6 Tips for Families Traveling Abroad With Young Children

Travel | 6 Tips for Families Traveling

I slipped my kids into a baby carrier and boarded a plane as soon as they were able to fly. We’ve always bonded as a family by getting away from the distractions of everyday life, whether it’s a short city vacation alone or a long-distance journey overseas with the grandparents. Exploring new locations, meeting new people, and experiencing new things together provide us with rare opportunities to bond. Here are 6 Tips for Families Traveling Abroad With Young Children.

We’re eager to go exploring again now that countries’ admission restrictions are being relaxed. We’re finally planning foreign family vacations, and we’re not alone.

“Families have been painfully losing out on meaningful vacation time together, and now they’re making up for it,” says Christie Hudson, Expedia Group’s senior public relations manager.

According to statistics released by Hotels.com in March, internet searches for properties with cribs (65%), daycare (45%), and connected rooms (20%) grew from 2019 to this year. Expedia’s foreign travel demand reveals that Americans are booking trips to Mexico; major European destinations such as London, Paris, and Rome; and Toronto or Vancouver in Canada.

Following the advice of an independent team of scientists, the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for babies and toddlers on Friday, allowing more families to begin preparing for previously postponed travels.

Traveling with toddlers isn’t as tough as it seems, whether you’re new to vacationing with toddlers and newborns or have been grounded for so long you’ve forgotten how. 

Here are some pointers to keep in mind while traveling overseas with children under the age of five:

1. Keep shorter flights in mind

While taking your children on an adventure to the other side of the world may sound appealing, it may not be the greatest decision for your family right now. Long trips across time zones may be difficult for small children, and dealing with many emergencies will not be the ideal way to begin your holiday.

When arranging your family vacation, you should also consider connecting flights. You’ll want to avoid juggling luggage and pulling strollers full of tired youngsters as you hurry between congested gates and airports. You and your children’s worry and tears are not worth it. Choose the direct flight whenever feasible.

You should also consider moving after you’ve arrived at your location. Is public transit simple and secure? Will you have to get in and out of taxis, as well as install and remove your car seat? Is there going to be a decent balance of indoor and outdoor activities, as well as a place for your child to burn off some energy and a comfortable spot to rest?

Choose a location that will provide both enjoyment and relaxation for you and your youngster. Accommodations with specific kid-friendly activities will keep your children occupied, and the kids’ club or babysitter alternatives will allow you to enjoy some adult-only time.

2. Evaluate covid hazards

I usually consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 risk level map when deciding where to see children. Some insurers will not cover your vacation if you visit nations rated Tier 3 (“high”) or above. When it comes to my children’s health, the advantages do not outweigh the dangers in my opinion.

I inoculated my 5-year-old kid against the coronavirus as soon as feasible. It made sense for a family that travels frequently. In addition to being vaccinated, my son wears her mask in public, often sanitizes his hands, and understands how to give others physical space. As a parent, I try to avoid places that I know will be busy with visitors or that would need a lot of time spent indoors.

3. Prepare for the plane.

With a little planning, you and your children may have a stress-free flight. During takeoff and landing, give your youngster a pacifier or sippy cup. The suction action will assist your ears to adjust to pressure changes and lessen the likelihood of discomfort.

A hungry child is an angry child, so have food on hand at all times. Fruit packets, granola bars, and other no-mess snacks are terrific options. Make sure to order your meals on board ahead of time so it arrives on schedule. This will help keep the kids calm while you wait for the couple three rows ahead to decide between chicken and fish. Finally, youngsters under the age of two can bring full bottles and sippy cups past security and onto the plane with bottle-fed babies.

A tablet filled with kid-friendly programs, interactive games, or read-aloud books will pique their interest. Wrap a little, cheap toy that will be unwrapped every hour in the air. This will distract them and give them something to look forward to.

Pack an additional set of clothes for both you and your child. Spills happen, diapers burst, and food gets on your fingers, face, and clothes.

Allow yourself more time than normal to traverse the airport to avoid the frantic rush. Not only must you handle more passengers, but services like parking, passport control, and security may become overburdened due to abrupt spikes in travel and personnel shortages.

4. Pack light

Your infant needs less equipment than you think, and you don’t want to lug her crib through the airport. Find out what she can rent or borrow when she arrives at her destination. Many hotels and resorts provide cribs, formula, and distilled water, and some vehicle rental companies also provide car seat rentals. There are independent rental firms in many overseas places that can give you everything from car seats to high chairs to beach balls. Simply ensure that all rentals fulfill US safety regulations.

Take a lightweight travel stroller, wrap, or carrier with you. Many travel strollers fold up into a top storage size for simple transport on the move and when you arrive. Roof racks or slings can help you navigate through crowds while leaving your hands free to carry luggage or take a quick photo.

5. Make sleep a priority.

Plan your activities around your regular nap and sleep. Stick to your sleep patterns at home as much as feasible. Purchase a portable noise machine as well as a travel shade. Bring a soft crib sheet that smells like home. The more comfortable you feel in the place, the better.

Take turns resting in your room, or schedule activities that you know your baby will sleep in during his or her typical nap time. Some babies may rest comfortably in a stroller or carrier, so take advantage of this sleeping superpower.

If you decide to travel between time zones, keep in mind that this will impair the sleep of young children and newborns. You may or may not wish to gradually modify your naps to the new schedule depending on the length of your stay.

6. Prepare for failed plans.

Although it is easier said than done, try to unwind and let go. The children will reflect your fears, therefore the more you relax, the more they will relax. Whether you skip sleep or eat late, remember you’re on vacation and regular rules don’t apply. Make the most of your undisturbed time with your children by getting to know them better and focusing on making memories.

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