Traveling with kids across the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean can be a challenging task. Depending on your their age, you may face different types of unpleasant situations if you’re not well prepared. There are many ways to get ready for a period of international travel with your kids and to stay safe at the same time.
Of course, you can’t avoid stress completely, but at least you can act to minimize its impact. Here’s a list of some useful tips on how to travel safely with your kids.
Get the relevant vaccinations
Visit the travel clinic three months before the trip. Ask about all the required vaccines, and if necessary, do a revaccination to make sure you and your kids are protected.
Check if your children’s passports are valid for 6 months beyond your travel dates. The last thing you need when arriving at an international airport is to realize that your kids can’t enter the country of your holiday destination.
Prepare for long flights
Flying overseas with small kids is a great challenge for the parents. If you want everybody to survive the flight, bring a lot of new toys, books, stickers, and pencils, anything that will keep your kids busy. Be prepared to occupy their attention with a new activity every time they become cranky. Also, don’t forget the healthy snacks that your kids will need between the in-flight meals.
Teach them the basics in the local language
No matter how old they are, teach them to say hello, goodbye and thank you in the local language. Kids love playing with new words, and it will open many doors for the whole family. Imagine how cute it will sound to a local when some foreign child is trying to speak their language. Plus, your little ones will be happy and proud.
Bring a bit of home with you
A blanket, stuffed animal, a pillow or a water bottle will help keep your child calm when anxiety or homesickness threatens. A familiar object will remind them of home, even on the other side of the world.
Limit the toys
Buy a nylon sack, more or less toiletry bag size, and leave your kids free to pack whatever they want, as long as it fits in the bag.
Keep as many home routines as possible
Try to keep the same schedule you have back home. Eat breakfast at the same time, watch cartoons and eat snacks at the same time as you do at home. Many foreign countries dine later than your kids usually do, so keeping their rhythm is crucial in avoiding exhaustion.
Sleep and food
These two things are the most important for kids’ happiness no matter where you are. Build your agenda around your children and keep them well-fed and well-rested if you want to see them satisfied. Always carry extra snacks if you don’t know when the next meal is. Don’t force them too much and limit the late nights.
Be open to locals
Don’t refuse a dinner offer from an old local couple or a boat ride with a local fisherman. Your kids will remember those experiences more than the whole journey. Traveling with them will open new possibilities and new worlds you can explore together.
Traveling with kids takes patience, so get ready. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your kids happy while being on the other side of the world. Stay calm and take your time with them.
Don’t bring things you’ll never need. Pack only things you know you can’t find at the place that you’re visiting. Good luck!
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