4 Ways to Combat Jet Lag with Young Children

You can do all the research and pack all the right things, but it’s hard to prepare for jet lag hitting a young child. Your best bet, of course, is to adjust everyone to the time of your destination so you can fully take advantage of the vacation days you have. But how do you get a 3 year old to cooperate? Our contributors gave us their best suggestions on how to combat jet lag with young children – we hope one, or more, of these will work for you!

Eat When They Eat

Instead of focusing on sleeping when they sleep and setting early alarms, focus on syncing your mealtimes with those of your destination. Start doing this on the flight over so you get a head start. By doing this, you will automatically be adjusting everyone to the new time zone and your sleep patterns will follow.

Get Up Early

Regardless of what time you end up going to bed at night, set an alarm to get everyone up early. Many swear that this is the only way to quickly adjust to the new time zone without extra hassle. You may not get enough sleep one night, but it will be worth it for the remainder of your trip.

Sleep Aids

If you have a long, overnight flight ahead and need everyone to sleep on the plane, you may want to consider melatonin. We advise you to always speak to your pediatrician first for advice though. Many parents swear by the use of melatonin to ensure their kids get a good amount of sleep on the plane and are then are ready to tackle the vacation without getting sleepy during the day. You can also look into homeopathic options as an alternative.

Go with the Flow

Stop stressing and just see what happens! Many families feel that it’s just not worth spending so much time thinking about jet lag and worrying about adjusting. If they kids wake up in the middle of the night, keep the lights off and voices low to try to get them back to sleep. During the day, go outside and get as much sunshine as much as possible and you’ll find that everyone will adjust in no time.

Even if you follow every tip you find, there is a chance jetlag will just really hit your children hard and it will take a few days to adjust. In this case, be prepared to take turns with your partner overnight so you can both be somewhat well rested. Cranky, jetlagged kids are one thing, but a cranky parent is much worse! It will get easier as your kids get older so just remember that every experience will not be the same! Do you have any jet lag tips you swear by? Share them with our readers below.

If you’d like to be part of the Families Who Love To Travel community and have your voice heard, please join our Facebook group.

Popular Reads
A mom and her child lean over a bridge looking at a beautiful Amsterdam scene, including greenery, a windmill, and buildings.
Great Tips For Taking Family Vacation On A Budget

If you’re searching for tips for taking a family vacation on a budget, this list won’t disappoint! It can be Read more

A family of three looks over a beautiful green, grassy scene together.
How To Add Romance To A Family Road Trip

Even though you’re traveling as a family, it doesn’t mean you can’t share some special moments. In fact, you can Read more

A mom carries her baby on her back using a backpack-style carrier, the baby reaches up toward the mother to give her a snuggle, while hiking in the mountains.
The Best Baby Carriers for Family Travel 2021

Parents searching for the best baby carriers for family travel are in the right place. Whether you’re preparing for your Read more

A mom hands her two children a gift in the back of a trunk laden with holiday gifts on a winter's day.
Families Who Love To Travel Gift Guide 2021

The holidays are rapidly approaching, which means it’s a perfect time to check out our Families Who Love To Travel Read more

Latest Articles

Child hiking trail through Yellowstone National park.

How to Plan a Yellowstone National Park Family Vacation

Everyone knows that Yellowstone National Park makes for a classic family vacation. Strolling the boardwalks...

A family of five stands on a sandy beach on a sunny day in Turks and Caicos.

Best Beaches® Turks and Caicos Review By A UK Family

Beaches Turks and Caicos may not seem like a typical vacation destination for a UK...

Three children swimming in blue water in Cayman Islands.

All About the Cayman Islands With Kids: Important Information You Need to Know

If you’re traveling to the Cayman Islands with kids, there’s some important information you need...


Travel Gift Ideas

National Park With Kids

Family Travel Tips

Use These 10 Tips For Your Baby’s First Flight

Families Who Love To Travel contributor Meghan Oaks provides her 10 best tips for your...

Boy wearing bowtie playing with magna tiles at New York toy store

10 of the Best Toys for Travel with Little Kids

In our group, we often get questions about keeping little ones occupied in transit, especially...

crusing with baby

Tips for Cruising with a Baby

Cruising is a great option for families with babies who want to relax and not...


Families Love Travel Team

The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.