What are you planning for?
Oh so you want to travel. Internationally. With Kids. Then trust me you are going to need these 5 tips for International Travel with kids.
They may not be the things you are thinking of. However if you do not have them, your trip may be shortened, delayed unnecessarily or even cancelled.
Recently, like last week, I travelled internationally with kids. I ventured to take my children 11, 10, 8 and 7 to visit their 90 year old grandmother in Belize, Central America.
This required much planning and logistical know how on my part.
Please take note, share and comment on your experiences after you have read these.
Before we go
Before I jump in just let me say that I grew up in Belize.
Therefore I have a fairly more than amateur understanding of the country.
English speaking, foods, currency, modes of transportation, accommodations etc. All of these will play a part in your trip so please bear them in mind when planning.
Lets jump in. Listed below are 5 Must haves for international travel with kids.
1. CONSENT FORM IF TRAVELING ALONE
Now one would think that these are my children and why would I need anyone’s consent to travel with them.
Well, in this day and age of child and adult trafficking, leave no stone unturned.
I called the airline, NO help in the specific policies of Belize, Central America.
How did I know to check this out you say? Last year when my dad passed away and my cousin tried to bring her then nursing baby with her into the country she was held up at the airport on the US End.
I proceeded to download forms online and had a letter for each child stating every possible particular. Where we would be staying, date of birth, passport numbers, both parents names AND most importantly when traveling with kids ALONE, notarized signatures of both parents giving consent.
Now the caveat to this was because there is no policy on the specific airline I was traveling on from the state I was traveling from, Florida I was allowed to leave no problem.
Astonished! I did not ask questions however I figured it was because all of our documents bore the same last name.
Then here it is, we get to Belize and the entering customs agents asks, “do you have documentation to be bringing these children into the country?”. Without the documents I would have been barred entry to Belize and returned to the United States. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
2. FIRST AID KIT
This does not go without saying. I got to experience first hand this trip why it was needed.
Traveling on our own we normally take a pain killer or allergy shot if necessary. But, sometimes it can get overlooked when traveling with children.
Well, there are perfectly good non-bulky ones on Amazon like this one that I found. When my son fell off the bars in the park and totally clocked his noggin’ I was happy to have made this purchase.
Of course there may be skinned knees, insect bites, busted lip or even an allergic reaction and being prepared is necessary. Especially when travelling internationally where you may need a couple minutes of mom care before help is available.
Ok Darlene, what are you saying? The post is named 5 Must haves for traveling internationally with kids after all.
Hmm, not necessarily a quick fix. ARE THE PASSPORTS EXPIRED? If you are like me and travel for work extensively and not normally with the children, your passport may be fine.
Remember to check within enough time that you not only have their passports packed but that they are current. Disappointments can be avoided with a little planning ahead and list making in order to avoid heartache.
4. ACTIVITY KIT
This was definitely a must have for me because I am normally not my children’s toy.
Neither are my children “electronically overly fixated”. I do not travel, yet, with ipads, headphones, laptops.
I went to Five Below a few days before the trip and got my children little back packs.
Inside I placed something to write with, activity books (a different one for each child), candy of course 🙂 and notepads for them to journal or draw.
This time the trip was not that long (2.5 hours) so it worked out swimmingly.
If you are attempting to take a longer trip then definitely bring what works best for you and your crew. Because the audience will literally be “captive”, keeping them occupied will make for smoother travel for you and your fellow flight mates.
5. FOOD AND ACCOMODATIONS PLAN
As previously stated I pretty much know the lay of the land in Belize.
If you have no idea where you are going and you are traveling with picky eaters then this trip will be important for you.
My mom is experiencing dementia so knowing that I did not want to disrupt her routine too much.
Therefore we got an Airbnb. It not only kept us in an “at-home” feeling but the hosts were so amazing that we felt like we were staying at my mom’s.
I have family members there so ahead of time for a fee I asked them to include us in their meal plan for the week.
This meant that apart from the “jam rolls, ideals, tacos and tamales”, Belize must haves, that I wanted for my crew, we always had a meal prepared.
For you this may look like an all inclusive resort or researching the delicacies of the area before travel.
Cranky, hungry, tired children do not for a great international travel experience make, so plan accordingly.
Until next time, live life awfully simple. I hope that these tips are helpful for you and ease your next international travel with kids.
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