Traveling with children is a common practice these days. While the experience can be educational it can be associated with a few hassles. Apart from safety issues with children like accidents, falls, and cuts, kids also tend to respond more adversely to exotic infections when visiting a new region. Falling ill on a vacation is thus quite common among children but can often turn out to be an expensive affair and can ruin the vacation for everyone else.
Here are some tips when traveling with children:
- Be up to date on vaccinations: It is important to check the status of your children’s vaccination. In some countries, children can be exposed to typhoid, diphtheria, or even polio.
- Know the risk: We live in a fast-paced world where things keep changing rapidly. Before you buy your ticket, check out the latest travel warnings on the CDC website.
- Book from a reputable car company: Most people who travel with children tend to rent cars. If and when you do so, make sure the car comes with all essential safety features like a car seat or rear seat belts.
- Buy Travel Insurance: If your child has an illness outside the country, the bills can be enormous. You can also be stuck in a second rate health facility with mediocre healthcare providers. Therefore, it is important to get decent travel insurance that covers emergency conditions including travel back to the US.
- Check the room: Once you get to the hotel, check the room thoroughly and make sure it is safe. Electrical wires, rugs and appliances can be dangerous when kids are around. Always make sure that the bathroom door is unlocked.
- Wear shoes: Walking barefoot in some countries can be dangerous; children are not only at risk for any broken glass but also parasites that can also enter the body via the foot. Always carry some type of sanitizer in case of broken skin.
- Be Careful what you eat and drink: In some countries it is vital that you wash your fruit and cook your food thoroughly. Drinking tap water can quickly lead to diarrhea. So drink from bottled water instead. Make sure whatever you eat comes from a clean establishment or just make it yourself.
- Avoid animals: In many parts of the world, animals carry a variety of infections. Instruct your children not to come into contact with animals like monkeys, dogs or reptiles.
- Always be prepared for an emergency: If your child is seriously ill, contact the US embassy for more information.
- Always take a small first aid kit: This should include bandages, gauze, sterile swabs, and medications for diarrhea.
The more prepared you are, the less hassles you will face when traveling with children.