Families plan for vacations every year. If your family is one of them, you may be thinking where you should go on your next vacation. There are families who prefer just going out of town by taking a road trip. Others go on an international trip, to another country overseas. Visiting foreign countries can be a lot more fun rather than being in your own country for vacations, your children get more exposure that would help enhance and broaden their outlook in life.
Travelling to a foreign country requires many preparations, especially if young kids are involved in the trip. Once the decision has been made by the whole family about going abroad to enjoy your vacation, then the earlier the preparation is made the better. Here are some tips on how and what to prepare for your child’s first international trip:
- First would be to choose the destination. Get reservations done well in advance for both airplane and the hotels you would be staying in. Once the reservations are confirmed, you can start planning on the other stuff. As children will be accompanying you, it is important that when you reach your destination there are no problems with regard to the arrangements of your accommodations. You don’t want to be going around a foreign city searching for hotel vacancies with children in tow.
- It is advised that when travelling with your family, especially with young children, pay attention to the minor details. Preparation for international flights differs from preparation for domestic flights. Guidelines for international travelling are available and the procedural differences are also clearly laid down. Requirement of personal identification evidence, such as a passport, is very important. You can’t travel to and from overseas without it. The worst hassle and inconvenience you can experience when in a foreign country is losing a passport.
- It is important to confirm that your passports are not expired or expected to expire soon. For international travel, the common requirement is that a passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel. Check if you need passports renewed. Depending on the issuing agencies, some passports take a while to get issued or renewed, make sure you have more than enough time to get this done before confirming any travel arrangements.
- While boarding an international flight, security checks and screening is very strict even for the children. The rules of screening are the same for adults and children in international flights. While you get your laptops checked and screened, your children will get their paints and colour pencils screened. The luggage will be passed through x-ray screening machines and at times manual checks are carried out. Make sure that your children haven’t placed any restricted materials or items in their luggage and hand-carry. Just before going through security processing, double-check your child to ensure that he or she hasn’t stuffed any prohibited item/s in his or her pockets.
- Personal screening is as important as luggage screening while catching an international flight. You and your child will be required to remove shoes and pass through metal detectors. These metals detectors may show alarms in case you are wearing any metal, such as, belt or any jewellery item. In such a case, manual checking is carried out and children are even not exempted. Mobile phones may also not pass through these metal detectors so it is better you keep them away while passing through them.
These are only few of the points that you need to ponder while travelling internationally with your children. There are a number of other things that need attention. Also, keep in mind that these circumstances may change from country to country depending upon their regulations. Different airlines and the airports may have some rules of their own as well. It is best to ask and inquire from them beforehand what are the procedures, rules and requirements.
It is also a good idea to talk to your child or children and brief them about what they will be going through at the airport. This way they know what to expect and be better prepared to deal with it.