Travelling is one of our favourite things to do as a family. There is nothing better than the buzz of booking the next big trip. The countdown, the holiday shopping and the anticipation of the trip for us is just a big a part as the trip itself.
And then the big day arrives. I don’t know about your children, but ours don’t often sleep on long haul flights, there is too much going on. The promise of an ice-lolly and great movies to watch, coupled with the sheer excitement of travelling. Means they arrive at the destination tired. Not ideal I know, and difficult to deal with at the end of a long haul flight.
During our travels I have come up with a few ways to combat this. And to help limit jet-lag or lack of sleep affecting our trip.
Take a travel pillow; this is a great way to encourage children and teens to sleep on a flight. I have found if I can make the boys comfier, they are more likely to sleep when flying long haul.
And try using an eye mask to block out lights on a plane. When they are snuggled with a blanket and pillow it really does help the boys to drift off.
Avoid sugary sweets that may make them hypo and keep them awake on the flight.
Don’t allow them to nap when you arrive at your destination. This can be tricky when they are so tired, but opt for an early night rather than an afternoon sleep. It’s the best way to sync your sleep pattern to local time. Head to the pool or explore to keep them engaged and awake.
Don’t book a restaurant on the first night. Street or fast food and keeping moving is a better option. We have made this mistake many times. The kids are too tired to eat, grouchy or even fall asleep on the table. (yes Joe did this is Vegas) They are more likely to stay awake longer if you keep them active. The nearer you get to bed time the less chance they have of being up a 4 am the next morning.
The quicker you sync to local time the better.
Use the blackout curtains, obvious I know. Most hotels have a blackout curtain behind the actual curtains, if there is one use it. If you have a turn down service it will be done for you. If not the extra faff fighting with layers of curtains is worth it!
Don’t allow children to watch TV in bed or play with iPads’. I know you are on holiday but blue light is proven to prevent the brain going into sleep mode. Instead take a reading book, then if children can’t sleep they can read a book with a bedside lamp.
I may have trained the Christie boys a little to well now. As all three of them like long sleeps and lazy mornings on holiday, where as I like to be up and out for morning walks and breakfast. But hey as long as we are all happy and chilled it works.
They key for us is getting into a good sleeping pattern from day one. If you can do this meal times are much more enjoyable as no one is tired and that is where we used to feel the most impact.
I recently took a Tempur Travel kit on a trip to Greece to test it out.
I have to say it was handy to have a lightweight memory foam pillow and eye mask in my hand luggage. (Although Joe has now claimed it for his travel case!) It was wonderful to be able to get comfy on a flight and enjoy a nap after a 3am start eeek! It also meant I was all bright and ready to tour the resort, enjoy lunch and a dip in the pool on my arrival.
The great thing is you too can get your hands on one of these handy little travel pillows by heading into a Tempur Retailer between Monday 10th july 2017 – 7th August 2017 and ask the sales team if you can take the Tempur Challenge. Try out a few mattresses and see how comfy they are as they conform to the shape of your body. Experience the Mattress Collection. And in return, Tempur will send you a complimentary Comfort Travel pillow to take on your travels.
This post is in conjunction with Tempur® but all thoughts are my own
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28 thoughts on “How To Avoid Jet-lag And Get A Better Nights Sleep When Travelling With Kids”
An eye mask and ear plugs are a great way to block out your neighbours on a flight.
Totally agree with staying away once you arrive and just have an early night. This is one night we often splurge on room service.
It really works for us a room service is a great idea x
Trying to adjust to the new country’s time asap is so important! We fly between the USA and SE Asia once in a while, and it definitely makes a difference if, on that first day of arrival, you only allow yourself to go to sleep at a normal hour!
I know it makes such a huge difference doesn’t it x
It’s so comfy too, I’m taking mine camping next week – and the pillow it’ll be perfect!
yes it is although Joe has commandeered my pillow x
We’ve done about 10 long-hauls between Asia and Europe with our daughter who’s now 21 months old, most of them red-eyes. I’m not sure if it’s because of the timing, or if she’s just a good sleeper, but she just seems to fall asleep when she’s supposed to. Of course, we’ll see what happens, now that she’s not really a “baby” anymore. I will say though that the jet lag on the return is basically the best thing ever…because she sleeps in until noon!! 🙂 #mondayescapes
yes it can be hard on return too cant it x
Good tip about not having a fancy restaurant meal after a long flight. We made this mistake in Toronto many years ago and didn’t realise we were in a smart steakhouse which was expensive. We just about managed the fries but it was such a waste of money as were were so tired.
Love our Tempur mattress – have had one for years and it’s been the best household item we’ve ever bought.
Yes we had a lovely restaurant in Dubai Trish and the boys were so tired and grumpy we wont make that mistake again x
Great tips ?
We’ve had many a melt down from our tired little travellers – and that’s only short haul!
We head to NYC next month and I will have to keep a note of your tips as I envisage it being tricky on the first night.
Ooh exciting I loved NYC the boys did too have a fab time x
These are some great tips. We haven’t taken the kids on any long haul flights yet but it’ll happen, eventually. I’m pinning this for later. #mondayescapes
Alison it is so worth following them I have found it really works x
LOL I feel Joe’s Vegas pain – I almost did the same!! 🙂 Great tips Sarah. Sugar before any journey is a bad idea as we found out last night on a return trip from East Devon. Nana filled the girls with a sweet pudding juts before they got in the car. Oh my!!
oh we have had this too, Chris once gave Jack skittles before a flight it was a connection to London before flying on to Florida, I nearly never got on the second flight he was that bad x
Brilliant tips here! Especially love the no restaurant advice. Jet lag always seems worse coming back from holiday doesn’t it?
We are always worse on the way but yes it can be bad on the return too, I suppose the key is to not let it ruin your holiday x
We don’t have kids, but I think these are great tips for the little ones and adults alike! I’ve made the mistake of booking dinner reservations at a fancy steakhouse the first night of a trip before and lesson learned! We made it, but we were SO exhausted and after a heavy meal, complete with wine, I could have fallen asleep in the booth. Thanks for the great tips! #mondayescapes
Yes you just sent enjoy it the same do you which feels such a waste x
These are great tips, Sarah. I do envy you a bit, with your nice quiet mornings to yourself! Still, it must be frustrating if you want everyone to get up with you to do something together. x #MondayEscapes
Ha ha yes it can be a pain although I have adapted to their travel sleep pattern so that it benefits me x
Great tips! I’m not a plane sleeper (I like to watch as many movies as I can on the plane!) but I definitely adhere to the ‘no naps’ rule. I’ve also found melatonin to be useful in helping me get a better nights sleep when I’m trying to adjust to the time change.
Ooh thats interesting and yes I do love that uninterrupted movie time you get on a flight x
Excellent tips, i agree with every single one of them. In addition to Blackout curtains at the hotel we plan to do nothing for 2 days; this is for Australia to US / South America where usually there is a 12 hour time difference. it seems a lot out of the holiday but we take it easy and are kind to our bodies. Coming from #MondayEscapes
That makes perfect sense Ariana and what better than a little chill time when you arrive x
I think these pieces of advice work well for adults too! I struggle to sleep on planes, but it’s always much better with a neck pillow and eye mask, as well as staying clear of caffeine and sugary drinks. The black-out curtains at hotels are great!
Yes I appose they do font they, we all follow these tips and it really works for us x