6 Tips on How to Travel Safely and Successfully with Kids

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Here are some easy, essential tips to ensure that your family stays healthy and safe on vacation.

Travel safely with children

Bring plenty of familiar packaged foods as snacks

It goes without saying that one of the biggest joys of exploring a new country is trying the food. And, of course, you as parents probably hope that your children dig into the local fare with abandon. In reality, there’s a better than even chance–especially in Asia–that they won’t, which means that unless you have a backup plan, you’re going to have some very cranky children on your hands. Take a few nonperishable, ideally low-sugar items that you know they like to keep them from crashing until you can find a restaurant that they like.

Bring closed-toe shoes and socks for walking

This really cannot be stressed enough. As tempting as it is to stick to flip-flops in the sticky, hot and humid climate of Southeast Asia, open shoes can be a real safety hazard. The streets of many cities in the region are far from pristine, and one brief encounter with a piece of broken glass can ruin an entire vacation. If you’re in the jungle, a pair of socks is also an essential to keep leeches and other pests away. At the very least, keep a solid, reliable pair of sneakers or trekking shoes on hand.

With very young children, bring your own placemats

Your average baby or toddler has very little concept of what they should and should not put in their mouth. They also tend to lack coordination and basic motor skills, meaning that lots of food in a restaurant will end up on the dirty table around their plate. To keep them from scarfing down contaminated morsels at street-food venues, bring your own plastic placemats. These are cheap, portable and a good way to avoid an upset stomach.

Bring digestive medication

Frankly, this might be sound advice for adults traveling in Southeast Asia as well. The spicy, sometimes dubiously hygienic food can wreak havoc on an unprepared digestive tract under the best of circumstances. Couple that with jet lag and the usual physical stresses of travel and you’re practically asking for trouble. To steer clear, bring OTC treatments for both constipation and diarrhea. They take up virtually no suitcase space and if the need arises, you’ll be very grateful to have them.

Drink lots and lots of water

Take this one seriously. Dehydration is a very real issue that travelers of all ages face, especially in these sweltering climates. Because the air is so high in moisture, travelers often don’t realize that they’re suffering from a lack of fluids until it’s too late. Common digestive issues such as diarrhea or vomiting can severely exacerbate this leading, in extreme cases, to unconsciousness and hospitalization. Try to drink at least a liter and a half of water per day–or more if you’re doing significant outdoor walking or trekking. Powdered Gatorade or similar substances can also help when you need to replenish depleted electrolytes.

Pregnant mothers should be realistic in their expectations

Tempting as it may be to jump head-on into adventures, it’s essential to take it slow sometimes. Though expecting mothers in have a fair amount of freedom in their first trimester, the physical stresses of travel get bigger and bigger as the due date approaches. Plan for lots of breaks and try to minimize sports or activities that have a high risk of falling as horseback riding or rock climbing.

Photo Credit: DeusXFlorida (4,901,335 views) – thanks guys! via Compfight cc

ExpectingExpats.com

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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