You’ve always liked trips, you want to explore the world, but you have kids. One more reason to get your foot on the road. Contrary to what some people think, traveling with kids is easier than one imagines
Of course, there are challenges on a trip with children, but difficulties exist on any trip. The most inspiring thing is to know that you will be sharing love and presenting your children with unforgettable knowledge and experiences.
Key challenges of travelling with children: The first challenge is to lose the fear of going to a strange place with your children, not knowing what you will find. It may seem a little terrifying, but it’s not.
However, it is good to always take into account some care such as: make sure that the chosen destination does not have health hygiene problems, contact the pediatrician and take a first aid kit, and always have good international health insurance – preferably with its own accredited network, which are the ones that cover the expense promptly.
Another point is to understand that the timing of a trip with children is different. There’s no point in running, you can’t skip meals, and you can’t walk around from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Myths about travel with children
1. “It’s more complicated to plan holidays with children”
No. If you want everything planned, you’ll have the usual job, but changing the focus: you’ll need to look for hotels that accept children, check if it fits extra bed or cot, research restaurants that fit the child’s taste and organize more “friendly” logistics.
And there are adventurous families who travel aimlessly: take a trailer or a car and unknow the destination without knowing what will come ahead and without reserved hotels. Not to be taken by surprise, take food and pillows.
2. “Travelling with children takes a lot of work”
Sometimes. Traveling with a baby can be easier, because once they are fed, they go back to sleep, so everything can be simpler. From 1 year – when they start walking – up to 2 years, it can be a little more laborious, but nothing out of the ordinary.
From 3 years on, it can be easier again. I believe that children who start traveling early, get used to routine, and being in transit becomes more and easier. But all these factors will depend heavily on the location chosen for the trip.
3. “Fate has to be aimed at children”
The world is an amusement park, and any trip is a trip to go with children. There is no child or adult destination, what exist are interesting destinations. New York, Paris, Thailand or Orlando, all are trips to go with children and with a variety of attractions.
4. “Children will not remember the trip”
They may not remember visually, but the experience they have had will contribute to their growth and development. It’s a seed we plant. In addition, you will remember every minute of the trip. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures, this can help them remember in the future.
5. “It’s much more expensive to travel with children”
It is more expensive to take a trip with children from a certain age when they start paying hotel and entrance to attractions.
In relation to plane tickets, the policy varies according to the airline, but usually children up to 2 years pay 10% of the fare, and from 2 to 11 years pay 50% of the ticket amount. Consult the airline for more information.
How to travel with children
International trips with small children involve routine changes, and some tricks may work:
Trips over 30 hours: if you go to Asia, Oceania and very distant destinations, consider a stopover in the middle of the road.
Experiencing different flavors around the world is always good, but try not to change your child’s food too much. In countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, India, it is worth resorting to an Italian restaurant. It always works.
Try not to “jump” too much from one place to another. Assemble a script in which you stay longer at each destination. A very fast-paced family trip can get stressful.
Going back and forth where you stay more than two hours in the car/train can also be tiring.
Always start with a simpler trip, especially if your child is a baby. And go “sophisticated” in the next.
Documents for traveling with children
“Children of all ages usually require a valid passport when flying to another country. While children traveling by land or sea can travel to most destinations with a birth certificate, we strongly recommend that you apply for a passport anyway. A passport provides official proof of citizenship and helps avoid delays when passing over borders. Because passports are the primary form of identification when traveling, it is worth obtaining one just in case.”
Child Travel Consent
“hild Travel Consent form (sometimes called a letter of permission to travel) provides proof that a child has permission to travel without both (or either) legal guardians present. If a child is crossing borders alone or with an adult who isn’t their legal guardian, they need a consent letter signed by both parents.”
Proof of Relationship
“In addition to a passport and travel consent letter, parents should also carry proof of their relationship to their child. This could include a birth certificate, a court order, or an adoption decree. Providing proof of the relationship between the child and parents verifies a Child Travel Consent.
Separated parents should carry guardianship forms, like a Child Travel Consent form, stating that both parents agree to the child traveling in the care of one parent. A letter of consent to travel with one parent can save separated parents a great deal of trouble at the border. They should also carry a copy of the court order, separation agreement, or other legal custody documents that prove their custody arrangements.”
Boarding a trip with children is always an arduous task, no matter if it’s your first trip with your first child or your fifth trip with your fifth child. From how to pack up to how to get to their destination, there are many care to be taken.
However, there are some tips that can help you prepare and not go crazy. Next, we’ve listed some travel tips with kids – some for babies, some for older children, and others for yourself.
Go and do it!
Even if the idea of traveling with children seems scary, always remember the most important: an hour will end. You’re going to make it. You’re going to make it.
Take it easy
You may be used to running to leave the plane and get out of the airport soon, using those little secrets and shortcuts from an experienced passenger. But that’s over. Sit down, relax, let everyone around you run and take it easy. You’re not in control anymore – just enjoy the moment.
Don’t overdo it in the bag
Remember that almost everything can be purchased abroad. It may not even be the same brand, but you can manage. Diapers, for example, are a constant concern, as 100% ecological and organic brands can be difficult to find. If you are used to using an eco-friendly brand, take a test as a non-echo before traveling to see if your child has any kind of allergic reaction, for example.
Hotel or season rental?
Hotels have their benefits (room service, meals, baby-sitter services etc.), but with seasonal rentals, you can have your own home on vacation – and prepare your own meals, which can be helpful if your child has a special diet. It’s a personal choice, but it’s worth thinking calmly.
Reserve with caution
If you choose the hotel, make your reservation calmly. You may have stayed there and loved it, but think hard before booking. Were there too many steps or a difficult climb to get to your room? What seemed like paradise to you or a couple can turn into a nightmare when you’re pulling a stroller with a baby.
How to find a lost child
For those who worry that the child may get lost, the best thing to do is tag the child’s arm with his name and phone. Thus, if it is found, you can easily be contacted. In many cases, it may also be worth investing in a GPS tracker – place it next to the child’s wrist or backpack and track it through an app.
Pool vs. sea
Even if you plan to stay on the beach, it’s worth checking to see if there’s a pool option as well. A lot of kids love playing at sea, but others don’t like it or can’t take it for long. A swimming pool is ideal for children to play until they get tired.
Here’s a common dilemma of how to travel with children, and there’s no simple answer. The appropriate type of stroller will depend on where you are going. Will the streets be flat and paved, or will there be holes and detours along the way? Will the weather be too humid or average and pleasant? Which kind is your baby most used to?
A neutral and always safe option are the lightest carts – easy to carry on the trip and that can be taken to the boarding gate. They can also be used as a temporary bed for an afternoon nap. You can easily include blankets or a rain coat and walk well on any type of terrain.
Infant car seat?
There are a lot of people who don’t give up on it, while many find it crazy to carry such a large item for such a small period of time. They require an extra seat on the flight and are somewhat uncomfortable to carry. On the other hand, you will have it in hand for any and all car ride. If your plans include a car trip, you might be worth investing in a Travel System (stroller and car seat) to avoid dragging weight twice.
The perfect suitcase
Your diaper bag will count as a carry-on bag on the flight, so make sure you’re carrying everything (counting on possible delays as well): baby wipes, pacifiers, snacks (preferably without too much sugar, although it’s worth taking a few balls to help Relieve the pressure at takeoff time or landing), changes clothes, plastic bags (for diapers and if any clothes get too dirty), headphones, toys, extra batteries, tablet or DVD player, etc.
And if there’s room left in your stuff, add a few more baby wipes – you’re going to need it.
Several airports allow breast milk and baby food to be transported in canisters over 100ml. Bottles are usually open to pass through security, but this takes only a few seconds and does not contaminate food. Therefore, it is worth checking what the procedure is like at the airport you will travel through.
Plan your flights
Try planning your flights around your child’s bedtime. Night flights may be more expensive, but if you look for more comfort and tranquility, a child who sleeps during the flight is a blessing for everyone. If you need to make a connection, leave plenty of time between flights – no one deserves to run away with children and bags through an unknown airport.
The big tip is to make the trip itself part of the holidays. Allow yourself a few hours, stretch your legs, go to the bathroom calmly, eat, chat, play with them and get ready for the next flight. And don’t forget: the best way to find cheap airline tickets is to book 53 days in advance.
Search for your destination
For mothers who are breastfeeding, it is worth researching whether doing so in public is something common in the destination of the trip. Some countries are super good, but some require you to look for a more reserved place to breastfeed the baby. In case of doubt, it’s always good to ask.
Search, search, search!
This applies both to the before and for the during the trip. Does your baby need a visa? What vaccines do you and your son need? Should you take medicine? Don’t leave all this for the last minute.
Where to sit?
Where sitting on an airplane with a small child is something often defined by the aircraft’s own design: some have extra oxygen masks over certain seats. But not all planes are like that, so it’s worth checking with the airline, and think calmly what the best seat for you.
Sitting right at the bottom of the plane usually means being less disturbed by people. It also ensures that you lift and use the gallery, and have the bathroom nearby. However, these seats may not recline completely, and have more noise than the rest of the aircraft.
In the middle of the plane, you can use bulkhead seats. This ensures not only more legroom but more play area. However, this will not be the case of space to store things under the bank in front of you.
Sitting in front is similar to sitting in the background, with the exception of the gallery, which is usually smaller and busier. Another thing to consider according to the age of the child: window or hallway? Is it better to be quiet in the corner or with more room to move?
Take a “test trip”
A good idea might be to take a “test trip.” Airports, for example, because they are too big and noisy, can be a fright and bother some children early on. Therefore, leaving it prepared for that environment can facilitate “D-day”. And even “practice” on a smaller flight, to a nearby location and introduce you to that new world in preparation for a longer trip? You’re going to see the kinds of problems and concerns of your little one.
Is it worth flying low cost?
Of course it’s always tempting to use the “low cost” companies when traveling. But now that it is a family, it is worth thinking calmly: these companies usually use airports far away from cities, which mean a greater shift to the final destination. Perhaps it is worth paying a little more to ensure more comfort and tranquility – not to mention the fact that often the final difference will be minimal if you count the transportation expense to the city center.
Airport time – online check-in
Try to minimize the time spent in queues at the airport. One of the easiest things is to check in online – then you just need to check in and get through security. In many cases, there is a family space at the security gate.
No unnecessary rush
Even if you want to minimize the time in the queues, you certainly don’t want to have to run. Leave a few hours to spare – if you arrive early at the airport, use that time to play with the kids. After all, the more energy they spend, the less they will have during the flight.
What could go wrong?
Before you go, make a list of everything that can go wrong – from setbacks on the plane to a lost flight, and think how you would handle it. Thinking about situations before they occur will leave you mentally.
Explain the trip
If your child is not used to flying or traveling in general, then it’s worth talking to him about it. Explain what and when everything will happen – just like it will have to tighten your seat belt and why. For most kids, flying is a fun, so the best thing to do is to create a lively and adventurous climate for everyone!
Plan – but without excesses
Leave your son entertained, but don’t make the entire trip a military regiment. Instead of booking a dozen excursions, make a list of them – or follow them through an app.
Make sure your airline offers an assistance service. Not all of them do, but several of them help as much as possible upon boarding time and on arrival. If you are traveling with more than one child, alone with a child or if you are a rookie, these services are a great help!
If your child chooses the worst time in the world to have a bout of monumental screams… take a deep breath and simply try to stay calm.
Enjoy traveling with kids!
Plan with time, dedicate yourself to the suitcase, and make the trip part of your journey. Just remember that everything will be fine, and that you should also enjoy the experience to the fullest!
Some Places to travel with children
We separate below some international destinations to travel with their children.
Cancun: one of the warm places to go with the family, Cancun has calm and crystal clear beaches, snorkel to see free animals at sea, cenotes and water theme parks. Most hotels are all inclusive, and have good family structure.
Chile: With good hints of adventure tourism, and itineraries that pass glaciers, rafting, lakes and ice trekking, Chile is also a destination to visit with children.
London: Spectacular museums, giant wheels, magic movie itineraries, parks and castles. London is one of the must-see trips to make with children. Bali: in the land where children are blessed, there is much to do. From beautiful beaches to temples and snorkeling with blankets, Bali is an eclectic destination for honeymoon, surfing or family.
👉 See 13 US destinations to visit with your children on a budget!
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