TIPS FOR TRAVEL WITH KIDS
Recently Nina went on her first overseas trip. Even though it was only to Australia, it was important to me that we had travel insurance because I just couldn’t predict what might go awry. I also investigated baby food on planes regulations and googled a ton of tips (my fave was to get new toys and books to keep her entertained but make sure they aren’t expensive so if they get lost or have to be jettisoned, it’s not a big deal).
Global travel insurance provider Allianz say falling ill (typically cold and flu, stomach related issues or ear infections) closely followed by accidents are the most common reasons for claims made by families with young children. They have compiled a handy checklist to help make family travel easier and safer.
Three months out, or when booking:
· Ask your doctor whether your family needs any specific vaccines for your planned holiday destination, and monitor your kids to ensure they don’t fall sick before traveling.
· Look out for any fun and useful travel accessories, such as ride on suitcases or airplane cushions that bridge the gap between the seat in front of you, giving you a small single bed for your little ones to lie flat on.
· Work out if you need to purchase any specific clothing beforehand, e.g. long sleeves to protect against mosquitoes.
· Organise identity bracelets (and medical alert bracelets if required).
· Purchase travel insurance and read the policy wording carefully – Allianz Global Assistance policies cover dependent children or grandchildren at no additional charge when traveling with an insured parent or legal guardian. The policy benefits are shared according to the insured traveler’s policy limits.
Two weeks beforehand:
· Locate important information for your travel destination such as medical services, emergency phone numbers and supermarkets to buy essentials such as nappies. Save these (and share with your partner) so you both have easy access via your smartphones.
· Load your iPad with apps that will keep children entertained while in transit.
· Register your travel plans at safetravel.govt.nz.
· Make photocopies of your passports to take with you.
The day before:
· Double check your baggage allowance, including the allowance for any connecting flights on budget airlines. Weigh your luggage if you think you might be over, as there’s nothing worse than being surprised with a baggage charge before you even depart.
· If you are flying long-haul, you might like to bring a couple of treats for attendants and fellow travelers seated next to you, to start the journey on a positive note.
The day of:
· Some flights allow you to take fresh and dried food on flights (such as sandwiches, bananas, raisins and crackers), and liquids as long as they don’t exceed 100ml per container. If you’re allowed to take these with you, pack lots of healthy snacks including fruit, as this will keep hunger at bay. To avoid breaking any bio security laws, don’t forget to discard any uneaten fresh snacks at the end of the flight or declare them before you go through customs.
· Leave plenty of time to get to the airport, and through customs – even if they have special lanes for families, it may take longer than you expect to clear customs with your kids.