While most parents will agree that is impossible to have a totally stress free holiday with young children – being organised can help alleviate some of the stress…
Plan all necessary travel vaccinations for the trip well in advance to avoid stress, making sure that all childhood vaccinations are up to date prior to leaving.
Try to avoid taking young children to malarious areas while they are very young as some malaria medication is unsuitable for young children. Discuss this with your doctor if your trip is unavoidable.
Plan ahead — think through your child’s normal schedule and try to keep to it if possible while you are travelling. This means feeding at their normal time, naps and other activities. Get your child into a daily routine AFTER arriving at your chosen destination – not during the trip.
Plan for travel sickness — bags, medication from your pharmacist or Doctor and a change of clothing. Some medications for children contain sedative properties – a good idea for a very long journey.
Keep everything your child needs for the trip in your hand luggage — no special toys in the suitcase!
During the trip give children activities at sensible intervals — not all the toys at once. Spread the entertainment out so you don’t run out of ideas after the first hour! Carry plenty of food and drink for the journey – sensible light snack food is good – hungry children don’t travel well.
Arriving at your Destination
Think ahead of your child to prevent accidents – many countries do not have the same health and safety regulations you have at home.
Take medication with you if you are unfamiliar with local medicines – child paracetamol, rehydration fluid, travel sickness medicine etc.
Also take a copy of your repeat prescription if your child is on any medication, should you need more medication while away. Play safe and get enough from you Doctor before you leave.
When travelling across time zones, try to get your child adjusted as quickly as possible to the time with plenty of fresh air and meals at local times on arrival.
Lower your expectations – remember this is a holiday and you need to have fun too!
Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional. Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.