Time zones and taking elementary aged kids from the east coast to Alaska

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#1
25 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
It will be their first time out of the east coast time zone.

Did your kids stay on east coast time and wake at 4AM everyday or quickly adjust to west coast time?

How did they handle the extra long hours of sun?

Any tips?
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#2
Tennessee
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Joined Oct 2011
We took young kids to Hawaii twice (Central Time to Hawaii Time). Yes, we all woke up about 4 am for the first few days. Slept longer the last part of our week.
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#3
14,332 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
It takes time for them to adjust exactly as it does for an adult. Since you are not likely to be taking them out of school for this cruise, is it possible for you to allow them to sleep in a little during the time leading up to the cruise? Gradually work toward a little later bedtime and a little sleeping late if they don't have to go to a sitter, summer camp, or whatever. Continue to push this a little on the trip--if you are flying in a day or two in advance, again, let them stay up a little later and sleep in a bit.

Mine got up early in Alaska, but not 4am.
#4
Hamilton, Ontario (Canada)
1,305 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by moki'smommy
It takes time for them to adjust exactly as it does for an adult. Since you are not likely to be taking them out of school for this cruise, is it possible for you to allow them to sleep in a little during the time leading up to the cruise? Gradually work toward a little later bedtime and a little sleeping late if they don't have to go to a sitter, summer camp, or whatever. Continue to push this a little on the trip--if you are flying in a day or two in advance, again, let them stay up a little later and sleep in a bit.

Mine got up early in Alaska, but not 4am.
Great suggestion! Hubby and I are child free but have done 4 Alaskan cruises. We try to adjust our sleep habits pre-cruise but it's difficult with having to be off to work in the mornings at the same time while we're home. Alaska is 3-4 hours behind us and we always find we wake at about 5-6 am for the first 3-4 days of the cruise and are then waking around 7-8 am toward the end. We adjust to the time difference just enough that when we return home it's a pain in the butt to get back to our usual schedule! Anything the OP can do to adjust the kids (and her own) sleep schedule will help!
#5
925 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I routinely switch between Central and Pacific time. One of the tricks on especially the first night is to force myself to say up until at least 10p Pacific. That helps me make it to maybe 5 or 6a that next morning. By the 2nd-3rd day, I'm pretty good.

It's bad on the return as well if there's not a weekend break. That 5:30a Central alarm is a killer.
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#6
Riverside, CA
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You mentioned the sun up later. The kids will stay up till the sun goes completely down if you let them. This will keep them in bed later in the morning.
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#7
uk
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I have no idea what age group elementary school covers (different system in the U.K.), but we took our 2 DSs to Alaska when the youngest was 6/7 yrs old and they had a super time. They probably got used to the time difference (approx 9 hrs behind the U.K.) far quicker than we did as parents. We forced ourselves to stay awake as long as possible after arriving and found it increased every day. The kids always manage to sleep much longer on plane journeys than adults do too.

They are now used to travelling all over the world and even managed to keep lively when we went to Australia (while their Mom had to have a snooze while they went out discovering with their cousins ).

They enjoyed Alaska so much that they have asked ever since to return, so this is the year (9 years later) - can’t wait .
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#8
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Joined Oct 2016
The norm is to be able to adjust circadian rhythm by 1hr/day. The math is left as an exercise to the student...

BTW, that's where Mondays get their reputation: Folks sleep in 1 hour on Sat, then a 2nd hour on Sun.
Come Monday, they're jet-lagged.
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#9
91 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Your children will definitely adapt to the changing time zone quicker than you do. We're in part of the world where DST is still a thing and working up to it, we adjust our children's bed times. We've only ever been to a time zone that was one hour later so it didn't make much of a difference, and then we were on vacation so not really keeping track of bedtime.
#10
Pacific Northwest
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Joined May 2010
The Mt. Roberts Tram in Juneau is a great excursion. If I remember right, it was a dollar extra to purchase it through the ship; that let you skip the purchase line at the tram station. At the top, there are some educational and animal exhibits, and then trails to hike. Beautiful scenery! Just make sure the kids bring jackets and water bottles.
http://mountrobertstramway.com/
#11
outside of Anchorage
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Joined Apr 2005
My grand kids fly to Alaska from the Virginia area and Florida almost every summer. They have much less problems than when their parents fly...It doesn't seem to be a problem. the light is different...they adjust quickly. don't make a big deal over it and they will be fine...
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#12
Las Vegas
12,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by WAMarathoner
The Mt. Roberts Tram in Juneau is a great excursion. If I remember right, it was a dollar extra to purchase it through the ship; that let you skip the purchase line at the tram station. At the top, there are some educational and animal exhibits, and then trails to hike. Beautiful scenery! Just make sure the kids bring jackets and water bottles.
http://mountrobertstramway.com/
If you buy it on the ship and the weather is lousy, you are stuck w the ticket and you can not see anything. Wait till you get there to see if it is worth going up.

DON