Passports? check. Plane Tickets? check. Diaper Bag? Diaper Bag? My heart sank. As I stood toting my 1-year-old and 3-year-old, my face was hot with panic. How would I ever make it through a four hour plane ride with nothing? No bottles, no diapers, no toys. This is probably any mom’s worst nightmare. As a registered nurse working in the travel clinic, I see lots of families preparing for fantastic vacations. Things happen, but good planning will make disasters like mine less likely.
- Where to go? For starters, check out the health risks and vaccines that may be recommended or required at your destination. Information is available about some commonly travelled countries, and but for more exotic destinations, you can register and enter your destination for general advice. You may also need paperwork if travelling abroad – visa, passport or custody papers and be aware of what documents your airline may require.
- Book your trip and see your health care provider. To get great travel health advice, see your family doctor or a travel health clinic. Immunization and medications may be recommended, but they will also give you ideas about how personal measures can reduce health risks. Purchasing travel insurance in case there is a need for evacuation or medical care can help take some of the stress off if an emergency arises.
- Make a packing list (and remember to use it – not like me). You can’t assume that you will be able to get what you want at the other end. Car seats, travel cot/portable crib, stroller and baby accessories are best brought along if you are unsure what is available at your destination. Always have hand sanitizer or wipes, sunscreen, insect repellent and after-bite products.
- Be prepared for the “what if” scenarios like flight grounding, delays, or cancellations. Have drinks, snacks, and toys available.
- If you are still breast or bottle feeding your baby, passengers are permitted to bring liquids, like breastmilk, on airplanes, but it is limited, and you must declare what liquids you are bringing for your child. Know what you can or can not bring on board an aircraft.
Family holidays are absolutely the best of times. Stay safe and healthy – enjoy!
Share your experience:
For more tips and hints about travelling with kids, or to share your experience, there are many ways you can talk to one of us directly:
- Leave us a comment below – we’d love your feedback
- Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dial 311 or 905-825-6000 for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
About this guest blogger:
Jette Anesen is a registered nurse with Halton Region’s Travel Health Services. For the past 6 years she has been providing Halton residents and families with pre-travel health recommendations. She is a mother of three and has worked for over 25 years in a variety of nursing settings. Jette is a certified Travel Medicine Practitioner with the International Society of Travel Medicine, as well as accredited in Triple P -Positive Parenting Program.