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Know before you go: travelling with children

Written by Kelsey Drummond

October 1, 2020

You want your trip to go as smoothly as possible. Sometimes, travelling with children can make this difficult. Here’s a list of things to know before you travel to make your journey a little bit easier.

Before you leave

A lot of travel stress can be avoided if you do some research before you leave. Some things to look into for a smooth journey are:

  • Kid friendly destinations: some locations are more kid-friendly because of a number of factors. When travelling with kids, look for destinations where there are restaurants, tourist attractions, and even accommodations that are either targeted to children or are accepting of them.
  • Insurance: travel insurance provides peace of mind for all travellers. Policies range from covering lost luggage to surprise medical expenses while abroad. It’s important to know what you are covered for, so always read your policies carefully!
  • Vaccines: some countries require children and adults to be vaccinated against certain viruses that you may not normally encounter, like yellow fever. Remember to take your immunization records with you while you travel!

On that note, there are some additional key documents that parents or guardians of children should have on hand before leaving the country, including:

  • Passport: carrying a passport for your child is important because it is one of the easiest ways that authorities can confirm a child’s identity. Be sure to also carry supporting identification like a birth certificate or citizenship card to avoid any identification issues.
  • Consent letter: if you are travelling with your child without their second parent present, you should also carry a consent letter, stating that the child has permission to travel abroad. While this isn’t a requirement for all countries, you should check the entry requirements of your destination ahead of time to be sure.
  • Parental custody agreements: If you are travelling with your child and have a custody agreement with their other parent, ensure that you have a copy with you while travelling.

It is the duty of the airport officials to make sure that the child travelling is in the right hands. Having these documents available will speed things along. Other things to consider having on hand on a long flight or journey are:

  • Medications and prescriptions: you should make sure that you will not run out of your required medications while travelling. Keep in mind that some medications that may be readily available in your country, may be prohibited or difficult to obtain while abroad as a foreigner. Always make sure you are abiding by local laws with your prescriptions and medications.
  • Food, snacks, formula: Check with the airline or other transportation agency before bringing food on your journey. If allowed, bring snacks to ensure you don’t get hungry! Be considerate and avoid packing snacks with common allergens, like nuts. If travelling with a baby or infant, make sure you have enough formula available for the journey. Most air authorities allow baby food, formula, or breast milk over the 100 mL (3.4 oz) limit, as long as it is disclosed and screened separately through security. 
  • Entertainment: no one wants to be bored on a long journey, especially kids! Packing books or other entertainment is important to a smooth vacation. Avoid packing toys that may look like or be interpreted as a weapon.

While Abroad

You’ve done all of this work to have a smooth trip before leaving, don’t let an unexpected event abroad spoil it! Sitata offers a comprehensive travel safety app that can help keep you and your family safe while abroad. Get the most up-to-date health and safety alerts, recommended vaccinations and telemedicine, and other travel disruptions through the Sitata travel app to keep your vacation worry-free.

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