How to Prepare for the Unexpected When Traveling With Kids

Heading off on vacation and embarking on that family trip is meant to be relaxing. So why do some parents have a tendency to feel overwhelmed in the lead up to a family trip? Preparation in any walk of life is key and that goes for your vacation time too. Planning ahead can save a lot of hassle and make unforeseen situations easier to deal with when they potentially arise.

travel surprises

A successful family trip can boil down to certain variables: the resort actually looking like the pictures you saw online, the kids being satisfied with the daily activities, and most importantly, you feeling that you are getting your money’s worth and the all-round 5-star treatment you deserve.

However, sometimes in life you need to brace yourself to expect the unexpected. After all, life would be a boring one if it was always smooth and plain sailing, right? No matter what level of preparation you have embedded into a trip, things may happen and plans can change in a split second. Embrace every family trip with an open mind and remain calm and composed when an unanticipated situation is on your hands.

1. A delayed flight

A delayed flight is not an ideal situation to find yourself in, especially when traveling with your family, but it can happen and is unfortunately totally out of your control. You’ll probably wonder how you can keep the kids entertained and keep yourself from going stir crazy.

Why not use the time to unwind in one the airport lounges? Get a good hearty meal in for you and the family before you board the plane. Take full advantage of the family lounge/play areas that the airport offers. Get yourself into a massage chair with a glass of bubbly and let the kids off to play in the enclosed play area. Before you know it you will be hearing that boarding call (and probably wishing you could delay it for a little while longer).

2. A rainy day

Most of us long for sunshine on our vacations. So often when a rainy day arrives, we are left feeling a little gloomy. But don’t let the rain spoil your family fun – a little rain never hurt anybody! Find out from the tour operator or concierge at your resort a list of indoor activities that the whole family can enjoy. The tour operators on site at most resorts can create custom itineraries to suit any weather conditions and family ideals. Sometimes a day out of the sunshine if you are on a long family trip can be a blessing, even for your skin’s sake.

3. A family member falling ill

It is hard not to worry if a family member falls ill on a trip. Make sure you have your family holiday travel insurance covered before heading off on the trip. Take with you any medications that family members regularly use in case you cannot purchase them in the area you are visiting. Familiarize yourself (and all the family members) with the whereabouts of the private hospital and the local emergency numbers, which can vary from country to country.

Here are a few more tips that will get you prepared to handle any unexpected situations during a family trip.

Tip 1: Pack in abundance

Usually I would advise the complete opposite if traveling solo or just with your partner. But when it comes to traveling with the kids, less is not more. Carefully plan and pack all the essentials. Make a detailed list encompassing all you need to take along to make sure nothing important is left behind.

Take extra clothing for the kids. In hot and humid conditions kids tend to get extra sweaty and their clothes get much dirtier. Take some home comforts too. if your child has a teddy bear that is their most prized possession, take it with you to settle them in situations where they feel distressed.

Tip 2: Make use of technology

There are a variety of apps that can really be beneficial in an emergency. The Red Cross First Aid app displays easy-to-follow instructions for common first aid situations. It will walk you through how to treat burns, strains, choking and fire/water safety instructions.

Kitestring is a safety app that checks in with you and will alert pre-determined contacts should you fail to respond or find yourself in an emergency situation.

Life360 Family Locator is a great app for locating all members of your family and communicating easily with them. You can see the location of your family members on a map and instantly message them.

Tip 3: Know your embassy’s contact information

Make sure you have the contact details for the local embassy of where you are visiting. The local embassy will be your point of contact for a variety of situations. During an emergency or natural disaster, the embassy will be your place of safe guard.

Now you can set off on your family trip feeling content that even if an unexpected situation pops up, you know hope to deal with it effectively for all involved. A happy and safe family vacation has never seemed easier.

About Orla Corrigan

Orla Corrigan is a travel blogger and freelance travel writer. She is soon to embark on a digital marketing course and hopes to pursue global destination marketing or travel public relations. She has traveled extensively over the past five years and called has Greece, London, Australia, Vienna and Thailand home. Throughout her travels she has been a TV extra, an English teacher, event planner and fashion stylist. Follow her adventures on her blog, and on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Click here to read Orla's articles

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