Traveling overseas with kids is no easy task and it can be very stressful. Planning ahead and trying to stay ahead of the game if you have younger children is the best solution to avoiding any and all stress.
Try and make them most fun out of the trip with your kids. Identify your luggage in some way for example, put ribbons on your luggage. It will be easier for you to identify them and you can play a game with the kids. Whoever finds the most bags wins a prize.
Extra safety gear
Bring some first aid kits and “just in case” items with you. Kids ears and allergies are the #1 thing that bothers them during trips. The change in environment is a big blow to their little bodies. Bring certain items that will help relieve some of this bodily stress and bring extra bag with you for purchases and toys that you will need to keep the entertainment up.
Check in early
The most annoying thing about planes is that you will never know where you end up on the flight. Sometimes seating arrangements are made that can leave you and you’re family split up. Did you know that you can check in as early as 48 hours before your flight online? Take advantage of this and check-in early to ensure that you have the best seats.
Many kids get overwhelmed seeing too many things in one day. Make sure that you spread the sightseeing out evenly so that there are nap time breaks and snack breaks. Kids spend a lot more energy than an adult and need constant healthy snacks and naps when needed. Go at a pace you and the kids can enjoy to see and learn about the environment around you.
Paper work and safety
If you and your child’s other parent are no longer together or have shared custody you need to get a notarized statement saying that you have permission to take your child overseas with you. If not then you can have a very messy situation on your hands. Also, make sure to bring any necessary paperwork for your family. Such as, passports (if you are traveling within the US as a form of ID), medical bands (in case you or your children have allergies or medical conditions), etc. You want to be as prepared as you can in the event of an emergency.
Sometimes you want to see more than your kids do. If you have you trip prepared you can find things for the kids to do while you are having fun. For example, many families travel to Europe to see the grand churches, buildings, ruins, etc. but kids can see this as very boring. Make a scavenger hunt list for them so that with each sight they have something to do while you’re taking in the moment.
Have fun on vacation and don’t stress out. Pack at least 2 days in advanced so that the day before the trip you can go around the house and see if there was anything that you have forgotten to pack.
Jeff covers topics that make travel easier on families for the Travel Insurance blog.