Advice for Parents Taking Their Kids Abroad
5 Things You Will Love and Hate About Traveling With Your Children:
5 Hates of Traveling with Your Kids:
1. Visiting Europe with your kids – no dancing until dawn, unless the grandparent’s are with you
2. The Worries – The little things become bigger things when you don’t know where basic things are like the hospital
3. The Dirty Bathrooms – be sure to keep disinfectant wipes and toiletries.
4. Strollers – very bulky and often not on elevators
5. People Hate You for traveling with your kids – the kids behavior isn’t always well receieved by other travelers.
5 Loves of Traveling Europe with your Kids:
1. Visiting Europe with your kids – Traveling with your kids is magical
2. Family bond – the memories you created are indescribable and brings everyone together
3. Making history and culture come alive for your kids – Kids get to see the world through their own eyes and relate what they see to their own experience
4. The Grandmothers – Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal are notorious for their overly-loving grandma’s. They go a long way in helping take care of children.
5. Parent’s get to travel how they want and the kids slowly assimilate.
Advice for Dealing with Jet Lag in Children
filmed in Xi’an, China
Safety Advice for Children Going Abroad
1. Staying together and holding hands.
2. Dress your kids in something recognizable so they stand out in the crowd.
3. Know the number for the police/ambulance in every country that you go to – it’s not only 911.
4. Don’t give your kids expensive items to flaunt around – this makes them a target for criminals
5. Pay attention to traffic and crosswalks because the rules and driving habits are different everywhere
6. Bring a first-aid kit with you at all times because kids are prone to accidents. Ex: Neosporin and band-aids
7. Consider multiple options for car seats. There are many compact alternatives.
8. Prepare your kids personally – tell them what to do in case of emergency. Knowing helpful phrases and giving your child a phone and hotel card are always good safety measures.
9. Give your kid a copy of their passport.
Here are a few tips for traveling with your kids. Especially tips for long distance trips.
Traveling with children is something that will run a lot more smoothly if you use these tips and tricks to prepare for your trip.
How to Pack Kids for a European Vacation
- Take about the same amount of belongings for your kids whether you’re going for 2 weeks or 6.
- Make sure you bring along baby medicines, because you may not be able to buy them abroad.
- Bring small containers of Lysol, Tide, Dawn, Downy, etc. to clean your clothes & bottles.
- Pack a first aid kit including Neosporin, pain relievers, Melatonin, and band aids.
- Bright colors and matching outfits are a great idea for kids so they are easy to keep track of.
- Make sure to pack heavier clothes and swim trunks, because you never know how the weather will be.
- Light and disposable supplies for your children or yourself are great to have.
- BEST WAY TO PACK CLOTHES: fold in half long ways, and roll them up as tight as you can. This will help you fit a lot more into your suitcase
- Some common packing mistakes: http://www.aarp.org/travel/travel-tips/info-04-2012/trip-vacation-packing-tips.html
- Here are more super helpful resources: a checklist to use for your packing http://upl.codeq.info/, http://www.travelite.org/?p=90, 10 rules of thumb for packing for Europe http://www.europeupclose.com/article/10-rules-for-packing-for-europe/#.URrYJaVZX0Q
How to Prepare Your Kids for Travel Abroad
- Get the kids involved. Let them have a say in what the family does while abroad.
- Talk about the trip before you go and hype it up for them. Using movies or TV shows where their favorite characters are traveling will get them excited.
- Book hotels with baby beds ahead of time!
- Pack for the kids, but also give them some say in what clothes they get to bring. This gives them more responsibility so they are more invested in the trip.
- Let the kids carry some of their own stuff. This gives them more of an interest in what’s going on, and makes them feel more important.
- Book bulkhead seats ahead of time, or try when you arrive at the gate.
- Set rules before you go. Since the rules you have while traveling are different than rules at home, it’s good to practice before you go.
- Plan do nothing days. This helps the kids so they don’t feel so rushed and they have more time to spend with the family and take it all in.
- Plan kid activities too. Instead of just going sightseeing or doing things kids might not have so much fun doing, try to find things like amusement parks or zoos. This can be a really fun way for kids to learn more about other countries while bonding with the family.
- Be patient! Travel can be super stressful, so be prepared mentally and make sure you talk to your kids about how they can help and make everything go more smoothly.
- Bring Grandma and Grandpa if you can! They will enjoy it, and it gives everyone more time together. This way, you can also have some time alone while the kids spend time with their grandparents.
Video Summary by Guest Blogger Megan.
Dressing Your Kid to Be Easily Seen, from Lisbon
Tips for Train Travel with Kids: From Portugal
And here are a few great ideas for family vacations to Europe: http://travel.usnews.com/Rankings/Best_European_Family_Vacations/, http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/family-vacations/, http://www.tripadvisor.com/Inspiration-g4-c0-Europe.html