Wondering how to travel internationally with kids? Glad to hear it: Foreign travel can be a great adventure for your entire family, and fortunately, doing so is easier than it’s ever been at any point in history. It just requires a little advance planning and preparation. Want to plan an exotic vacation for your family? You can find out how to travel internationally with kids of all ages with help from the hints, tips, and insights below.
Visit the Pediatrician: Regardless of your child’s age, it’s often a wise bet to visit your child’s doctor before heading out overseas. Chances are you’ve thought of everything to keep in mind when thinking about how to travel internationally with kids when it comes to health and wellness, but your Pediatrician is likely to remember something you overlooked. Plus, they’re going to tell you what and where you should avoid when you’re overseas. And, if you’re traveling with an infant, it always helps to make sure your baby has a clean bill of health before the trip.
Double-Check Your Passports: No matter how young your child is, a passport is needed for them to head overseas: It’s one of the realities of international travel with kids. But while you’re at it, you should also check if everyone else in the family has a valid passport with an expiration date that’s more than six months after when you plan to travel. The process for getting a passport for a child is no more difficult as it is for an adult. The only caveat is that a child’s passport is only valid for five years.
Get Immunization Shots: Every country has its own health risks and health concerns that visitors should be aware of. Before heading out to your exotic beach location, check online if there is any string of illnesses that your child or infant may need to get a shot for in advance.
Bring a Stroller: No matter how great of a walker your young child may be, they’re bound to get tired and will want to nap. That’s where a stroller comes in handy, as it allows you to continue moving while your kid grabs some rest. Thankfully, on a flight, you can bring the stroller as a carry-on where it’ll be checked in at the plane door. Don’t want to bring a stroller with you? Find out where to rent one here.
Check Up on Car Seat Guidelines: If you’re planning on using a car seat on the flight, check to see if your baby’s car seat is compatible on your airline. Most flight attendants will not know the regulations of baby car seats, so it’s best if you not only get familiar with the guidelines, but also print and carry the rules with you on the flight. The car seat not only makes it easier to carry your infant, but it’s also just a safer approach to flying with a baby.
Plan Around Jet-Lag: The truth is, kids adapt quicker to time changes quicker than you do. Still, it’s good to plan out your first day at a foreign vacation spot to catch up on sleep and get in line with your new time zone. That means you either have to sleep on the plane, or power through one very long day and go to sleep sleep early in order to find that right balance. Whatever approach you choose, those tricks you draw on to either put your kid to sleep or keep them awake will have to be used in order to combat jet lag.
Research International Doctors: Hopefully you’ll never have to use one, but the U.S. State Department has a list of English-speaking doctors in other countries you can visit if needed. That way if you need a pediatrician stat you can rest easy knowing that you don’t have research to do on the fly, or a language barrier to overcome.
Learning how to travel internationally with kids requires some planning. Find out how to make it simpler with help from the following guides:
A native New Yorker, Carlos knows a lot(!) about pro-wrestling and still foolishly supports the Mets. Now living in New England with his wife and daughter, Carlos has written for www.Fatherly.com, ESPN, WWE, Men’s Journal, and Muscle & Fitness. When he’s not writing, Carlos is always looking for a new craft beer to drink.