by Dale Orlando
Travelling with young children can be daunting, as even the best behaved can be loud, fussy, and have a tendency to wander into trouble. (I know; I have four!) However, there are several simple things that parents can do before and during a trip to make it a more pleasant, and safer, experience for everyone.
Take your time.
Whether you’re attempting to make your way around the airport or sightseeing, kids can slow you down! Budget a few extra minutes into your schedule for all stops, to avoid the stress of running late.
Check on medical information.
If your children have allergies or special needs, you may need to make special arrangements before you travel. Consider getting a medical identification bracelet, to be worn around the child’s wrist, stating his or her name and condition or allergy. This is particularly important if there is a language barrier in the country you are visiting, or if your child has a condition that can result in unconsciousness, seizures, or an even brief inability to speak.
Keep an eye out.
Be mindful of the childcare facilities or “kids’ clubs” at many hotels. Before travelling, call the facility and ask how many children they care for at a time, what activities they run, and if children are split into age groups. When you arrive, check it out and ask more questions to ensure that it is safe. Be confident that there really is adequate supervision.
If you’re going to travel overseas, make an appointment with your doctor before you go. Advise him or her of your plans, as some countries require additional vaccinations for visitors. If your children have pre-existing medical conditions, your doctor can help you plan the appropriate steps in the event of a medical emergency.
Prepare your travel documents.
There are many instances where you may need to carry extra documentation when travelling with children. For example, if you are the only parent accompanying them, you might be asked for proof of consent for the child to travel from the other parent. Ensure these documents are prepared before you travel, just in case.
Safety is key.
If you plan on driving while on a trip, it’s important to make sure that your child has the proper car safety seat. Arrange to bring your own or rent the right one for the duration of your stay. You’ve read articles about things going awry when families travel. I’ve dealt with the aftermath, as a personal injury lawyer in Toronto. When you’re away from home, it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry.