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Travelling Abroad with Children: 8 Tips Every Parent Should Know

Have a stress-free vacation with your kids.

Posted on 05 November 2019

Source: First Five Years

Travelling abroad can be a stressful experience for anyone, and it gets even harder if you’re a parent travelling with young children. You already need to worry about making your connecting flights, getting your passports in order, and organising ground arrangements in a foreign country. On top of that, you’ll need to be extra vigilant in caring for your kids, who may be unpredictable and difficult to handle in a new environment.

In order to minimise the stress both you and your child may experience when travelling overseas, here are a few essential tips that every parent should know before embarking on their journey.

1. Choose Flight Times Wisely


There is nothing more restless and cranky than children stuck in an enclosed space up in the air. If possible, try to plan your flights around naptime or bedtime so that your kids won’t be too irritable when the boredom kicks in - they’ll be falling asleep anyways!

Source: The Worldwide Webers

2. Gear Up for Flights


When we say “gear”, we mean comfortable clothes, snacks, and entertainment. This is the mantra for parents with children on board, especially if the flight is going to be a long one. Be sure to pack your child’s favourite snack, activity books, card games, tablet and so on into your carry-on. Bring your own snacks (make sure they’re easy to eat) to avoid paying sky-high fares for airplane food.

Source: Carpe Diem OUR Way Travel

3. Give Your Kids a Contact Card


The card should include important information such as your contact details, your child’s name and allergies. Take some time to explain to your kids when they should present the contact card (e.g. if they get separated from the group). For extra protection, you can laminate the card and give your child two copies to keep in different places.

Source: Mixed Blessings

4. Pre-Book if Possible


With the help of mobile technology, almost everything from hotels and restaurants to taxis and SIM cards can be pre-booked on your phone these days. You’ll find it helpful to book attraction tickets online in advance to minimise wait time that may eat into your itinerary.

Source: Hong Kong Disneyland

5. Ask for Child Discounts


Never ask, never know. You should always enquire about child discounts for transportation, day tours and entrance tickets, as well as restaurants and hotels (especially if you don’t need an extra bed for your child). Even if it’s not explicitly stated on their websites, many businesses are willing to offer a special price for kids so don’t hesitate to ask them directly or send them an email before booking your slots. 

Source: Redbook

6. Leave Some Free Time


While a well-planned itinerary is essential for a smooth-sailing vacation, it’s still important not to overdo it with meticulously-timed activities one after another. Be sure to leave ample free time in your schedule and space out each activity (e.g. 1 to 2 hours in between). This way, your itinerary can account for the unexpected and even provide you and your children precious downtime before moving on to the next item on your list.

Source: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

7. Pack Some Basic Medicines


Children can get sick while travelling. Make sure you travel with some basic medications so you won’t need to go through the hassle of locating a pharmacy should your child fall ill. These can include over-the-counter medicines for upset tummies, headaches, motion sickness and so on. If your child has prescription medications, be absolutely sure to bring the original packaging or a doctor’s letter demonstrating your child’s need for it. More importantly, ensure that it is legal to bring certain medicines into a country without obtaining special permission.

Source: Smart Gear

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