To give families confidence to enjoy their overseas adventure Southern Cross Travel Insurance has some advice for families travelling with children.
“There’s no denying travelling with kids requires more planning and preparation than travelling alone,” says Jo McCauley, SCTI Chief Customer Officer and mother of four boys under 12.
“A few tips and tricks will help you and your family explore new horizons with peace of mind.”
- When holiday relaxation mode hits, it can be easy to forget the small things that make a big difference. Before you leave on holiday, create a check-list of daily necessities for the kids, to help you get out to your daily adventure without delay.
- Allow for extra time. Parents know only too well that things move more slowly when children are involved. Set realistic expectations for activities and allow plenty of extra time for packing day bags, applying sunscreen and getting everyone ready each day.
- If you’re travelling with a toddler remember to pack food, drinks and a few of your family medicine staples. This might include liquid paracetamol and Rescue Remedy, fruit, packets of raisins and crackers. Baby food and milk are exempt from the 100ml restrictions on flights.
- Little ears on flights can struggle with the air pressure changes during take-off and landing. While you can buy specially designed ear-plugs to help with this, you can also encourage your child to suck. For babies, breastfeeding at these times is the best remedy. Some parents give their children a lollipop to suck when the air pressure is changing.
- Take several changes of clothes for your baby – and one for you – in your carry-on luggage. Spilled milk can get pretty ripe after a few hours on a plane.
- While travelling, let your kids move around as much as you can when you’re not required to stay in your seat. It will help them be less restless and frustrated when they do have to be strapped in.
- Try making up some games for long waits or flights. An airport treasure hunt can be fun; or eye-spy on the plane. Keep younger family members engaged on long drives or flights by downloading a few engaging apps on mobile devices or take colouring books, stickers and crayons.
- In case you become separated, write your mobile number on your child’s arm. Take a photo of each child in the morning in the clothes they are going out in that day. This allows you to show an accurate image to anyone helping you look for them if they wander.
- Check your accommodation is child friendly when you arrive. Start by checking the locks on doors and windows to make sure the room is secure. If needed, move furniture around to cover power sockets or exposed wires. Check the temperature of the hot water. If it’s too hot, you can warn the kids or take precautions to protect your little ones.
- Kids can be more susceptible to illnesses, especially tummy bugs. Carry hand sanitiser with you and if you’re ever in doubt about the quality of water, play it safe and buy sealed bottles.
Families appear to be travelling further afield in their winter holidays than they used to, says SCTI. While Bali and New Zealand have long been popular destinations for Australian families, the USA is now the second most preferred destination by Australian SCTI customers. Destinations as far afield as France, the UK and Greece round out the top ten.
According to policies taken out with SCTI, Aussie families’ top ten destinations this July are:
- Indonesia (including Bali)
- New Zealand
- (equal) Thailand, Italy