If you are planning to travel with children, here under Children, you will find all the necessary information to find the right place to go on holidays.
Successful travel with young children
It requires some planning and coordination. Do not try to plan too much. Even for yourself, trying to fit too much sightseeing or visits into the time available could cause problems. And make very sure that the activities include the kids: plan for instance a museum visit for the morning, and Circus or Puppet Theater for the afternoon.
Include your children in the vacation planning. If they have helped to plan where you travel, they will be much more interested when they arrive at destination. Read Lonely Planet's Travel with children... it is an excellent source of information.
Most car-rental companies have children's safety seats for hire at a small cost. It is however essential that you book them well in advance. The same applies to high chairs and cots (cribs); they are standard equipment in many restaurants and hotels, but numbers are often limited. The choice of baby food preparations, infant formulas, soy and cow's milk, disposable nappies (diapers) and similar can be as wide in the supermarkets of many countries as it is back home... but the opening hours may be quite different to what you are used to. Do not get caught out on the weekend.
The main goal is not to get somewhere; it is to have fun times together!
For travel with children
Clothes - styles, colors, materials
Baby and Toddler Packing Checklist
Baggage - What should you pack?
This information should give you some ideas for air travel. What you will need to take along depends on the type of activities you plan, the climate, the ages and number or your children. We have included a lot of optional items for you to chose what will suit your family best. The equipment suggestions are based towards babies and older children.
Packing is all common sense really, but easy to forget as soon as travel fever comes and you start to disorderly throw items into a bag. Your luggage may not weigh enough to pay excess baggage charges, but you will enjoy the trips to and from the airport far more if you are traveling light. The key to packing properly is keep it simple and, with children, it is much more important than ever before. How many times have you unpacked on your return from travel and realized the piles of clothes still pressed and unworn?
Your mode of travel will decide on how much you can take and how many pounds you want to carry around. Traveling by car or boat allows you to transport more weight. But it is always better to pack as little as you think you can and leave enough space in your luggage for the holiday shopping and souvenirs you are likely to bring home.
For more information see also our preparation page, which will help you find information and advice on how to prepare your trip, and our luggage page, where you will find information and advice on how to deal with your luggage in the best way.
To prevent people who may handle your baggage passing information on to burglars always use an address on your luggage tags other than your own if your house is going to be empty whilst you are away. Your work address may be a better alternative to your grandmother's!
Once your travel bags are packed, keep them in sight at all times and never carry packages on behalf of anyone no matter how plausible they might seem.
If you are traveling by air and you really can not do without a lot of luggage, you could send it unaccompanied, or alternatively there are various specialist companies which offer this service and are recommended for those who would otherwise end up paying excess baggage charges.
Finish packing the day before your trip to save rushing and place a copy of your itinerary in the top of each bag.
Pack toiletries - pack always in ziplock bags, the pressure on aircraft pops lids off with alarming regularity.
Roll clothes instead of folding, which really creates less creases, and as a lost luggage precaution, pack some of each family members clothes in each suitcase etc.
The most important item you will pack will be a good insect repellant, which avoids the misery of bites, itch for days and, if sensibly used, will considerably reduce the chances of contracting insect-borne disease, especially malaria.
See our Sun Protection page, where you will find information and advice on what kind of sunscreen is the best one for your child.
It is essential to keep snacks cool especially if you have included cooked meats, because warm conditions encourage the growth of bacteria. Use a small cooler bag or freeze a bottle still water and pack this with sandwiches to keep them cold. The water will be defrosted by lunchtime to drink with the sandwiches.
Snack food and drinks
Make sure your child drinks a lot to avoid dehydration.
Your toddler has a much faster metabolism and needs little snacks more often to stabilize his blood sugar levels.
Once he has let you know he is hungry, feed him immediately or he will become irritable. He is not yet able to wait patiently for the stewardess to serve dinner.
Prefer high protein, high fibre snacks such as crackers with peanut butter, cheesy bread animals or wholemeal sandwiches with cream cheese and mashed avocado fillings, to sweets or chocolate. Remember: sugar is instant energy and disaster, especially on air travel! Nowadays, domestic flights of less than three hours rarely provide a proper meal.
Camera and Plenty of Film
Do not forget your camera or camcorder and plenty of film. In certain countries film may be expensive, and hard to find or out of date. Always take spare batteries for your camera, these can also be difficult to find and do not forget any battery chargers you may need for your flash or camcorder batteries and remember an appropriate mains adapter plug!
Just in case bring a copy of your pregnancy notes, that you normally take with you to see your midwife and GP and, if traveling late in pregnancy, why not ask your GP to recommend whom you should contact in the area you will be staying at?