The $2 hack to make my kids sleep on vacation

“Vacations are so relaxing and easy!”—said no parent of young kids. Ever. We recently spent four days in Newport, Oregon, which was lovely but not restful in the least. On top of all the prepping and packing and passing back of 18 varieties of snacks on the drive to the central Oregon coast, neither kid sleeps that well away from home. Somehow, though, despite feeling a bit run down on vacation, my creativity remained intact, and I am now obsessed with the parenting hack I pulled off to make my kids sleep on vacation.

Like on most vacations we take, I couldn’t make my kids sleep on the first night. Although I had brought noise machines and loveys and special blankets, we didn’t have the blackout curtains we rely on at home. Once morning dawned, with both kids wide awake, I knew I had to try something different.

My protests of “it’s too early” didn’t cut it.

Family travel can destroy sleep habits. Fortunately my $2 hack to make my kids sleep on vacation totally worked! Zzzz - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Peeper opened the blinds and begged to differ. “Look mama, it’s sunny!” She said. “It’s not too early!” So we spent the early-early morning semi-conscious on the couch, praising the geniuses who invented Saturday morning cartoons.

Then on my way to the drive-through coffee shop (OMG CAFFEINE THANK YOU), I stopped at the dollar store down the street. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but I dropped $2 on aluminum tin foil and pulled off one of my best parenting hacks yet—which not only helped make my kids sleep on vacation but also stopped me from swearing off family vacations entirely. (Win!)

This $2 hack to make my kids sleep on vacation is a game-changer for family travel and vacation! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

How to make your kids sleep on vacation

Here’s what I did to make my kids sleep on vacation:

I covered each bedroom window with tin foil.

Simple as that.

Before/After: This tin foil hack made my kids sleep 2 hours longer on vacation. Heck yes! Ten Thousand Hour mama

Now I didn’t do a perfect job. There were little gaps in my aluminum foil shield/magical sleep-making invention, so some sunlight still got in.

But perfect is never the goal round my house; good enough is good enough.

And good enough got both kids to sleep longer—by about 2 hours.

Can I get a YASSSSSS!

My $2 hack to make my kids sleep on vacation = my best parenting decision ever! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

My favorite family travel hack yet

When I was executing my master plan to make my kids sleep longer on vacation, I of course made sure to tape the tin foil lightly so I didn’t leave behind sticky goo on the windows. And I took it all down before we checked out of our vacation rental. (Don’t want to lose any security deposit!)

I was a little nervous one of the neighbors would call the home owner about the nutty renters blocking gamma rays with tin foil, but that was a risk I was willing to take the risk to make my kids sleep on vacation.

Because when mama’s happy, everyone’s happy.

My $2 hack to make my kids sleep on vacation = my best parenting decision ever! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

So the next time you take a family vacation, don’t resign yourself to early wake-ups and bedtime protests. Just buy a bunch of tin foil—and enjoy the blissful, life-sustaining sleep.

Do you have any tricks to make your kids sleep on vacation—or any other time? What’s your favorite family travel hack?

8 thoughts on “The $2 hack to make my kids sleep on vacation

  • July 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Literally and figuratively :’)

    Thank you for sharing!!! And I’m glad you managed to get the kiddos to sleep extra. Vacation saved!

    • July 31, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Haha, thanks Sahar! I may be dangerously close to doing it at home all the time. 😉

  • July 27, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    That is one of the smartest hacks I’ve ever read.

    It is brillant, brillant. Sheer genius.

    I don’t even know how you could come up with something like that but can you imagine what other good ideas are lying in the back of your mind.

    Sleep is such a precious commodity and to get more of it when on holiday … for only 2 bucks. I would not believe it possible.

    Your husband is one very very lucky man!

    • July 31, 2017 at 10:01 am

      I could hardly believe it, either! You can bet I’m going to bring a bunch of aluminum foil on every single vacation in the future.

  • July 28, 2017 at 8:36 am

    That is hilarious (but genius!) – I can totally picture the neighbors being like – what is going on?!

    • July 31, 2017 at 10:02 am

      I know!!! Good thing no one stopped me and asked about it.

  • August 7, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    I discovered this trick years ago too and it was a life saver! We were on holidays and it didn’t get dark til around 10pm every night! This absolutely is the best trick ever!!!

    • August 9, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Yes! It’s especially effective in the summer, when the sun sets so late.


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