Traveling abroad for summer? Be prepared for it

In almost all our family trips abroad, we had a little funny story to tell that gets us more prepared for the next trip.  I was going to narrate all the stories, but instead I decided to write all unexpected things that can happen and you are not ready for it.  Specially because you are traveling with kids.  I will assume that you have all your documents (passports and visa) in order.

airport

  • Understand your ticket. Do not confuse Gate number with Seat number!
  • Look at the Screens for information.  Gate numbers can change at the last minute.
  • Do you have your cellphone with you? Just in case have a calling card or change available in hand to make phone calls.
  • Babies can have messy accidents. Do you have ziplock bags handy? Do you have double or triple change of clothes for your kids?, What about for you? After all, you may get messy because of the baby.
  • Do you have water for baby? Airports allowed you to have water if you are traveling with infants or smaller kids.
  • Do you have enough diapers and wipes? Even if you do not need to carry diapers, have always wipes on hand.
  • Do not forget baby favorite blanket and quiet toy. They come in handy in looooong trips.
  • May sound crazy but frozen milk comes handy for long trips.
  • Healthy Snacks, like nuts, crackers, dry fruit comes handy.  My kids hate airport food.
  • Umbrella strollers, baby carriers and harnesses are very handy.
  • Some people travel with car sits, I never did it.  I had my hands to busy to take care of sits.
  • Do not travel with fresh fruits, sometimes Customs does not allowed you to cross a border with fresh produce. Any doubt ask the immigration dog to stop smelling your baby bag.
  • Do not bring or take illegal products, there is a list of products you must not travel with in each Airline web site.
  • Make sure to have copies of all the Traveling Documents in hand and in your suitcase.
  • Make sure to fill in the correct immigration forms before hand if you have the chance. Believe me, it is not fun to fill those in an airport with tired kids and a sick husband at wee hours of the night.
  • If you are going to a high elevation place, like in my case Bolivia. Make sure to have plenty of rest and liquids. I usually drink Coca Tea or take sorojchi pills that help with the elevation.
  • Have somebody you trust waiting for you.
  • Prepare your kids ahead about the trip that is coming and the different things they may see or experience. Believe me it helps with delays, accidents and makes them more alert.
  • Do not be afraid of asking for help, specially to people from the airline that your are traveling with.
  • Use toys and fun stuff at the end of the trip, not at the beginning. Kids get tired and it is good to use your fun resources or sorpresas when they are bored of their environment
  • If you are traveling with kids, do not offer to bring encargos for people, it is important to take care of kids than of stuff.
  • Do not forget to bring jackets in case you need it. Last year we had to walk from the airplane to the building at 5 AM in the morning at freezing temperature and 13 000 feet.
  • Prepare your kids for the trip, talk to them, get them ready to behave. My friend from expatchild.com, has really good tips to travel with babies.
  • Remember, if  your kids get noisy, fussy or annoying.  Do not forget to keep calm and apologize for the inconveniences. 
  • Do not change your look too much from your passport.  My husband let his beard grow and had to be stopped by immigration because the system could not recognize his passport picture.  It gave us a big delay and almost lost our connection.
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