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    Tips For Traveling With Kids Overseas Part 1: Preparation

    Traveling family

    I’m a firm believer in the idea that you should never wait until the kids are ‘old enough’ to travel. In fact, the earlier you teach your little ones how to travel, the better. Travel provides enrichment for children of all ages. It stimulates the imagination, teaches tolerance and appreciation of other cultures, and also fosters a spirit of adventure.   However, taking an overseas trip with little ones can be a little daunting. There’s a lot to take into account when you are traveling, so to help you and your family I’m going to be doing a four part feature about travelling with kids. To start us off, let’s talk preparation.

    Make scanned copies of all your family’s important travel documents and email them to yourself.

    Important travel documents

    Should the unthinkable happen and one of you loses something important, you don’t want to be stranded without a copy of somebody’s passport, green card or visa. Scanned copies of all your vital paperwork will make it easier to replace the misplaced documents. Perhaps even consider getting a free account on a popular travel itinerary site such as Evernote, where you can upload all your trip info such as flights, paperwork,  maps and reservations. Share the login details with family members back home so they’ll know what flights you’re on and where you’re staying in case they need to contact you.

    Make an ‘Out The Door’ list.
    Packing Checklist

    The time before you leave for the airport is arguably one of the most stressful points in your family holiday. Have a list of things you need to actually physically grab as you head out the door. Essentially, the ‘ Out the Door’ list is a checklist of last minute essentials, like  your money belt, drinks in the fridge for the airport, some healthy snacks and sweaters for the plane. As well as all the indispensables you’ll want to double-check one last time before heading to the airport: passports, credit cards, cash. There’s a lot to remember — so have a list for it!

    Pack enough for 2 days in your carry on.

    Packed carry on

    This is a smart move to make for anyone but it’s particularly handy advice for parents with young kids. If your luggage does get lost, you don’t want to be hunting for a clean pair of pants and diapers the minute you arrive in a new city.

    Count your suitcases, backpacks, handbags and keep the number in your head.

    Trunk full of luggage

    This sounds painfully obvious, but you’ll have no idea how helpful it can be. Going from place to place, it’s easy to forget things behind.  Bigger families may want to conduct a kid count as well.

    Put one parent in charge.

    Family with map.

    Don’t share the burden of any one duty while traveling. With organizational things, like packing and booking hotels, it’s far better to just have one person in charge. That way, one person has all the necessary confirmation emails, booking information and another knows where everything is packed. Sharing the load can sometimes leave too much room for miscommunication and disorganization. If everyone stays responsible for their one particular task, things will run far more smoothly.

    In the next installment of Travelling with Kids, we’ll be discussing how to handle your little ones at the airport, as well as providing tips for  getting through those long international flights. In the meantime, happy planning, and don’t forget to call Getaway Tomorrow for all your family travel needs.