Ensuring your children are getting enough sleep is a must for enjoying vacations. Every minute of sleep a child loses during vacation adds to his or her “sleep debt,” which can throw off sleeping schedules and even cause behavioral issues. Jenn Kelner, a Family Sleep Institute Certified Child Sleep Consultant and owner of BabyZzz, offers five tips to help parents make sure their children’s sleep doesn’t suffer while traveling.

Follow these five child sleep tips before, during and after your trip:

1. Make sure your children are well rested before you leave
If your child’s sleep is where it should be before you leave, they will adapt well when they are away from their normal routine and schedule. You’ll encounter fewer meltdowns on the journey there, and they will sleep better in an unfamiliar place.

2. Bring along familiar items
If your children are used to sleeping with a lovey, make sure you bring it (and any extras in case they lose one!). If they normally use a noise machine, try to bring that too. By bringing the items they have at home, you’ll help them relax, fall asleep faster and sleep better. Also, don’t assume the room you’re going to be staying in will be dark, so bring along some garbage bags and duct tape to block out any light coming through the curtains.

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