Embracing Jet Lag in London With Kids

Embracing Jet Lag in London With Kids  – Our Jet Lag Strategy when travelling from Australia to England following 3 trips with our children.

Embracing Jet Lag in London With Kids - Our Jet Lag Strategy when travelling from Australia to England following 3 trips with our children.

Embracing Jet Lag in London

There’s this commonly held belief that Jet Lag is something to fight/overcome/beat when you’re travelling from one side of the world to the other. I myself have attempted many of the tips and tricks on my countless trips between Australia and England.

What if you took on a different belief. Instead of fighting Jet Lag, you embrace it? Instead you let your body slowly acclimatise to your new environment. And instead of being annoyed at yourself, you find ways to make the most of it.

On the first two trips to the UK with kids, I attempted to get them onto a “normal” sleep schedule. The first time my oldest was around 18 months and I was pregnant with his brother. That trip is commonly known as the nightmare trip. Not much sleep happened throughout our England visit.

We waited a LONG time before making the trip again to visit the English Grandparents. Until my oldest was 6 and his brother was 4. What a different trip! The first few nights though, we did all we could but sleep was all over the place and our days were spent grumpy. Eventually we got used to the time zone and adopted our usual routine.

There Has To Be A Better Way

It was on our 3rd trip when my boys were 5 and 7 that I had a serious AHA moment. Our first morning we were all WIDE awake at 4am. Initially we tried the “go back to sleep for a few more hours” routine. And then I just thought, we are up crazy early, why not get the tube, go into London and see some lights! (It was the week before Christmas.) We chose to embrace Jet Lag In London rather than fight it.

The plan was – there was no plan. Just hopping on the tube – emerging at Leicester Square and walking towards Oxford Street and along Regent Street to take in the Christmas lights.

At this point I should add that my Husband is a born and bred Londoner and I lived in London for 2 years. So, we know our way around London slightly better than your average tourist. Not sure if I would suggest wandering around an empty city if you don’t know where you’re going. (And areas to avoid.) BUT hotels are usually open 24/7 and could point you in a safe direction if you wanted to attempt something similar.

So, back to our ultra early morning in London. The tube was virtually empty on our journey in and Leicester Square was completely empty – we had it all to ourselves. We took our time. Enjoying the night air and quietness of London which many don’t experience.

Embracing Jet Lag in London

Christmas Lights Galore

As it was still a while before sunrise, it was dark through most of our London walk. So, we got to enjoy the twinkling London lights in full splendour.

The Christmas Lights were, of course, spectacular. It was the first time the kids got to experience it and it was made even more special because we were the only ones out.

The boys were, of course, smitten with the Hamley’s Christmas Window Display. We loved watching them carefully investigate every display with awe and wonder.

Embracing Jet Lag in London

We actually felt very safe, there were a couple of jolly people we encountered. Probably on their way home from a late/early finishing Christmas party. But other than that it was just one of the happiest mornings of our trip.

Just off Regent Street is Carnaby Street – a quirky street that’s worth a wander. The side trip did not disappoint, in fact the lights there were my favourite of all.

Embracing Jet Lag in London

By this time, shops started opening and we found ourselves on Oxford Street. We couldn’t resist a fancy breakfast at Selfridges to end our morning walk.

Afterwards, we made our way back to our apartment by catching a bus along Oxford Street to Tottenham Court Road. Our boys were lucky enough to snag the front row seats on the top level and our birds eye view of London was the perfect way to end a morning that will be forever etched in our memories.

Embracing Jet Lag in London
If you find yourself in London and want to enjoy the same walk, here’s a map of the route we took:

Rather than fighting Jet Lag and eventually walking around London in a zombie state, we had the experience of our lives and spent the rest of the day relaxing in our apartment with the English Grandparents.

We loved the experience so much that we repeated it a few days later. This time we went to Covent Garden and wandered around. Up and down all the surrounding laneways until a cafe opened and we sought warmth and breakfast.

Within a few days our sleep was more routine but our attitude towards Jet Lag has changed forever.

We have another trip planned to visit the English Grandparents for Christmas this year and you can be SURE we will be repeating our early morning London wanderings.

Embracing Jet Lag in London may have been the best travel decision we ever made.


Embracing Jet Lag in London With Kids - Our Jet Lag Strategy when travelling from Australia to England following 3 trips with our children.

More destinations coming soon. Subscribe below to receive the weekly newsletter.