KinderHop :: Time Zones, Jet Lag & Kids

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KinderHop is published once monthly and written by Trip Styler’s Seattle-based kid ‘n family writer, Keryn.

Jet lag and time zone changes should not stop your travels when you have kids. Take it from me: I just spent a month with my baby and my toddler in Europe! With a few tips and a small adjustment to your expectations, you could be sipping svařené víno (mulled wine) at the Prague Christmas Market or dipping your toes in the sands of Maui this winter.

Stay Flexible You may not be able to hit the ground running right away. Nap times will be different, your child may need to eat more or you may need to go to bed earlier than usual. Embrace it.

Have Patience Jet lag can last 3-14 days---depending on how far you travel---and subsides with every passing day. Be mentally prepared for the adjustment; with a little flexibility you'll make it through.

Your First Night Could Get Rough If you've crossed a major time zone---or three---be sure to have a snack on hand and be prepared to watch a movie when your child wakes up at 3am ready to conquer the world. Don’t fight it; just know that it will get better every night.

Stick To Your Sleep Routine Do the same bedtime routine you'd do at home while traveling. Try to start as close to your usual bedtime as possible in the local time zone.

Give Yourself A Break The first few days of our travels, my husband and I always take turns getting up with the kids so that we each have a chance to sleep in. This helps us keep up with the kids and always makes our travels more relaxing and fun.

Take A Day Off Give yourself a buffer day---or two---to get back into the swing of things when you return home. Hire a babysitter so you can get a little extra rest, unpack and not pull your hair out chasing after the kids.

Your Child May Adjust Better Than You My kids have always switched time zones faster than me. Their circadian rhythms are so attuned to the sun they can get on local time in a few days, while it may take me longer.

More KinderHop Transitioning From Couple To Family Travel Back to School Seattle Shop ‘n Stay How To Keep Kids Occupied On A Plane Family Road Tripping Tips How To Pack Less With Kids In Tow Family-Friendly Big Island Making Hotel Rooms Work With Kids

[photos by @walkingontravels]

KinderHop :: Intro To Keryn

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On behalf of the entire Trip Styler editorial team, we're excited to welcome Keryn as our newest columnist. Her topic will be kids 'n travel, aka KinderHop, which will publish on the third Monday of every month.

I met Keryn last summer in Vancouver at a massive travel blogging conference, and she dazzled me with stories of taking her baby on more than an in-flight snack pack's worth of domestic and international jaunts. She was a traveler before kids and has maintained this wanderlust with her family of three---soon to be four---jetting off or road tripping once monthly! Since then, we've kept in touch and I've followed her Seattle-based travel blog about traveling with kid{s}. I'm looking forward to bringing this travel go-getter's perspective and expertise to the TS crew, which even had her taking multiple road trips in her third trimester! To kick things off, a formal introduction:

"Never think a trip is impossible. The hardest step is the first step out the door. After that it just gets easier." - Keryn

1/ Former day job? Production manager at an art book production house in downtown Seattle.

2/ Current day job? Mom, playmate, family travel agent and explorer of all things that can entertain a mom and toddler for a morning out of the house.

3/ Number of kids? One 2.5 year old boy, Dek, and another little one on the way at the end of April.

4/ First flight with your son and where? Dek was 3.5 months old when we flew from Seattle to Philadelphia for the holidays. Our longest flight was when Dek was 14 months old from Seattle to Hong Kong for my business trip. In that same trip we did an add-on and flew to up to Beijing for a week of fun.

5/ Have your top trip styles changed with kids? We favour trip style = beach, urban and budget conscious with or without kids, and prioritize travel even more with kids than we did before! It is our guaranteed, uninterrupted family time. Work and life get in the way too much.

6/ Rent a condo or stay in a hotel room? We rent a condo or house whenever it is more affordable, which is most of the time. If it's a quick weekend trip we will grab a hotel room or a suite. This summer my husband is pushing for trip style = camping!

7/ Last few trips, and upcoming travels? Over the last four months we've been to Whistler, Victoria, Hawaii, Orcas Island and did Asia in the spring. Looking ahead, we're trying to do New Hampshire this summer and a big trip to Europe in the Fall {London, Switzerland, Italy and Sicily are in the works at the moment.}

8/ Traveling with kids is awesome because... They make you stop and really look at where you are. No one can slow you down like a toddler, but that is not a bad thing. Instead of rushing through 15 sights on a trip, you get to invest in and learn about 5-10. Travel stress goes way down and you learn to move at a different and much more enjoyable pace. You are supposed to be on holiday after all, you should enjoy it!

"If it's horrible, you can always come home." - Words Keryn's dad imparted as she embarked on her first international trip at 16.

[photos via keryn]