Things to consider while traveling internationally with a toddler
- by Mrunal Rashinkar
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Traveling is like a therapy; it gives you a break from the routine life. But when a toddler comes into picture, you cannot just grab a backpack and leave for a trip. There are certain important things that you should consider when you are planning an international trip. The risks increase and hence factors increase too.
Here are some pointers that you should ponder upon while traveling internationally with your toddler:
Vaccinations and medicines
As soon as your plan is final, visit your toddler’s pediatrician and get an update on the vaccinations required for the destination country. Get prescriptions and medicines for the common ailments from your pediatrician. It also helps immensely if you carry your child’s medical and vaccination history file along.
You need to understand the weather of the destination location. Talk to someone who lives there or seek help on Internet forums before you start packing. Pack your child’s clothes, food and medicines accordingly.
If you are planning to introduce new food to the toddler during the trip, make sure you test it for allergies at least two weeks before the journey. Also, make a list of the food items they are allergic to and remember to share it with the hotels, restaurants, and families you are visiting.
Clothes and diapers
Choose your toddler’s clothes according to weather and pack at least 3-4 extra pairs. Diapers and wipes need to be packed keeping in mind that you may not find a utility store easily.
International airports are large and it is advisable to have a stroller for your toddler. Strollers are also needed for traveling in the destination city, and especially when you are visiting entertainment parks, zoos and similar places. You can also opt for a lightweight foldable stroller with a shade and bag holder.
You and the toddler might need to walk a lot when traveling internationally, whether it’s on the airport or in the city. Get good walking shoes for your toddler and yourself to avoid leg cramps.
Get enough information on the destination about what fruits and vegetables can be made available to you. Carry homemade food (dry and storable) in sufficient quantity. Don’t forget to check the rules & regulations in terms of what kind of food items are and aren’t allowed to be carried in international flights.
Carry appropriate accessories for your toddler; sunblock for humid weather, and jackets and earmuffs for chilly weather.
Yours and your child’s perspective on traveling could be very different. While they will enjoy the change of environment, familiarity of their toys soothes them when they are cranky. Make sure you carry enough number of their toys, but not too many that might prevent them from exploring new things.
Homemade medical alternatives
While it’s advisable to carry all the medicines that your child’s pediatrician recommends, and seek doctor’s advice (as required) out also helps immensely to be aware of quick home remedies for common ailments. Ask the elders in your families to share with you some time-tested remedies that have been passed down for generations. They can come in handy in emergency situations.
Traveling with a toddler sure sounds tedious but you and your child will enjoy the break immensely. A little bit of planning and extra attentiveness will make the trip a wonderful experience for you and your toddler.