Travel - children   
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  • Travelling abroad with children

    Contrary to popular belief, extended foreign travel with children is not only possible, but can be a vastly enjoyable learning experience for all the family.

    Obviously though, travelling with children entails rather a lot more planning than travelling without them. How much planning you'll have to do depends on the ages and personalities of your children, but the following tips may be useful.

    Tips for travelling with children of any age

    • Make room for sleep. All children need more sleep than adults and become very grumpy when they don't get it. Try to time your journeys so that your child will get enough sleep - if they will sleep in the car, then time your car journeys around their nap times. If you are flying long haul, then either fly in the day or book a bassinet cot - do not make too many plans for the first day or two of your holiday.
    • Water. Children are also more susceptable to dehydration than adults and it is very important that they drink lots of water, especially if you are flying.
    • Take a basic first aid kit containing plasters etc, anti-septic cream, paracetemol / Calpol and a thermometer. If any of your children develop a fever of more than 37 degrees C, contact a doctor (the nearest British Embassy will help you with this).
    • If you are going somewhere hot, take sun cream, sun hats and any other UV protection things you can think of. If you are going somewhere cold, then take lots of layers of clothing - small children in particular are very susceptable to cold.
    • Don't worry too much about your child having a balanced diet every day. If you are traveling to a place where the food is likely to be very different to what they are used to, take a few stand-by meals with you (tins of beans, pasta etc.).
    • Finally, make sure your child knows his / her name and address and if possible, your mobile phone number. If your child is too young to remember these things, then either find a very good non-removable identity bracelet, or write your mobile phone number on his / her arm whenever you are going to a crowded place.

    Travelling with babies and toddlers

    • You can never have enough wipes, nappies or readily-available finger-food (eg. rusks, bits of dry toast, etc kept in an airtight container).
    • You don't need too many toys though - your little ones will be fascinated enough with all the other new things around them, or you can give them things like a zipped-up handbag, their food box or a plastic water bottle to play with.
    • If you are travelling for a long time, or you are already planning to do some washing while you are away, then take at least a few terry nappies for emergencies - then just make sure you wash them at 60 degrees
    • On aeroplanes, make sure your child has something to suck during take-off and landing. A breast-feed or a bottle is best and it may help to give them a little less at the preceeding feed.

    travel with children

    Lonely Planet: Travel with Children
    Anyone thinking of travelling long term with children should buy this book. As well as general tips, it also gives lots of country-specific information for almost every region of the world and comments/ journals from readers. A very well-researched and useful guide.

    Site last updated July 2017.
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