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A family trip abroad

A family trip abroad

In order to plan a family trip abroad, it’s very recommended to share everyone the trip’s factors (including children or trip partners), and build a route according to what everyone wants to do/see/visit.

Plan the trip for the children and don’t make it an adult’s trip, with all that comes along. You should show the kids pictures and internet websites, and read with them interesting material about the destination.

This is not an educational trip. For instance, visit some famous candy factories, plus children love museums where they can touch the exhibits and operate the, especially science, flight or space museums. Go to places where there are many attractions for them, like amusement parks, mini-golf, bowling, pool, etc.

Let your kids have a part in decisions regarding their clothes, games and books that they like, because it will help their self esteem in an unfamiliar place.

You might say that it’s recommended to consider the children’s feelings and needs, among where to eat or where to sleep at night.

You can be spontaneous. Think about solutions to unexpected problems like: strike, bad weather, renovations and more.

A trip abroad with a baby requires a different kind of time schedule: adapting to a new place, short trips, stops and rests.

Preparations for flights and trips

Go to your nose, ear and throat doctor to clean your children’s wax off their ears. Do not do it yourself! Also consult the doctor if there’s any need for ear drops.

Ask your doctor for gases, gums and general soothing medications.

Prepare the children’s vaccines book basic details in advance (name, address, weight, height, etc), history of diseases, drugs that the kids took or still taking, vaccines, the number of the attending doctor. It’s recommended to make insurance for the kids.

Give your children to drink a lot of water two days prior to the flight, and take with you a litter and a half bottle of boiled water. Drinking the water in the bathrooms abroad is forbidden.

Gear: Distributing packets of milk substitutes, feeding bottles with disposable bags, drinking glasses phonetically driven drizzle – for babies at the age of six months and above, watery personality + straws, disposable aprons, pacifiers, and the most important thing: their most favorite toy.

You should advice your family doctor about this.

Pick a hotel that has programs for children that are safe and have educational control. Pick a hotel that allows you to have appropriate suites or adjoining rooms (and if possible, a linking door + key).

Accommodation in a rented house or vacation village is not recommended. It’s better to stay at hotels with as less as movements between hotels as possible. Order the rooms for the hotels from your home country.

When renting a car, choose a car big enough to suffice all your equipment and make sure there is a special chair for the baby. Bring a baby carrier and check it if it’s comfortable at home.

At the airport

Airlines give excellent services and preferential treatment to families with small children. For example: when they start raising the passengers to the plane, they let families with the small children get inside first, then the disabled, and only then everybody else according to rows. There are even airports with children or/and babies rooms. You can search for them.

In the check-in before the flight, make sure they have a baby seat and ask for it (insist even) right away (whoever asks first, gets it), or ask for a proper hammock, but be prepared to have the baby on your knees. In swirls of air pockets, and in take-offs and landings, the baby mustn’t be in the hammock.

Before you enter the airport, give identification tags to the big children and stickers to the babies, and write on them all the information needed: where are you from, where are you flying to, and the most important, phone numbers where you could be reached as soon as possible.

Have your important documents somewhere comfortable and easy to be retrieved when you hold your child at your hands.

When you’re in the line for the security/passports check, ask at the counter if they can accept you immediately. You should ask if there are special arrangements for families with babies (like family rooms and boarding arrangements). They usually give priority to passengers with small children. If you are with several babies, each parent should take one or two babies under his control, in order to prevent fights. In case the plane doesn’t have hammock, you should have a sea mattress with a blanket.

During flight

Take with you everything you need for the flight: soft food that the kids love just in case they don’t love the meal they get in the plane, a glass with a straw, an amount of enough disposable diapers, wet towels, toys or dolls that the kids love (the ones they still sleep with especially) and etc.

For the bigger children, it’s recommended to take coloring books, color pencils (not pens), colorful stickers, a reading book that they love, and an mp3 player with their favorite songs.

Recommendation: share the bigger children about choosing the gear, and you can even give each and every one of them a small bag where you could storage their equipment.

Dress the children/babies with comfortable clothes.

It’s very recommended to give the kids gums or candy in order to balance the pressures that were made in situations like these.

Babies tend to cry when the plane starts to lower since they cannot release the painful pressure in their ears during landing, therefore its best to feed them or give them a drink during that time.

Give your kids to sit near the window at the plane. It improves their feeling and allows them to enjoy the flight.

Encourage the kids to drink a lot of water during the flight, since the air at the plane is very dry.

EL-AL flights: EL-AL flight attendants go through special training taking care of children including children that flight without escort. Also, EL-AL pilots are glad to have children in the cockpit after landing, in case it is possible.

Babies’ Ear pressure could be release using a pacifier or drinking from a bottle. But in order to avoid it, you should put babies’ earplugs before you take-off or land (not water sealed).

Take in account that the baby might not sleep through the entire flight, and if he does, he might sleep on your knees the entire flight (it’s not so comfortable at trans-atlantics flights).

If you’re flying a connection flight, its recommended to take a light caring cart (that will be loaded to the cargo once you reach the entrance of the plane, but its best to check ahead with your travelling agent if that’s fine with the airline).

For long distance flights, we advocate you make a layover for a full day, near the airport.

During the trip

If the trip’s distance for the current day is long (subjective and depends on every family, but usually above 200 kilometers), leave the accommodation as early as you can in the morning and stop on the way to eat breakfast.

The recommended trip duration for a family is about 2 or 3 weeks. Above this, the kids will have difficulties being away from a place they are used to.

Buy at the supermarkets: snacks, juice, water, cut vegetables and fruits for the road. Give each member of the family an opportunity to walk a little, stretch their muscles and to go to the bathroom. Meaning, every once in a while, stop the car at the sides of the road at a designated and marked place for rest, get out of the car, free all your muscles (and your family too), and get back to driving all fresh.

Avoid getting upset when the kids ask every few minutes annoying questions like: when are we going to get there, when do we eat, what are we doing tomorrow, I’m bored, etc.

Walk routes outside the cities and especially at the nature interests kids but you need to remember to wear comfortable shoes and not walk more than two hour strait.

It’s very recommended to give the children business cards of the hotel and schedule an appointment place in case someone gets lost or for any kind of trouble.

Children don’t love new food. Therefore, you should eat familiar food that can usually be found at fast food restaurants.

At the first day in the hotel, it’s recommended to arrive at the evening so that everybody could get used to the new place.

Ideas to loosen the boredom

For example: who can first find a song to begins with the letter b, songs by themes, stop singing at a certain word which is the beginning of a new song, etc

Memory game – ask where you have been or what we did at a specific location.

The opposite game or the rhyme game.

The counting game – for example: count how many steps from one place to another or count how many bicycle riders, churches and more, there are in the same area.

You could think about more ideas about it.

You could do a joke contest, or use the road to explain about the flowers outside or a bridge you cross.

Draw the kids attention about things that pass through the window

Try going to locations that are not written in any guide book.

For those that have ideas, you are more than welcome to add additional trip games.

Don’t go with children to shopping centers, it will bore them and they will nag you all the time. If by chance you still go there with the kids, buy them something to satisfy them.

If you want to have some alone time with your spouse, check for possibility to leave the children at the hotel or at any other place where they could feel safe and not be threatened.

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