Changing time zones with Children
Travelling with children can be challenging, particularly when changing time zones is involved. This article includes measures and precautions to take so that the process of travelling and adapting to new time zones can be least stressful as possible for both parents and children.
- Keep the day after arrival as an open day – Getting used to the new time zone may take some time which is why it is important to make sure that the day after arrival is kept as relaxing as possible. This may involve relaxing by the pool/beach or relaxing in the hotel room. This day to relax allows children to revive their energy after travelling. It also gives parents a chance to evaluate their new sleeping times.
- Stay consistent – It is important to try to give children the same routine and sleeping environment as at home. If a nap a day is normal, try to give your children a nap a day whilst abroad. The timing of the naps will change, so expect this and plan your day accordingly. If 7:00PM is normal bed time, this may change to 10:00PM because their internal clock doesn’t adjust instantly. Don’t fight this, just adapt and accept the fact that they will be going to bed earlier or later than normal.
- Get the children outdoors and active – The more fresh air you give your children, the better they are likely to sleep. Active children always equal tired children.
- Try to shift the schedule before leaving – A few days before you leave for your trip try to shift your child’s bedtime by 20 -30 minutes each night to get ready for the new time zone changes
- Immediately change your meal schedule – Once you’ve arrived at your new destination, adapt to the current eating schedule. This will help both you and your children adapt to the new time zones.
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