Planning a solo trip, a couple’s trip, and a family trip are very different things. Planning a solo trip is easiest as you only have to take care of your needs and nobody else’s. Planning a couple’s trip is double the trouble. However, you can also save when it comes to accommodations or two-for-one deals. Planning a family trip is immensely more difficult, all the more if you are travelling with children. Here are some reminders before you go on that trip.
Before you leave
Make sure you get travel insurance for everyone travelling. If going overseas, update the vaccinations of the children, as well as the adults. Prepare all travel documents including passports and visas. Have them photocopied so you can have them easily replaced just in case they get lost during the trip. Call your bank if you are going abroad so you can still use your credit card without tripping their fraud alarms. Before leaving the house, unplug all appliances. Make sure every window is closed and every door securely locked and bolted.
If you’re planning to drive for a part of the trip – either you’re driving around the UK or considering hiring a car for use overseas – you must obviously be a qualified motorist, with your license up to date and full.
What to Pack
Travelling with the whole family can be really stressful, particularly if you are travelling with smaller children. Make sure to pack comfortable clothes, as well as jackets, depending on the weather of the destination. Pack their favourite toy a few days before leaving so that when you arrive at your hotel, handing them the toy will be like a welcome home. Pack some snacks and drinks for the travel. Bring a small blanket and pillow for the child’s use. Make sure to bring some tissues and wet wipes for those little emergencies while in the car or on the road. Pack some sunblock lotion, as well as insect repellent lotion or stickers. This can be handy when going to the beach or on a camping trip in the wilderness.
Travelling with children may require you to purchase airplane seats for them, depending on the age of the children. For children below two years old, some airlines allow the child to travel with an adult without need of purchasing additional seats. However, they will be charged an infant fare which can be equivalent to 10% of the adult fare. However, for children above two years old, they may need to buy additional seats. Also, children will need their own passports if they are below 16 years of age. All children, no matter what age will require their own plane tickets.
During take-off and landing, give the child some chewy candy bar or a lollipop to occupy them. Have some plastic bags ready just in case they get motion sick. Prepare motion sickness tablets. The children can have their own carry-ons packed with a toy, some food, water or juice, a small towel, and a small pillow or blanket. Make sure their bags have bag tags with your name and contact information on it, just in case the child losses the bag. However, make sure their passports and travel documents are in your bag and not their bags.