Traveling with your kids, enthralling as it is, is always a tough balancing act between having fun and letting loose a bit and keeping your children safe. Traveling abroad with them requires extra care in order to have an unforgettable experience and still return home in one piece.
When traveling with kids, you can’t just stuff your clothes into a carry-on bag and leave. You need to plan diligently. You need to pack light while still carrying all the essential items. This can be tricky if you are in a rush, but with proper planning ahead of time, you can have an easy trip for yourself and the kids. There are things parents should do to keep their kids safe when traveling.
You need to factor in the age and ability of your kids when planning a trip abroad. There are some destinations that may not be suitable for them. Factor in activities that they may be able to genuinely enjoy.
Do not, for example, put mountain hiking on your roster of vacation activities yet you have 6-year-old kids. If you must climb mountains, then have alternative activities for the do under a responsible adult’s watchful eyes.
When traveling with your kids abroad, you need to factor in their existing medical conditions and consult with your family doctor on the precautions needed to avoid a medical emergency on foreign soil.
Process all your travel documents in good time. You’ll need a passport to fly out of your country. Some countries all require visas from foreigners. Go to the local embassy or state department and make an inquiry of all the required documents to travel to your destination country.
Visa requirements vary from country to country; some have a waiver for children while others do not. It is therefore important to know if your kids will need one and process in good time before the intended date of travel.
When you have all your travel documents, it is a good safety precaution to take photos of them and email them to yourselves. That digital copy may find some use should you lose your passport.
Register with the State Department
Registering with the smart traveler enrollment program (STEP) is something easy to overlook but very important when traveling with your kids. By registering with STEP, the embassy will know that you are in the country and may be able to assist you if you find yourself in trouble, lose your passport or there is an emergency situation in the country that requires immediate evacuation.
They may provide you with advice on how to spend your time there, the attractions and also warn you of possible security risks. Follow the travel safety tips they give you.
The key to smooth travel is packing light. This will spare you extra charges on your luggage. Pack all the essential items like underwear and clothes and if you have a toddler, follow the parent guide recommendation for packing.
It would be wise to leave some space in your bags if you intend to buy souvenirs.
If there is anyone who needs prescription medicine, the doses they will need during the trip should be packed in a carry-on bag. Do not think that you’ll purchase the medicine once you land. The destination country might have different regulations or not sell the drug altogether.