How to Survive Jet Lag—with Kids

Summer hols are just about here and it’s time to get your travel game plan on—jet lag management included…

Alarm clock

If you thought a day trip with small kids was a feat nigh impossible, travelling across time zones is exponentially trickier: jet lag is a drag for us grown-ups, and utterly miserable for young ones…here’s a few simple tips to help minimise the impact of long distance travel:

Keep home timing

If you’re travelling across just two time zones or less (i.e. 2 hours’ difference), stick to your home time. Blackout blinds can be a great cue for sleep when it’s still light out.

Choose the right flight

Overnight flights are often easier because kids will already be tired enough for sleep. But every family is different! (And you also need to be well-rested enough to help deal with your little ones’ time-adjustment niggles.) Pick a time that’ll make things easier to survive upon arrival.


Don’t plan on hauling the family around sightseeing on the first day of vaca; keep things relaxed while you recalibrate. (Exhaustion never equals enjoyment!)

Don’t forget about coming back

Whatever you did to adjust to your holiday location’s timing, you’ll no doubt need to replicate for the first few days back home. A good idea is to work in a ‘recovery day’ for when you return—adding it to the length of your holiday leave.