Ah, traveling abroad. It can be complicated even without kids, but when you add them to the mix, you have to be totally ready! We have a trip planned for July 2022 that involves being in another country. Not only will we have our older two kids, who have passports and don’t require car seats anymore, at least in the US, but we will have our toddler, Rider, as well as a new baby due in April of 2022. So even though it seems early, we already have to be planning what it will take to travel abroad. It’s actually not too early, as the wedding will be here before we know it, and we’ll need to be totally ready. Even before COVID and babies, we traveled to Canada right before the pandemic, and it required having passports for both children. So, here are our tips on traveling abroad with kids in 2022! We hope our information will be useful to you for your travels.
5 Tips for Traveling Abroad With Kids:
1 – Get Your Documentation in Order:
In our house, it’s important to check the documentation of everyone in your family’s passport, and also apply for new ones for any new family members. Our two babies will need two passports for our wedding trip! Make sure that the passports don’t expire within three months after the return from your trip. This is because some countries require this window of time and you will need to research the country you’re visiting, or just avoid the problem by renewing passports before the trip. Make copies of all of the passport photo pages before you leave home and make sure to bring one and leave the other in a trusted location. Make sure to designate ONE (preferably adult) family member to carry ALL of the documentation – you don’t want it scattered among several sets of luggage.
2 – Plan Ahead for Transportation:
Now, you may want to focus only on public transport, to experience local life, but sometimes that isn’t as time-efficient as using taxis or doing the driving yourself, especially with kids in tow. This can save serious stress. If you have a United States driver’s license, it’s valid in both Canada and Mexico, but many countries do not recognize a US license and you will need an International Driving Permit, or IDP. You should, of course, first research country-specific travel reports, road conditions, and local laws about drinking and driving, and cellphone use. An IDP is a document you carry around with your license, and international driver’s license laws vary depending on where you travel. You can also apply for an international license, to apply for licenses for 120+ countries worldwide. We have a plan to go to Germany in the next few years, and you can apply for international license in Germany.
3 – Have the Right Travel Gear for Little Ones:
We always buy cheaper umbrella strollers when traveling, even on domestic trips. While they’re not going to be as good on cobbled streets or trails, they will definitely save you in a pinch. They’re easy in airports; fold up easily for planes and car trunks. You’ll also want to plan ahead with carseats, by either bringing your own (hopefully lightweight ones) or researching ahead about renting or buying one in your country of travel. In terms of baby beds, many hotels will have them if you call ahead, which is much easier than bringing a portable crib or bassinet on your travels.
4 – Be Flight Smart:
This goes for domestic flights with young ones as well, but if you can, choose nonstop flights or if that is not an option, you’ll want to choose flights with long layovers when traveling abroad with kids. I’d choose a layover that is at least 1.5 hours since getting around an airport can be confusing and time-consuming even without kids. If you have long flights with more than six hours in between, decide if you want to make a halfway overnight stop after the first leg of the trip. You may need the rest. Then, we have the subject of turbulence! Turbulence can be unpleasant for nearly anyone, but especially young kids who may not know what to expect. Well, what if you were ahead of the game and could stay ahead of the turbulence curve? You can get a Turbulence Forecast which gives real-time global turbulence forecasts from flight path information and real time weather updates.
5 – Plan for Jet Lag and Disorientation:
Jet lag happens to all of us, and it’s pretty hard on kids, especially ones very young who don’t really know what’s going on. They just know they’re not in their quiet beds! Sometimes for us, that just means taking a quick nap once we get to our hotel or wherever we are staying. We also stay up until 7 or 8pm local time (where you’re traveling to) on the day of your arrival. Sometimes with all of the excitement, the kids are still raring for adventure no matter what.
So, do you have any tips for traveling abroad with kids?