Cruising with the kids is a wonderful way to travel, enabling you to see the world in luxury. So when you do book one you want to make sure that it is successful in every aspect.
It starts with everyone being well rested. This way when you fly to your destination to catch your cruise, you and your kids experience the least possible amount of jet lag. Amy Maidenberg, M.D., stated on Parent Map that the age of the child significantly affects jet lag. Young children who have established a circadian cycle might have more night waking due to jet lag. Whereas newborns to 2-month-olds who have not established a circadian cycle will be the least impacted.
Recovering from jet lag will also depend on the number of time zones crossed.
Older kids, pre-teens and adults will probably respond similarly to jet lag as their bodies will adjust to new time zones. Medicine Net reports that the body adapts to jet lag at the average rate of two-time zones per day.
Kids will probably not have the willpower to stay awake, like adults do. So if you’ll be covering four-time zones, this means you and your children will probably need at least a couple of days to get over the flight.
So, what can you do to mitigate the effects of jet lag, especially for your kids?
Start by planning ahead. Sleep specialist Russell Rosenberg told CNN Travel that his best advice is to adjust the bedtime to the destination bedtime before you go. Consider pushing back your children’s routines and sleep times by one to two hours every day before you leave, until they are on the new time.
Once you get there makes sure you get on the schedule of your destination as soon as possible. If you are hopping on your cruise right away, keep your children occupied, give them plenty of water and, as much as possible, schedule their meals and sleep to the local time.
As we noted on in our article ‘7 Things Your Kids Will Love About Cruising’, cruise ships are a veritable playground for kids.
They can enjoy a different activity each day and never get bored. It will be an immense help to get your kids adjusted and mitigate their jetlag. The fresh air, sunshine and activities will consume their energy during the day and they will be more willing to sleep in the evening. In the first few days of adjustment, it will also keep them from falling asleep during the day! Thus reducing their adjustment period.
Even the best-laid plans cannot foresee the unpredictability of children. A trip with kiddies will probably still mean early mornings for parents. Not necessarily a bad thing, however, as you don’t want to sleep your trip away. Leesa reveals that early morning walks are good for you and the sunlight will help reinforce your circadian rhythm, which in turn will help you and yours mitigate your jet lag and adjust to the local time.
Jet lag is unavoidable, but it shouldn’t ruin your holiday or your cruise. If you are planning to go on a cruise in the near future that requires a long flight to get there, we hope a few of these hints and tips are useful.