6 Cures to Jet Lag with Kids So You Can Jump Start Your Trip

 In Travel Tips

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.

This post contains affiliate links. Vintage Clock and preteen waking up via Shutterstock.com


A cure for jet lag is out there if you are smart enough to actually use it. Grab these jet lag with babies and jet lag with kid tips that also work for parents and adult travelers looking for a little pick me up. Oh, and these tips don't include any drugs or crazy amounts of caffeine, so they are safe for every traveler.
Travel and Jet Lag go hand in hand, but jet lag with kids and jet lag with babies can be a real drag. Grab these travel tips for surviving jet lag on your next trip so you can hit the ground running when you arrive in your next destination.
Jet lag with kids is no joke. Jet lag with babies is even more insane, but these jet lag tips are here to save the day.
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Showing 3 comments
  • Ahmed

    Thank you for the practical tips. We’re suffering from jetlag as we keep travelling from New Zealand to Middle East and Europe. It’s getting more difficult as the kids are getting older. Our small, peaceful family is turning into a war zone as a result of sleep deprivation.

    • Keryn Means

      Oh no!!! I hope you get some time to sit still and recover for a few days. Sometimes you just need to just have a few down days when you are traveling nonstop.

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  • […] More often than not, I’m stuck in a hotel room with my kids and there is noise coming from somewhere. My oldest might be snoring like a sailor, a couple could be coming back late at night and chatting a bit too loudly, an ambulance is screeching down the street far below, or another family is up way too early in the morning next door. In any case, my serene hotel room is not that quiet place we all thought we were getting when I started planning our family vacation. This is why I always pack a portable sound machine. A sound machine creates a consistent sleep environment for my boys that they are accustomed to at home. It also blocks out extra noises and allows me to stay up late working long after they have gone to bed. A simple, portable box, or even a white noise app, turns what could be a restless night into that cozy hotel room I need for my family. ~ Keryn Means, Walking On Travels […]

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