Traveling overseas with kids can be a daunting task, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience. If you’re planning on traveling internationally with your kids, If you’re like me, the mere thought of traveling internationally with kids gives you a mini heart attack. But it doesn’t have to be daunting that’s why I have gathered the best tips for traveling internationally with the kids, all from my experience as a mom and travel junkie!
In order to go on an international vacation with your kids, you have to first get them interested in the idea. It’s not going to be fun if you have to drag them kicking and screaming. Work on getting them comfortable with the idea before you start bringing them around to unfamiliar destinations.
Before you go traveling abroad with kids you need to be super prepared and there’s no better way than following some tips, you should educate your children about the culture and customs of the country you are visiting ahead of time. Kids have a hard time adapting, this will help them be better prepared for what they will see and experience when they arrive.
Table of Contents
- Kid documentation
- Consent Letter
- Before Traveling Internationally With Your Kids
- Safety is a must
- After You and Your Kids are at the Destination
When traveling with children, it is important to have all of their documentation in order. This includes passports, visas (if necessary), and copies of important documents like birth certificates and immunization records. It is also a good idea to have a child’s photo on hand in case they get lost while traveling. Finally, make sure you have the contact information for your children’s parents or guardians in case of an emergency.
This is only applicable if you’re traveling as a single parent but it’s important mentioning. When parents take their children on a trip outside the United States, they are often required to have a notarized letter of consent from the other parent. This letter grants permission for the child to travel abroad with the other parent and states that the absent parent is aware of and agrees to the trip. Obtaining this letter can be a hassle, but it’s important to have one in case of an emergency. Here are some tips on how to get a consent letter for traveling abroad with kids.
Before Traveling Internationally With Your Kids
Plan In Advance
If you don’t need to make any mistakes, plan your family trip. Having your plan in place will mean you won’t waste money on unplanned programs. If you have a five family, you need to book a room that will host you. It might be challenging to get it during holidays or peak seasons hence the need to book in advance. That will save you time rather than looking for a room every night. Ensure to plan early for your flight to reserve your family seat. That will make your flight with a kid more enjoyable.
When children are part of the traveling equation, airline tickets can get pricey. But there are ways to score child airfare rates that are cheaper than booking adult tickets. Some airlines offer discounted rates for kids, but the fare generally depends on the traveler’s age. Typically, the earlier you book, the better your chances of getting a discounted ticket. If there are multiple children flying, it might be worth checking to see if there are family rates available.
Ask For Family Or Child Discounts
Many attraction sites offer discounts if you are attending with your whole family. It would help if you let the ticket agent know concerning your vacation. Some places welcome children under the age of six and their old grandparents for free. It’s good to ask because some of these rates are not always posted. Let your family enjoy the vacation without spending more than what you planned to use.
Talk to them about it
Open up the dialogue about traveling and vacationing internationally with your kids. They may not even know what it means or have the wrong idea about what it is. Ask questions, get them to open up, and share what they’re thinking so you can get inside their head. Tell them all you’ve done in your lifetime and what you loved about leaving the house for a few days. Let them express their feelings and how they view traveling from their perspective. This will allow you to get some insight as to what they’re thinking.
Test Out New Foods at Home
Start slowly cooking new foods at home and work in different kinds of recipes to your evening routine. Your kids will be trying exotic meals without even realizing it. If they like what you’re cooking, let them know that they can try all sorts of delicious foods when traveling to different places. Doing this will make them less nervous to try new cuisines once you start going on more vacations and eating outside of your home. This is another area of travel that they won’t need to be scared about as they get warmed up to the idea.
If you don’t remember, your taxes and paperwork should be organized before you head out. Even while you’re abroad, this is one thing you don’t want to forget to do. It seems kind of odd, but you don’t want to come home to a backlog of paperwork to file. While you should have your essential financial documents figured out before a lengthy trip, you still have the option to do so online while you’re abroad already. Regardless, save yourself the headache and get this stuff done, so you can enjoy your international travel with your kids
Passport and visa
Depending on where you are going during your trip abroad with kids, you might need a visa and a passport if you don’t have one. Make sure you get your documents in order with plenty of time to spare, as, depending on where you come from and where you are going, you might be subject to an extensive interview process to ensure your eligibility to travel. A few weeks before your departure, check all of your documents and photocopy all of them to ensure you will be covered if you lose one!
International debit card
Before going on your international family vacation with kids, make sure you go to your bank and check if your debit card allows you to use your money internationally at no (or very little) cost. If that isn’t the case, you might need to research a better option and change your bank.
On any trip you make, either in-country or abroad, you need to know that you can buy anything you need to use. The brand may change, but still, you will manage. You need to know the regulation on what you need to carry before a flight. Ensure not to exceed the weight limit to charge excess fees.
I wrote an incredible Guide to Family Vacation Packing List, take a look and learn how to do it properly
Get them their own Suitcases
One proven way to get your kids excited to travel is to buy them their own suitcases. Have them go to the store with you and pick out what type and pattern they like best. This way, they’ll get excited when it comes time to pack and will want to help put their clothes together for the trip. They won’t mind having it be their responsibility to pack and wheel it through the airport. They’ll feel special and excited that they’re in charge of their own belongings. Having a personal suitcase to pack will have them looking forward to the next time you tell them that you’re leaving on a fun trip.
Safety is a must
You have to be very aware of the safety precautions that you have to follow when you are going abroad with kids. These measures vary from country to country, but as you are traveling, you know your destination, so you have to read the instructions and prepare yourself for that. It is never simple and easy to follow them, so keep it in your mind well in advance so that you have time for preparation.
For instance, if you are going to Australia; then you must apply for insurance in advance. Now for this, you have to compare cheap travel insurance policies in Australia with the insurance you can get in your country. For that, you can choose which one asks you for less money and which one more. According to that, you can finalize your decision. Your safety measure does not only include your insurance for traveling, but it will also include the laws of that country that you have to follow to properly live in that place without getting into trouble with the public of that country. So, keep this also in mind when you are traveling abroad with kids because many people do not know about it and then get into trouble at the end of the day. Therefore, it is essential to consider.
Depending on where you go, you might need to go to the doctor and get your kids some much-needed travel vaccination. Remember, do not act like you would if you were at home, and make sure you check travel advice and guidelines for the specific country you are traveling to.
You might need vaccination for the following: Cholera, Chickenpox, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A+B, Hepatitis A+Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR), Meningitis ACWY+B, Rabies, Shingles, Tetanus/Diphtheria/Polio, Typhoid, Tick-borne encephalitis and Yellow Fever. So make sure you consult a clinic or your doctor for the specific vaccination you might need.
While we hope for safe travels, always make considerations for the worst-case scenarios. This means picking reliable emergency contacts. Often, they can be family members or friends, but try to figure out which of those loved ones you’d be able to count on in case something goes wrong. Things to consider when choosing emergency contacts include the ability to contact, being able to travel to you, and trustworthiness. We get so swept up in the excitement of travel that we often forget what we would do in case of emergency, and who we could rely on if that happens.
Make Sure You Can Access Money Easily
Well, this is essential that you make sure that you can access the money while living in another country and in another corner of the world. You must keep this point in mind because without getting access to money in another country; you will not be able to survive. You cannot enjoy that new place if you do not have the money so keep that in mind and make sure you can access the money in that country.
In order to confirm this, you can simply contact the administration in that country and ask them about the options. You can also ask a friend or family to remember who visited that place previously and an even more credible and easy option is that you can simply Google it and find several ways for it.
You’ll have probably looked up the conversion rates of the local currency in the destination you’re traveling to, but you should make sure you have extra cash or a backup plan. The worst thing that can happen to us in a pinch is when we find out that shops or services don’t take credit cards or bank cards, or that our money doesn’t go as far as we thought in a new country. Ensuring that you have some backup cash or funds in international credit cards can keep you from ending up paying more than you thought and cutting into your budget for other needs or wants while abroad.
Get them A Travel Buddy or Toy
Find a cute toy or stuffed animal your kids can bring with them when you go on your next adventure. This way they’ll feel safer and won’t be as likely to put up a fuss when it’s time to depart. It’s a great way to give them some protection and help to feel safe and secure when they’re traveling to an unfamiliar place. Let them pick out what item it is and explain that it’s only to be used for when you travel. This way it’ll be extra special and serve a specific purpose.
After You and Your Kids are at the Destination
Go some Place they’re Familiar with First
Start by traveling somewhere your kids have been before. Even going to a Mcdonalds will do the work (they are almost the same in the whole world) Do what you know they like doing. For example, camping is an activity that’s fun for the whole family and that they’re used to if you go a lot. Pick a weekend and bring all of the right supplies including sleeping bags, flashlights, and a cheap gazebo, and a waterproof covering. It’s great protection against the weather and will give you plenty of shade from the hot sun. Get the kids involved by helping you pack and set up once you arrive at the campsite. Mention how what they’re doing is a type of travel and see what they say.
When traveling internationally with kids, you need to have it for fun. That can start with the baby crying, and when you’re all together, you can escape that from happening. You can diminish that by taking the well-being of your kids and traveling slowly. Slow travel does not only get hot and happening but gives you a chance to immerse yourself in a new culture and learn the language a bit.
The whole family can relax and let all the impressions sink into their thoughts. Kids need time as compared to adults, and you need to understand their own travel schedules. Let the kids stay in some places for some days before relocating to other areas of your plan during your vacation period. It will be more fun if you enjoy swimming and playing.
Carry On Healthy Snacks
As you travel with kids, it’s essential to have plenty of healthy nibbles on hand. Ensure to have snacks that are highly recommended, give you energy and have nutrients requirements. You need to include unsalted almonds and an apple, cheese, crackers, and fruit.
In Case They Move Too Far
It would help if you thought about the security of your kids. Sometimes you may be in crowded places where children sneak between people and parents get stuck. Here some protection will help you locate your kids. For instance, you can think of a child locator ID Bracelet. That will contain the contact of the parent and can be a sanity saver. Let’s hope you don’t need it, but it’s good to have in place for an emergency. It would help if you taught your kid how to ask for help in case they need assistance.
Take a Hotel Business Cards
As soon as you check into a hotel in a foreign country, pick up one of the business cards that are often displayed on the counter. The business cards are normally written in the native language of the country and can be used to show cab drivers or others who can direct you back to the hotel after visiting attractions. Although many countries have a large English-speaking population, it is often easier to communicate in the native language.
Take a Photo of Your Baggage with your Kids
Take a photo of your luggage with you standing next to it. Your height will give perspective as to the size of the luggage. Keep a copy either on your phone or on your camera and print one out as well. If your luggage is lost, you can show the photo to the baggage handlers who may be able to locate your luggage more quickly. If you are traveling with your family or friends, consider sharing suitcases. Spread everyone’s belongings out among suitcases so that if one bag is lost, that person is not without everything until the airline finds it.
Traveling internationally with your kids can be one of the most rewarding experiences we have in our lives, and being prepared is part of the process before we head out on that adventure is vital to the success of our experience. Most likely, you’ll have figured out where you’re going, what you’ll be doing while there, and other activities. Overlooked considerations include organizing your paperwork, picking out emergency contacts, and preparing for extra expenses. If you incorporate these tips for your family travel, you’ll spend less time worrying and more time relaxing.