Travelling with children allows them to be open to new perspectives and cultures. However, there are always risks that need to be mitigated as much as possible. No matter where you’re travelling to, make sure that your kids are safe and happy. Here are some tips that will help make your trip a success.
Check With Your Insurance
Not all insurance companies offer coverage for international travel, but you can purchase supplemental insurance that covers certain medical expenses. Even though no one wants to think about what could happen, travel insurance can protect your vacation investment when the unexpected happens. You should loook for a policy with cancellation, delay, interruption and medical expense coverage. Kids have a higher risk of becoming ill or being injured in a fall and both are examples of covered reason that would allow you to cancel your trip with full reimbursement of pre-paid, non-refundable costs. Also when travelling internationally, a policy with emergency medical coverage and transport is vital to ensure a safe return home for your family.
Make a Plan in Advance
Before your trip, it’s essential to research the area to ensure its safety. If you’re planning on traveling overseas, make sure you and your children are up to date on all immunizations required for the destination you are visiting. This may mean you have to schedule extra shots if you are going to countries that have diseases that are not regularly vaccinated for in the United States. Remember also that younger children are not able to be fully immunized against many diseases. Consider carefully your choice of destination when you travel with babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
Practice With Your Children What to Do if They Get Lost
One of the most critical steps you can take when traveling with young kids is practicing what to do if you’re separated. Discuss this danger beforehand. As soon as your children are old enough, have them memorize your cellphone number. With younger kids, label them somewhere with your contact information. There are a number of products, including family silicon ID bracelets, that can get the job done. Also show your children what “safe” people look like who can help them if they are lost. Point out people like police officers, airline staff, national park rangers or theme-park employees when you arrive at a new destination.
Book Child-Safe Accommodations
When travelling with toddlers, some of the biggest safety risks can be found in your hotel room or vacation rental. Outdated cribs, unprotected stairs and railings and open outlets can present real dangers. When my daughter was young, I travelled with a few basic childproofing supplies like outlet covers, blue tape (to tape any wires to the wall and cover the bathroom locks) and night lights. If the rental has a pool or hot tub, ask if it’s gated. An active toddler can easily fall in.
Know Your Destination
Amusement parks and family resorts are very controlled areas and monitored. However, if you travel to a national park for camping, you’re not going to find the same safety features. In fact, multiple visitors are seriously injured in Yosemite and the Grand Canyon every year. If you go into nature, plan accordingly and teach your children about not approaching animals. Wear good hiking boots and be prepared with a well-stocked medical kit. Be vigilant around water and set clear rules around pools, lakes, and rivers. Rules might include “no running, and never go into the water without us”.
Bring a Medical Kit
A well-stocked medical kit is essential when traveling with young children. Pack the necessary items such as Band-aids, ibuprofen, antibiotic cream and disinfectant spray. Also include your child’s medicine.