Are you planning an international vacation with your kids? Learn how to travel stress-free and create long-lasting memories with these helpful tips!
Traveling abroad is always a thrilling adventure. Getting to experience diverse cultures, rich histories, and people who lead lives entirely unlike anything yours back at home can be a great way to open your eyes and gain perspective while having an absolute blast – so why deny your little ones the opportunity?
Taking kids on international trips can definitely make things a little more complicated, but as long as your kiddos are well-behaved and ready to explore, it’s hard to have a bad time when traveling with little ones. Still, you’ll need to go into the experience prepared, as traveling abroad with kids can be quite different than taking trips closer to home. If you’re gearing up for an international trip with your kids, here are a few tips to help you survive the experience:
Know the rules.
When traveling abroad with kids, you’ll want to make sure you’re equipped with the appropriate identification. Specifically, you need to know if your little ones need a passport or if a copy of their birth certificate will suffice for your travels.
Additionally, it’s important to note that if only one parent is traveling, you’ll likely need to bring along some kind of document showing you’ve been given permission to take your child out of the country – in most cases, a notarized letter. Look for country-specific requirements about traveling with minors on the U.S. State Department International Travel website.
Plan for plenty of rest.
Chances are, your kids will need a break from all of the action at some point in the day. Don’t let them get overwhelmed and exhausted to the point of making everyone unhappy. Instead, plan to return to your hotel for a couple of hours during the middle of the afternoon to unwind and rest for a bit. Whether you truly nap or you just take advantage of the opportunity to chill out for a little while, you’ll all be better positioned to enjoy the rest of your evening.
Watch for homesickness.
Even if your kids are having fun exploring a totally new place, they might still find themselves missing the comforts of home, especially in moments of stress or exhaustion.
It’s a good idea to bring along something they love from back home – a small pillow, a stuffed animal, or a favorite book or blanket – to keep them grounded and give them a sense of comfort and familiarity when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Find a little extra room in your luggage and come prepared.
Know what you’re getting into.
Traveling with kids is quite different than striking out on your own. You’ll need to consider their safety, your ability to get around, the added cost of extra meals – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Do your research and make sure your vacation destination is one where you’ll be able to enjoy yourself with your little ones.
As great as the more upscale option may sound, enjoying a weekend at a kid-friendly all-inclusive resorts may be a better way to spend your time than hauling your family up and down five flights of stairs to your charming Parisian Airbnb, trying to figure out how to get the stroller through the turnstiles at the metro station.
As long as you put a little time and effort into preparing for your trip abroad with your kids, you’ll find yourself well-positioned to have a great time. Do your homework as you gear up for your trip, and enjoy the adventure that awaits!