Our Travel Expert, Hazel Fogarty, reveals everything you need to know about travelling with children.
Travelling with children is stressful enough without some of the things that can go wrong. A little bit of preparation and research can make your trip as hassle-free as possible. As always, make sure that you check with the relevant embassies for any issues that you need clarification on.
Travelling abroad now requires children to have their own passports. Make sure you get this is plenty of time to travel. If your child already has a passport, check the expiry dates and the requirements for the country that you are visiting.
Some places require passports to be valid for six months after the date of your return. Some countries require extra documentation including parental consent if the child is not travelling with one or both parents.
While relaxing is one of the main aims of your holiday, unfortunately, you need to remain extra vigilant while away. Dangers, illness and accidents are all still very real threats to your little ones.
Always ensure that you have adequate travel insurance cover.
Pay particular attention around swimming pools or other water hazards. Not all places are as closely supervised as they could be. Children can get easily excited or not understand the warning signs in another country.
It may not be the law to wear seatbelts or use booster seats in all places that you visit, this should never stop you from putting your or your children's safety first. Pre-book booster seats or anything you require for transfers or car hire. If you are driving, don’t take unnecessary risks, download maps before your travel and don’t be afraid to ask for directions!
Know the locations of your nearest hospital, doctor and pharmacy and bring any medications that your child needs with you in case there is no alternative or availability where you are staying.
Special requests can not always be guaranteed, where possible, get it in
writing from your supplier if you have specific requirements.
Lastly, if your children are old enough to understand, chat with them about staying safe. Have your children carry their name and contact information on them. If they are old enough, get them to memorise a meeting place in case they get separated from you.