Kids thrive under routine, and traveling certainly shakes them out of theirs. This is troubling for many parents – myself included – but doesn’t have to be traumatic. My family frequently travels between time zones, but even if you won’t need to change your clocks, here are a few helpful things I’ve learned along the way:
- Plan travel to coincide with sleep whenever possible. This means flying or driving during naptime, or even overnight.
- Don’t change your bedtime routine no matter where you are. For us it’s usually a bath + story + a song. Also, bring your travel bed if space allows, we like the consistency it offers: the room may change over the course of the trip, but the bed stays the same.
- Bring soothers. Ev loves his thumb, an easy thing to pack, but B loves his grubby white bear so it comes with us everywhere he will be getting some shut-eye.
- Consider renting an apartment rather than an expensive hotel suite to have separate quarters for you and the kids. We generally book 1 (or 2) bedroom places so that even if we are all sharing a room, we have a place to hang out after the kids’ bedtime.
- Sleep aids don’t always work, for adults or kids, and in fact can cause the opposite reaction in some, but a good run around the park or swim in the pool can be just as effective.