When you have children to consider, travelling can be more complex than it was when you only had yourself to think about. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a family trip. Ensuring a stress-free holiday is all in the planning. Here are ten top tips for avoiding stress when you’re travelling.
1. Private Internet Browsing
When searching the web for flights and accommodation, enable private browsing to stop websites recognising that you have visited them before. Many sites have algorithms that automatically raise prices on a second or subsequent visit.
2. Insurance matters
Travel insurance is a must-have. There are too many tales of people left facing huge bills for hospital treatment or repatriation after failing to take out adequate insurance. Make sure yours is tailored to your exact circumstances. If you are planning to participate in a particular sport, ensure that sport is not excluded. If you suffer from a specific medical condition, remember to disclose that condition by purchasing special medical travel insurance.
3. Passports and Other Documentation
Scan and email yourself copies of passports, visas, tickets and other important documents. Downloading copies onto your phone or tablet means you can access them offline.
If you take prescription medicine, ensure you carry a copy of your prescription. Not only can this be useful at Customs, it will also assist if you need to obtain additional supplies while you’re away.
Anyone who wears glasses is well-advised to pack a spare pair. This is especially important if you’re going to be driving. Even if you normally wear contact lenses, it is sensible to take a pair of glasses if you have them. Sun, sand and salt air can have unexpectedly uncomfortable consequences for wearers of contact lenses. Ultra-cautious folk might also want to take a copy of their current prescription for their eyewear.
6. Sun Cream
Bulky and prone to leakage, this can be a pain to pack in hold luggage. However, it is often more expensive to buy abroad. Moreover, your favourite brands may not be available, which can be a problem for those with sensitive skin. Most airports sell a good range of sun cream, which you can buy airside. It’s worth phoning to enquire whether they stock your particular brand. If so, consider buying it once you’ve been through Security. You can then take it onto the plane in your cabin baggage.
Buy your currency before you travel. Airports usually charge considerably more commission than high street branches or banks. In some countries, you can manage well with only a little cash to supplement your credit or debit card. In others, cards may not be widely accepted and you will need plenty of cash. This can include buying visas on arrival. Visa fees are often payable in cash only and it would be reckless to assume there will be a handy ATM.
Learn about tipping habits in your destination before you travel. In the US and Canada, for example, it is expected that you will tip taxi drivers, hotel porters, bartenders and waiters. Ensuring you have plenty of one-dollar bills will make this easier.
9. Pack Smart
Make sure you pack smart to ensure you have exactly what you need for your trip. If space is an issue, perhaps because you’re travelling with cabin baggage only, carry essential toiletries, like shampoo and sun cream, in plastic straws. Label them with a Sharpie pen and tape them closed. If necessary, you can buy further supplies at your destination.
10. Accommodation when Travelling with Children
Holidays with children are nothing like pre-child vacations. Think hard about the most suitable accommodation. Villas or other self-catering properties have particular advantages. However, if you’re set on a hotel, try to run to a suite or interconnecting rooms, especially if your children are young and go to bed early. Cramming yourselves into the en-suite bathroom to drink wine out of the tooth mugs when the children are asleep is no way to enjoy the evening.
Now you’ve got it covered, enjoy your next holiday!
Post in collaboration with Medical Travel Insurance.