Travelling with children, some actions to take before your vacations
May 11th 2012 - Bernard Prince
Planning a family trip, especially with young children, is not always easy. We must therefore have good planning and trying somehow to predict the unpredictable. Here are some tips to help you make the trip more enjoyable for you and your children ... and for other passengers!
Make sure you have ALL the necessary papers
Canada’s Foreign Affairs website provides extensive information about it. Any youth under the age of 18 must have their own passport. In some cases, especially for younger, it is also a good precaution to have the birth certificate on hand. This part could seem simple at first glance, but it can quickly become complicated if the trip is done with only one parent or legal tutor. In these cases, you must have minimally a letter of consent signed by all persons with legal rights for the minor (parent or guardian). This letter of consent must then be certified, for example by a notary or commissioner. You can find a consent sample form on our website.
Bring something to occupy travel time
Nobody likes to hear a child cry or scream for hours, especially in a confined space like an airplane cabin. Thanks to gadgets! They can now be of great help when traveling for several hours. If you have a tablet or a smart phone, there are thousands of games and applications you can install on. Make tests with your child a few days or weeks in advance.
Make sure first that your child finds an interest for more than 10 minutes, without letting it play continuously in the previous days. The latter will have an interest and an appetite for rediscovering this game if he knows only a small part. Take the opportunity to try all in "airplane mode" or without any network enabled. Many applications require a connection to be functional, even if it’s only to send you ads! Imagine the disappointment - and the crisis that may follow - if you and your child can see in full flight as promised that the game is suddenly non-functional.
Portable DVD systems can also be a good option. In addition, airlines are increasingly likely to provide in-flight entertainment systems. Learn about the options available before departure and on the accessories you will be allowed to use, especially if planning to use an electronic device that not all devices that offer electrical outlets.
Have a B plan... and even a C plan
Regardless of age, a trip is a major change in habits and routine. You should therefore consider the reaction of your child is not one you're used to. This is sometimes a good idea to consider alternatives just in case. For example, bring ear plugs and eye-masks, which cost only a few bucks and take up very little space, can be very useful if you have to travel during night. You could even make a game at home to try the accessory in the weeks prior to departure. Games that will occupy the fingers as much as the mind, like mini puzzle, may be useful for enabling the fingers to move when we need be felt.
In some cases, you may also want to use some drugs to calm unruly youths. I suggest you read this blog post on l’Actualité site (French post). This one, of course, remains specific to each. Ask for a medical advice family doctor or pediatrician. If this is an intended route, it would be wise to make a test before departure, because sometimes it is the opposite effect to that desired to see happen. It is better to know before!
Good planning for your next family trip surely avoid many inconveniences. By cons that should not be done at the last minute. You will have time to test different scenarios and predict the maximum void. Bon voyage!
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