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How to deal with jet lag when traveling with children?

How to deal with jet lag when traveling with children?

Are you planning to go to the other side of the world with your children? But jet lag scares you? Wondering how to best recover from jet lag to enjoy your vacation?

To reassure you, I will tell you that it is much easier for our children to manage jet lag. They have an impressive ability to adapt! In fact, we never anticipate the jet lag before leaving on a trip, the children having school anyway until the day before our departure it would be a torture to wake them up earlier. We also do not use melatonin-based treatments. We use simple and natural methods that I will detail!

How to deal with jet lag when traveling with children?

What is jet lag syndrome?

Set up in 1876, the Earth is divided from East to West into 24 time zones like so many hours in a single day. When in Paris it is 12 p.m., it is 3 a.m. in Los Angeles, 6 a.m. in New York, 3 p.m. in Dubai, 6 p.m. in Bangkok and midnight in Auckland (New Zealand). Traveling from one continent to another necessarily involves crossing several time zones. It is therefore not without consequences for our biological clock.

Whether you travel from East to West or from West to East, jet lag or jet lag has several effects on the body:fatigue, food cravings, nocturnal awakenings.

During our first big family trip, we arrived around 7am in Bangkok. The time to drop off our belongings, impatient to discover everything, we decided to go to the Chatuchak market. Around 5 p.m., the heat helping, the crowd, the noise, we were overwhelmed with immense fatigue, bordering on discomfort. We returned to our guesthouse to take a saving nap for all. To redo, we would have done a less intense activity the day of our arrival.

So how do you deal with jet lag when traveling with children? What are our tips and tricks to minimize the effects of jet lag in children?

Choose your flight

There are supporters of the night flight to sleep and immediately attack the discovery of the country visited. And then there's us. Obviously, we are not traveling in business or business class. Obviously in economy class, comfort is reduced to 80 cm of space to stretch out your legs and try to sleep for a few hours. The children manage to settle into their seats to grab a few hours of sleep. For me, it's mission impossible. I need to lie down to have a real restful night. So we generally manage to take off in the morning from Europe, (Paris or London:see my article to find cheaper plane tickets). So we arrive in the late afternoon or early evening in the country visited. I can assure you that after 10-12 hours of flight (with or without sleep) with or without a stopover, we all have a very good night!

Rise and go to bed with the sun!

If you've ever been to New York, you've certainly found yourself like us at 6 a.m. wandering the streets. Apart from having a coffee there is not much else to do! On the other hand, in Costa Rica, the days begin at sunrise and it fell pretty well. At 8-9 p.m. we were all in bed because of the jet lag, to wake up naturally with the sun at 6 a.m. after a good night's sleep.

Sunlight is very important for our biological clock. In fact, melatonin, the sleep hormone responsible for regulating chronobiological rhythms, is secreted according to the supply of external light:either by the sun or by a light therapy lamp. Human beings are not made to live at night. On the other hand waking up naturally with the sun and going to bed with it is to offer an ideal rhythm to our body and our mind . Waking up in Costa Rica to the chirping of birds and howler monkeys in the middle of the jungle is a magical moment to experience! Storing plenty of sunshine all day provides a great benefit for a good night's sleep. We had this rhythm throughout the stay, the same as that of the locals, making the trip very pleasant.

How to deal with jet lag when traveling with children? How to deal with jet lag when traveling with children?

Listen to your body and take the time

Each person has a different chronobiological rhythm. So, of course, letting your baby sleep all afternoon may not be ideal for stalling him on your new schedules, but if your child asks for it, he needs it. There is no point in fighting jet lag . Fatigue making it irritable, your child may make the start of the trip chaotic if he does not have his sleep quota. Be patient, it's the holidays! With all our advice, his body will naturally shift in 2-3 days.

How to deal with jet lag when traveling with children?

Eat and move, the better you will sleep!

The day after your arrival do not spend your day lazing by the pool. Be active . It is obvious that by having a seated or lying position, the effects of jet lag will soon be felt. On the other hand, if you keep moving, your brain will begin to adjust to your new schedules.

Likewise, quickly find out about meal times on site. A full breakfast, lunch and dinner to avoid cravings at all hours and especially in the middle of the night.

Plan for a smooth return

The delay at the start is rather easy to manage because it's the holidays and you have time to adapt. Return jet lag, on the other hand, may be less so. Coming home when the sun is gloomy, with freezing temperatures, does not help our biological clock. We arrange to return 2 days before resuming work or school. The children thus have 2 days/2 nights to get back into the rhythm. That's enough for us. You can alsouse a light therapy lamp to help you get back to normal. It's not an unnecessary purchase, believe me, it helps me stay in shape all winter long!

You can complete your reading with our 10 tips for traveling peacefully with your children!

Have a good trip!

How to deal with jet lag when traveling with children?