give you and your kids a direction to go. In Rome? Start walking towards the Colosseum. It’s hard to miss. Grab a water and some fruit. Your body will thank you for giving it a little stretch, some sunshine and air after being stuck in an airplane for hours.
Sound machine to block the chaos
I am a huge advocate for sound machines. Friends think I’m crazy when they room with me at conferences, but I’ll tell you something. We all sleep better. Sleeping in a new place can be hard, especially if you have jet lag. You are going to be up early or awake into the wee hours. You wake up at random times. You don’t want outside noises to disrupt the one thing you need most- a solid 7-8 of sleep each night to reset your body clock. If you have a kids or a baby with jet lag, you definitely need to block out those outside noises.
I love our Marpac Zohne Portable Sound conditioner. My kids have one in their room at home, so having one on the road creates a familiar space they pass out to in hotels and vacation rentals. I recently tried out the Sound Oasis, “the world’s smallest white noise machine.” You can plug your headphones into it for a personal white noise space. No ocean sounds or anything fancy. Just simple white noise. It has been a lifesaver when I need to work on a plane or have a snoring kid next to me that our portable sound machine just can’t block out.
A Great Pillow = Awesome Sleep
You can’t always pack your favorite pillow (although if you want to, grab this travel one!), I know, but you don’t have to settle at your hotel either. Remember, you can ask for more pillows at your hotel. You can build what you need out of what they have. I have preferred a body pillow ever since I was pregnant. I don’t like my knees to touch when I sleep on my side. I normally have to ask for a few extra pillows to get really comfortable. If I can make myself a cozy nest to sleep in and get that first goodnight’s sleep, I’m guaranteed success as I transition out of jet lag with kids when we travel together or just by myself.
Nap already would you!
Many travel experts will balk at the fact that I am going to tell you to take a nap. I don’t know about you, but I don’t sleep on planes. I can’t. I’m a mom. If my kids need me I need to be available to them. I can only sleep sitting up with the help of a sleeping pill on a plane. Sleeping pills are not an option when I have to be “on” for my kids at any moment. So, I suffer through, maybe catching a 5-minute cat nap here and there while I sit up in an uncomfortable seat. If I have to take an hour nap to survive the day after we land, preventing a migraine while we travel, then I will.