16 November 2017 by Anna Staford
Travelling abroad with kids can be challenging and will certainly take more vigilance than usual. However, there is no reason why you shouldn’t travel with a young family and enjoy a great holiday, while expanding their knowledge and experiences, as long as you take the right precautions to have a trouble free trip.
It’s impossible to predict what might happen on a trip and travelling with kids makes it even more unpredictable, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and to сhoose travel insurance that can cover your whole family in the event of any mishaps.
Also check out these 10 tips for stress free travel with kids before you go.
Here’s how you can keep young kids away from trouble while abroad.
It’s especially important when travelling with young children, to research your destination before you travel (and in fact before you book your trip!). The better prepared you are, the more stress-free your trip will be and the more everyone will enjoy it. A great place to start is the FCO Travel Advice website which provides up to date information on safety and security on every country.
The FCO website will help you make an informed decision about where to travel. This will help you avoid locations that may have security issues, or more prone to terrorist attacks, or high crime rates. Do not travel against FCO advice, otherwise your travel insurance won’t cover you.
Each country has different customs, cultures and safety standards, so check in advance to ensure you know any pitfalls that may get your kids into trouble, such as availability of car seats for babies and young children. Just because the local regulations may not require you to wear a car seat belt in the back seat, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t wear one.
Essential when travelling with kids as it will help keep stress levels down and allow you to focus on enjoying the moment and keeping your kids happy and safe. Have bags packed with easy access to essential items that you will need on your journey, including a mini medical kit that you should carry at all times.
No one wants to think about their kids getting lost, especially in a foreign country. However, it’s likely that you will visit several crowded places, which means there is a possibility that your child could get lost, or separated from you. Have a plan in place with your kids if this happens and have a safe meeting place where you can reunite. It’s also important to make sure he or she has an identification card or a tag that states how / where you can be contacted. Ultimately, it is your duty and responsibility to never take your eyes off your young kids, so be extra vigilant while away.
Many people got infected with the Zika virus recently because they were not aware of its presence in many Central American countries including Brazil. It is vital to do your research, on risks in your preferred location. It will also help you prepare and take the right preventative medicines (like a good deet based mosquito repellent).
Sounds obvious, but don’t let your kids carry any of their essential travel documents (even for a short time!). Passports, tickets etc., are much too important for kids to hold and they are so easily distracted. You keep hold of them and ensure they stay secure. If your kids lose their documents, you might face serious problems at immigration. You may be refused entry/exit.
Tell your children where you are going and what to expect. As well as the exciting things you will see and do, also prepare them for some key essentials on safety and security in the unlikely event things go wrong. Practice these 3 vital safety rules when travelling with kids.
Practice ‘what if we get separated’ so you are prepared when visiting busy places. Ensure they know what to do if approached by a stranger. It’s not necessarily effective to shout “mum” or “dad” because this may not alert passers-by to the possible danger your child may be in. One of the best tips is to teach them to shout “You're not my mummy/daddy”, or “Help! This isn’t my mummy/daddy”. This should be much more effective in alerting everyone around your child that they may be in danger.
Whether your family is travelling to a local attraction or a foreign country, it’s wise to follow these basic security tips that will help you and your kids stay out of trouble.