Traveling With Children? Here are Some Useful Recommended Travel Tips.
Laws and regulations
First and foremost before you embark on a trip with your children, find out laws and regulations in regard to traveling with children within your locality and your destination.Different governments have laws that protect and govern children movement within a locality or out of a region. These regulations vary from country to country as well as per age restriction. You may be required to have a letter of consent from your spouse if he or she is not traveling with you, or if you have a dispute in court in regards to your children custody. If you are travelling by air check with the airline the maximum number of children that can accompany an adult to avoid any inconvenience at the airport. Airlines always have these regulations in place to ensure the comfort of their customers on board.
Consult your Doctor
Consult your doctor or health caregiver on how best you can protect your child’s health when travelling. Children are highly susceptible to infectious diseases and knowing how to protect them in advance is highly recommend. You may want to organize for immunization six weeks before travel, it is also wise to research on health related issues in regard to your destination or transit points. The last thing you want is a sick child in your hands while travelling or on a vacation. No one wants to cut short their vacation because of a sick child.
Children are not known to sit in one place for long, they easily get bored and can become irritable and restless. If you are travelling for long hours, it is your duty to keep your children occupied for your comfort and the comfort of other travelers. Here are a few item you may carry to keep your children entertained, if you are travelling by air, be sure to check with the airline if you can carry such items on board before packing.
- car seat (check with your airline for related policies)
- stroller (check with your airline for related policies)
- diapers (enough for the flight and a few extra)
- changing pad
- change of clothes
- Feeding bottles (enough for flight plus 2-3 extra)
- powdered formula (in pre measured container)
- favorite soft toy
- Reading books
- movie player and movies
- child-friendly headphones
It is highly recommended to avoid over packing when travelling with children. Travelling with a lot of bags with your children can make you a target for thieves or criminals in general; take only the essentials and if possible have someone travel with you to take care of your bags while you look after the children.
Remember to pack well for appropriate weather to avoid heat rash and cold. Children are more happy outdoors because they like playing in open spaces, restraining them indoors because of weather may make them edgy and spoil your vacation.
Cultural norms and beliefs
Many of us avoid taking a travel insurance while travelling, it may not be a big issue if you are travelling alone within short destinations. However I highly recommend that you have a good, all inclusive travel insurance for yourself and your children if you are travelling abroad. The travel insurance should cover all medical care related issues, airlift if necessary, theft, flight disruption, baggage irregularities like damage, loss or delay. Your travel insurance should be able to cover any extra expenses related to the above among others. Ensure that your insurer is reachable 24/7 in case of emergencies.
Book in advance for your accommodation to avoid the trouble of moving around trying to find a room for your family. Children get upset and tire very quickly. You would want to reduce the time of your arrival to the time you get them settled in for bathing, feeding and putting them to bed.
Keep your children safe while travelling. It will be wise to invest in a child locator if you can. You never know when this can come in handy. Children have a habit to wander aimlessly and can easily get lost in busy and crowded airports or train stations.
Ensure you have carried antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers. Kids like to play and come in contact with a lot of unhealthy surfaces while travelling. The wipes and sanitizers can also come in handy if you have to use toilet facilities where cleaning facilities are limited or when you have to change the baby.
Children’s travel documents expire more frequently as compared to adult documents. Remember to check well in advance before you embark on your trip to ensure you have all the travel documents in good time and that they are up to date. To be on the safe side keep your travel documents together in a safe place. Do not entrust travel documents with your children, children can be forgetful and the last thing you want is to arrive at the airport or train station without your documents or missing some of them.