Preparing for Your Family Travel Trip
As with any travel, there are pitfalls to be avoided. The better prepared you are, the more safe and enjoyable your travel will be. Any minor problems, from forgetting the nappies to a child’s favorite toy, can take the shine off your vacation.
The first thing to be aware of are legal issues that could affect children traveling overseas. You will need to check what passport or documentation your child needs when leaving the country, particularly if they are a dual citizenship holder or born elsewhere. You may have more problems on return than actually departing so research carefully. Make sure you carry the proper identification for yourself and any children traveling with you, including any documents that might be required by the authorities of the country you intend to visit and by the returning authorities. Some countries require children (under 18 years of age) traveling alone or with one parent/guardian to present a letter of consent for travel (signed by both parents) as well as the child’s birth certificate.
You should also take out travel insurance to cover hospital treatment, medical evacuation and any activities, including adventure sports, in which you plan to participate.
If you are traveling with babies or young children check how available baby products will be in the destination before traveling. If necessary you may need to stock up on nappies and other essential products. Also consider how best to secure your belongings while traveling - you may be more vulnerable to thieves and pickpockets if you don’t have a hand free. Just because you have children doesn’t mean people will be any more helpful, although they do tend to be.
Gear Requirements/Packing lists
Transport carriers have different rules in regards the size and weight of luggage. Check what these allowances are before you set off. Some families set rules about what and how much you can bring. One might be a policy whereby the kids can take whatever they want, but it’s their responsibility to carry it. This will ensure they pack like Spartans. However you may wish to oversee or help them.
In any case, you will enjoy the trip far more if you’re all traveling light. The key to packing properly is to keep it simple. What you need will be influenced by the type of activities you plan, the climate, the ages and number or your children and of course your personal preferences. Do they need hiking shoes, goggles, beach towels, fishing rods and so on? Do you need an all terrain pushchair or a baby backpack to take the little one with you on hikes?
If you’re catering for several people you should prepare lists of what you need and tick them off when you have them. Start putting them aside in a spare corner or room until you need them. You may need items like car seats, travel cots, travel potty’s, floaties and baby items like creams and nappies.