Family travelling is one of the most exciting aspects of seeing the world. Whether for a short trip out of the country or an exhilarating international destination that takes several layovers, it has its distinct appeal and challenge at the same time.
Unlike solo or couple travelling, family travelling requires a little more patience but does not fall short in terms of the fun factor. It can be overwhelming at times, but you’ll get used to it soon enough. Based on personal experience, here are things to consider when planning for your first family trip abroad.
The countries in the ASEAN region share similar weather patterns, so it will not be such a drastic change in temperature range. However, if you decide go somewhere further away (like Japan or South Korea), there will be significant weather changes that await your family. It would be best to observe the weather at least a week before your intended travel schedule. This provides you a good forecast on what to expect once you get there. This will affect your wardrobe choices as well.
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Families travelling with either kids or oldies should be very well informed on what to expect when travelling. First time travellers should be oriented regarding airport policies, as well as the do’s and don’ts to avoid unnecessary inconveniences that may occur. The family members should also be briefed properly to set expectations regarding physical requirements or food choices that they will find in the place to be visited. In addition, always remind the young ones not to take anything or speak with a stranger without your knowledge.
Over-packing is a big no-no because it will add up to the things you need to bring, and there is a good chance that you will not use all of them at all. In connection to Tip No. 1, once you have anticipated the weather, you would gain a clearer view of what articles of clothing and additional accessories you should bring along.
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Travelling families with existing medical conditions that require maintenance medications should have a sufficient supply before travelling. It is recommended to bring prescription medications (especially those that are not very common like inhalers and special medications) with an additional supply of two to three days to keep your medication needs covered even if there will be unavoidable delays, such as flight changes or other relevant circumstances. This is essential, especially for destinations that are not within the vicinity of cities where pharmacies are conveniently located.
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You might have a family member who has a sensitive stomach or a child who has a preferred milk formula. These needs should be anticipated prior to travelling. This ensures that nutritional needs are covered. Take an ample supply of snacks to make sure no one gets hungry. This is important if your destination showcases an unfamiliar cuisine or if your squad is filled with picky eaters.
Make sure that you have enough (and correct) chargers, a spare battery or power bank, and a fully charged mobile phone and laptop before you go. Chargers should be checked for compatibility because there are a lot of countries that will require you to have an adaptor to be able to charge properly.
Make sure that your younger and older family members have contact information, placed in something like a small card, to make sure that you can be easily reached under any circumstance. There are places where a portable WiFi router is available for a fee, but just to be safe, it would be best just to stay together and let them roam around only as far as you can see them.
You might be preoccupied as you watch over your family members, but don’t forget that this experience is meant to be enjoyed together. There might be some troubles along the way, but never forget to make the most out of the experience. Establish memories, and take some pictures.
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