Complete guide to safe travel with kids

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Woohoo, the kids are outta school, time to holiday somewhere cool!

Whether it’s an adventure-park getaway or a beach vacation filled with buckets and spades, isn’t it time you all enjoyed some quality family time together?
 
Irreverent of whether you travel near or far, planning a family holiday should be happy and hassle free. But anyone who’s ever travelled with a two-year-old will know that tranquillity can quickly turn to tears and tantrums.

Before you decide to call time-out on your grand plans, take pause. Our guide to family friendly travel will make holidaying with the kids as easy as 1-2-3!

You'll learn which destinations will cater to tiny tots, seasoned travellers and all ages in between. We’ll outline the top 10 tactics to ensure your family’s safety abroad, feel queazy no more with our travel sickness tips, and learn what to do if a child was to get lost, as well as providing you with a ultimate packing list. And if you still have questions that need answering, we’ve compiled a handy resource directory for all your FAQs.

By sticking to our no-nonsense family friendly guide, you'll soon find yourself whisked away to your holiday destination, with nothing to do but relax and enjoy your break!



schools on break
 

Child friendly destinations

Having kids shouldn’t stop you from exploring the world. Whether you're a adrenaline junkie holiday-goer, a beach lover, or a campervan fan your ideal family holiday can be a matter of picking the right destination. Keep reading for the best children friendly holiday destinations. The world is your oyster as they say! 

the world is your oyster

Travelling with Infants

If it's your first trip away as a new parent going overseas (and flying) can be a daunting experience. You're probably asking yourself a million and one questions...Will the hotel have baby friendly facilities?’ ‘Will it be too hot?’ ‘Do I need to worry about vaccinations?’ All these questions can have you stressing out before you've even booked your airfares. However, with a sprinkle of planning you’ll be on your way to an easy and stress-free first holiday!

So where to go with tiny tots? If the thought of disrupting your baby's sleeping pattern send shivers down your spine, stick to destinations with similar time zones. Australia, the Pacific Islands or South East Asia are some good options. Restricting the number of time zones you fly through can help you beat the jetlag blues. 

City breaks like Sydney, Singapore, London or Hong Kong can be ideal for new families too thanks to their good transport networks and well-equipped hotels. Look out for accommodation with accessible cribs, babysitters, child-friendly entertainment, pram access and more! Don't want to go so far afield, a domestic jaunt to Auckland could be just the ticket.

Maybe you're after a some much deserved TLC? After the upheaval of a new addition to the family a luxurious, all-inclusive package deal may be just what the doctor ordered. Child-friendly retreats in destinations such as Bali or the gold coast of Australia can take the hassle out of scheduling all your day-to-day activities. 

Travelling with your infant is perfectly safe and a great way to kick off your new life together as a family. 

travelling with toddlers

Are your kids suffering from a case of the terrible twos? You’re gonna need all the help you’re can get (just kidding)! Stick to resorts that cater for families like the Caribbean, Florida (did someone say Disneyland?), the Mediterranean, or even destinations a bit closer to home such as Thailand. Utalize kids clubs where your toddler can meet new friends, kids pools, activities and child-friendly entertainment. 

You can't go wrong with a beach, a water park and a zoo on a holiday with toddlers. So try to pick destinations with these a stones throw away. 

If your little one enjoys getting about on daddy's shoulder or kicking back in a pram, sightseeing city breaks can be equally enjoyable. Mix it up with museums and amusement parks; these can be a great source of visual stimulation and are guaranteed to tire out the most energetic of toddlers.  

Travelling with young children

Now your kids are a bit bigger, the real fun can begin! There should be no barriers to travel now that your kids can express where they’d like to go and what they’d like to do. Consider holidays destinations where your younger children can discover new interests, sights and cultures such as the UK, France, Canada, Tasmania

Young kids are typically more adventurous so activity planned holidays can be a winning concept. Stay close to home for an action packed adventure holiday in Waitomo and you'll get bike rides, walking, trekking, caving a-plenty.... and camping too!

The beach is still a winner with this age-group. Tween love to splash in the waves, dig in the sand and explore new places. The more activity and adventure you can provide them with the better.

Travelling with teens

Ah the terrible teens! Now your kids are of a ripe age, you can venture out towards some more exotic locations which previously would have been too 'out there'. South east Asia, India, China, Europe...the world is your oyster.

Try and include heaps of activities like snorkelling or diving trips, for the snow bunnies out there this could be the year for first family ski holiday even.

Traveling with teenagers can be really fun and really rewarding so aim high!

 

How to beat travel sickness for kids

No-one wants to feel icky on a family tripy! It's easy to stop feeling queasy and keep sickness at bay with our top tips.
 
Medical and hospital expenses

Medicate

Depending on your child's age anti-nausea tablets may be your new best friend. Alternatively you could try accupressure wrist bands or natural remedies such as ginger which can be taken in tablets, tea, or biscuit form. Nom nom!

 
feel the breeze

Feel the breeze

Car sick? Keep the windows wound down low and try to look out as much as possible; good ventilation and moving scenery can ward off nausea.

 
Avoid screens

Avoid screens

Although telling your kids to avoid books, comics and video games will not make you the most popular of parents, looking ahead (not down) can help to ward off travel sickness!

 
Eat little and often

Eat little and often

Avoid heavy rich meals before travelling. Pack plain snacks such as rice crackers or cereal bars to munch on from time to time to keep your blood sugar levels even. 

 
 
turbulence

Bumpy ride helpers

If turbulence sends your tummy in twists request a seat closer to the front of the plane where it's slightly smoother. 

 
Stock up

Feeling queasy

When all is lost and you can't fight it back make sure you're all stocked up with extra sick bags, plenty of water and baby wipes. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
beat travel sickness
 

What to do if your child gets lost

It's every parents nightmare, a child getting lost or going missing in a strange environment. Thankfully, taking a few simple steps can make all the difference.

 

Keep your kids in sight

Don't let the little nippers run riot off in the distance - keep them close by. Bright clothing can make them easier to spot in a crowd. Make sure they have your contact details on them, so security can contact you if they are lost. 

remain calm

Take a few deep breaths then begin to retrace your steps. Where did you last see your child? Where is the nearest official? You can help the authorities find them if you know what they’re wearing and can describe it in the local language.

 

have a "what if i get lost" plan

Discuss your decided 'meet up point' with your children and keep checking to see if they remember it. For example, if you visit a theme park then choose an information desk or their favourite ride and tell your children that, if they become lost, to wait at this meeting point until you find them.

 

reassure

As soon as you are reunited with your child it’s important to remain calm. Take them somewhere less crowded, give them a hug and reassure them that they’re safe. Once they’ve calmed down, you can remind them to stay close to family members and not wander off alone. 

 

Whats in it for me?
 

Top 10 safety tips when travelling with kids

10 child safety tips

Woohoo you've arrived and it's time for the fun to begin. Now you're in holiday mode its time to get stuck into all the activities on offer. However, before doing so, have a quick look at our top 10 safety tips when travelling with kids. By keeping these in mind, you can keep your family happy, healthy and completely safe; regardless of whether you plan to explore foreign regions or simply sunbathe by the sea.

1. Respect the locals 

When in Rome, do as Romans do! Rather than standing out like a sore thumb learn about the local dress codes and laws of the region you plan to visit. Slip under the radar whilst abroad, avoid being recognised as tourists, and reduce your chances of being targeted by pick pockets.

2. Plan your itinerary each day

If you've ever been to a tourist attraction like a zoo or water park, you know by now that they are bustling places! Fortunately, you can help your sightseeing trips run smoothly if you leave your hotel with a clear plan in place. Remember your tickets, map out how you’re going to get there, and leave plenty of time so you don't feel rushed or stressed.

By making sure everyone knows where they’re going, how they are getting there and what to do if you become separated you can be relaxed about the trip...even at the most hectic of places.

3. Dress to impress

It's much easier to keep track of your children in a crowded street if they’re wearing colourful clothing. Dress them in bright, distinct colours during the day so you can easily spot them in a crowd. You could even liven up their evening with some fun multi-coloured glow sticks which will serve as a fun and easy way to identify them in the dark.

4. emergency contact details

Make sure your kids know your phone numbers off by heart (age dependent of course). You can also give them an arm band or notebook with a range of details on them; including emergency contacts, their name, age, blood group, and accommodation contact information. If you place these details inside a waterproof bag, your child can carry them at all times with little hassle. 

5. Practice emergency scenarios

The easiest way to get your kids to understand and remember safety rules is to make it fun. And how do you do that? By turning it into a game of course! If you act out various emergency scenarios with role play games, such as "what if we get separated" you can help your kids to remember these essential emergency procedures. Another important role play game to teach your kids is how to respond if they’re approached by strangers. Rather than "No!" or "Mum!" which are often overlooked by passers-by, you should teach your children to yell "This is not my parent! Help!". This phrase will catch people's attention, scare off predatory strangers, and give your kids the essential help and support they need in these crucial first few minutes of becoming lost.

6. Take photos

Taking photos is a fun aspect of any family holiday and one which can also be used to keep you all safe. At the beginning of each day, simply take a photo of your family and make sure each of your children carries this image with them. If you do become separated, all you or your kids have to do is show this picture to officials and it will help you locate one another.

7. who to ask for help

Show your children how to identify officials, such as police officers or security personnel, as well as mums with children, then if they become lost they will be more likely to seek help from trustworthy people. 

8. Identify landmarks

Whenever you arrive somewhere crowded, such as a theme park or train station, you should pick an information desk, statue or shop which can act as a landmark meeting place. If you have your kids repeat these meeting places back to you, then they’ll know where to find you should they become lost.

9. Travel in formation

Although you don't have to travel everywhere in duck formation, particularly in crowded areas you should travel with your children positioned in between both parents. With one parent in front and one at the rear you can keep your children within eyesight at all times. If they're always within your sight, they can’t stray or become separated.

10. Water safety tips for pools and beaches

Most children of all ages love playing in the water; from diving for seashells at the beach to slipping and sliding around action-packed water-parks. However, when your children are playing in or near water they need to be watched constantly.

It’s often difficult to be heard above the noise in a swimming pool, so make sure your children know not to go off on their own. Point out 'safe play zones' in each pool and stress that they shouldn't leave these pool areas without you.  If your kids aren't confident swimmers, why not invest in a few swimming classes for them whilst on holiday? 

Whilst your children may be enjoying the waves, you should also continue to apply SPF30 sunscreen throughout the day. Even water-resistant sunscreen only has a lifespan of roughly 40 to 80 minutes; so it’s bound to wear out before your kids do!

Family travel insurance

Travel insurance is an essential item for any family holiday. Here's what a typical comprehensive family policy will cover you for:
 
Medical and hospital expenses

Medical and hospital expenses

Cover in case you are injured or become sick while overseas. Includes hospital stays, surgery, dental, prescription drugs and more.

 
Luggage and personal effects

Luggage and personal effects

If your baggage and personal items are lost, stolen, or damaged you would be reimbursed or the items replaced.

 
 
Cancellation cover

Cancellation cover

Includes cover for prepaid travel and accommodation expenses. Cover applies if illness, accident, natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstances.

 
Travel delay expenses

Travel delay expenses

In the event your transport is delayed due to an unforeseen reason, your accommodation, meals, and transport costs will be covered.

 
 
Personal liability

Personal liability

Provides protection for you being legally liable for injuring other people or causing damage to their property.

 
Rental vehicle excess

Rental vehicle excess

If you hire a car and have an accident, you won't have to pay the excess (this could be as much as $5k)!

 
 
Family emergency

Family emergency

Cover for travel expenses if a close relative, or the person you’re travelling becomes seriously ill, injured or dies.

 
Alternative transport arrangements

Alternative transport

If your transport is cancelled on your way to a pre-booked event alternative transportation will be provided.

 
 
What is travel insurance?
 

Holiday packing checklist

 child packing tips

Your ultimate packing checklist

Does the thought of packing for the whole family send you into a frenzie? No fear, help is at hand with our child-friendly packing checklist. Simply have a read through this section of our guide, tick off any items you’ve already packed and you’ll be ready to go in no time.

Essential documents

  • Passports and visas for each member of your family
  • A copy of your travel insurance policy, your specific policy number and contact details for your insurance company
  • Copies of prescriptions for medication and proof of jabs
  • Emergency contact details; including phone numbers of your airline/cruise line, hotel contact information, family contact information and Embassy contact details
  • Travel and hotel booking confirmation with copies of each family member's tickets
  • Traveller's cheques, credit cards and emergency cash

Medical supplies

  • Prescription meds for any family members with health conditions or allergies
  • Sunscreen; broad spectrum child-friendly lotion of SPF30 or higher
  • Insect repellent (brands using 10% or less of DEET are suitable for children)
  • Sterilising equipment if your child is bottle-fed
  • First aid kit: baby paracetamol and ibuprofen, cold pack, antiseptic cream, cold packs, tweezers, bandages, allergy medication thermometer, mild laxative, anti-itching lotion, anti-bacterial wipes, plasters, travel sickness remedies

Hand luggage

  • Hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial/ baby wipes
  • Spare change of clothes for you and your children
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Blankets
  • Your children's favourite toys/comforters
  • Food and drink
  • Plastic bags

General luggage for your stay

  • Sun protective clothing for your children; e.g. sunglasses, hats, loose-fitted clothing that covers their arms and shoulders
  • Seasonal attire e.g. coats, scarves and gloves if on skiing holiday
  • Terrain appropriate footwear
  • Outfits for each day of your stay plus spare clothing
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Towels
  • Swimwear with swimming aids, e.g. armbands, swim hat, ear plugs

Travelling with a baby

  • Collapsible pram or stroller
  • Spare nappies and bag with changing equipment
  • Baby bottles, sterilising equipment and spare formula
  • Baby food, baby spoon and baby bowl
  • Baby lotion and talcum powder
  • Dummies
  • Spare onesies

Travelling with toddlers and young children

  • Sippy cups
  • Blankets
  • Travel pillows
  • A spare change of clothes
  • Durable toys
  • Colouring-in books

Helpful gadgets

  • Phones with full credit and chargers
  • Outlet converter if travelling abroad
  • A global mobile phone with full credit
  • An external emergency phone battery
  • Smartphone or tablet device with downloaded travel apps and child-friendly games
  • Night lights
  • Camera with charger
  • Satellite navigation device with charger and pre-programmed travel routes

 

 

Useful links and resources

 

Useful links and resources

So now you're all set, by following the tips within this guide you'll be fully prepared to enjoy your family va-ca! Whether you opt for a beachside break, a rural retreat or a round-the-world cruise, the key to safe travels is to start by getting organised. Finally, here are a few useful resources to help you on your way. Happy holidays!

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