Travelling, we love it. The sun, sea, sand, relaxing, family fun, travelling, flying...the jet lag?
Arhh! The jet lag. No one likes jet lag.
So, to assist matters, we have compiled a few hip tips on how not to end up with your child asleep in their tuna sandwich just like my little right hip below (or at least try to get them to bed before this happens, poor poppet!)
Jet lag is basically natures way of saying "ha ha, you had a great holiday, now you are going to suffer". Unfair isn't it, and it is inevitably going to happen. But there are a few things that you can do to ease the pain ever so slightly.
We have to remember that our little ones bounce back so much faster than we do, so even though for them its a tad confusing, they will get over the worst of the jetlag around three days after arrival.
On the plane
Try and start the flight relaxed and not too tired - I know, easier said that done considering you'll probably have done most of the packing, but try and have a good nights sleep beforehand.
Allow plenty of time at the airport - no need to rush if you just want a calm smooth journey.
Try and book a night flight, take the hips PJ's and encourage all members of the family to have some sleep. Use earplugs / eyemasks if you think that may help?
Drink lots of water, and don't eat eat everything that you are offered.
Walk around the plane - stay active (don't worry, you will be anyway if you have young kids!)
Wear loose comfortable clothing.
Some people swear by changing their watch to the new local time as soon as they get on the plane. Its certainly worth a try.
Many airports have brilliant parents rooms, and/or a lounge where you pay a small fee, and you can have a good shower, drinks, rest, or run around. I have found a shower in between two flights makes me feel so much more refreshed, and ready to tackle the ongoing journey.
Ask at the information centre at the airport if there is a kids area. Many airports have a play area where you can encourage the hips to have a good run around. Both KL and Singapore airports have exceptional kids areas with great facilities. Well worth it.
If you have a few hours you may want to really stretch out and have a swim in the airport pool or visit the butterfly gardens. Both of these are available in Singapore airport.
Perhaps plan a stopover for a few nights, especially on the way back home. This will nip most of the jetlag in the bud and therefore normal life can resume much more quickly when back home. Its also a great way for the little hip travellers to learn about new cultures, foods, people etc etc.
Bear in mind that just because you have landed, you may have a few hours car journey ahead before arriving at your destination. The best advice is plan and be prepared, and don't get frustrated if the kids fall asleep as soon as they get in the car. My left hip barely slept from London to Melbourne, but fell asleep about an hour before arriving, and then continued sleeping as we pulled him off the plane, through the airport, into the car, and then we just popped him into his bed, and he woke up the next morning nice and refreshed (and rather surprised!)
Try not to organise too much within the first few days of arriving. You'll want to either go to bed very early, or sleep in, and you really don't want to have to be somewhere at a certain time. You need to allow time to recover.
Have a rest when the kids sleep. It'll take the edge off your tiredness.
Distract your selves from being exhausted. Take a walk and stretch your legs - use the sunshine (hopefully) to invigorate you and keep you awake. It'll certainly help your body adjust, and its far better than falling asleep infront of the TV.
Just remember, it will take some time, so don't get stressed. You will be normal again one day!
Anyone else got any tips, we'd love to hear them....