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Travelling with children

With the right preparation, travelling with children can be an amazing experience

Travelling with children can be amazing, opening up worlds of opportunity which might otherwise remain hidden.

With the right preparation this can be accomplished safely, allowing your children the opportunity to explore and learn about different people and cultures.

Preparation

Vaccines, immunisations and general health
  • Ensure all childhood immunisations are up-to-date. This includes the MMR vaccine
  • Make sure they receive appropriate vaccines for travel. This may include vaccines against diseases such as rabies, as children can be prone to play with animals
  • Obtain malaria tablets when necessary
  • Put together a first-aid kit, with children's dosage medicines, anti-sickness medicines, plasters and oral rehydration solutions
  • Buy some insect repellent, such as child-friendly percentage DEET or an appropriate DEET alternative
  • Have appropriately sized mosquito nets
  • Obtain appropriate travel insurance
Activities and travel
  • Whilst out and about, make sure children have your contact details on them (e.g. hotel name/number)
  • Have a rendezvous place where, if you get separated, you can meet up
  • Travel with appropriate seats for cars and remember, many countries will not have standard fitting points
  • Check hotel room locks, location and access of fire exits
  • Try and use reputable transport
  • Sun-screen, sun-screen, sun-screen!
  • Maintain access to clean water - filtered or purified
  • Consider how you are going to occupy your kids. Be creative and try and think past electrical items. Get kids to make pictures of the sights they see. Maybe get them a small children's camera and start a scrap-book (remember those!)
  • Turn every day into an adventure and bite of small chunks at a time
  • Remember - kids are unlikely to be interested in anything historical or arty. Resign yourself to the knowledge that you may not see that gallery/SSSI
  • If possible, stay somewhere with access to a swimming pool. You cannot go wrong with a swimming pool!
Don't worry
  • Children often become a real 'ice-breaker' when travelling, with locals often feeling more comfortable around families. So expect some great interaction that would not happen
  • Try and relax. Serious problems are incredibly rare when travelling with families, especially if you maintain a sensible approach
  • If you or the kids become unwell, resort to simple measures first. Rehydration, pain-killers and rest.