International Travel Tips with Kids

I wanted to share just a few tips for traveling internationally with your children.

  1. Apply for passports as soon as you can.  It can take awhile to process depending on the month and how busy they are.  When applying for a passport for a child both parents must be present!
  2. Check with your doctor if any of you should be vaccinated.  Be sure the kids are all up to date on their vaccines.  (This is a personal choice.  Sometimes vaccines are suggested, but you may only want to follow that recommendation if you are in a rural area)
  3. I have always been told to make copies of your passports in case you lose them.  I don't know if this would help things, but it can't hurt.  Be sure to carry them in a different place then you carry your passports.
  4. We have found it easiest to carry all of the passports in one bag.  We use a small pouch that goes around your neck and can be tucked under your shirt.  The same person is in charge of it the entire time.  We also put the tickets in this pouch.
  5. Pack your clothes inside bags to separate your items, keep them dry, and to eliminate lots of rifling through your things if your bags are searched.  Ry thought that was silly, but our clothes were fresh and smelled clean when we got to Mexico.  Plus we were able to separate the dirty clothes from the clean in the bags and we put wet items from swimming the day before in the bags.  Very convenient!
  6. Put a label with your name and phone number on it in each of your bags.  You never know if tags will get ripped off.
  7. Bring an extra bag in your suitcase that you can put carryon items in if needed.  Our kids ended up bringing home lots of creations that would have broken in the suitcases.
  8. Carry the name of your hotel, address, flight number, and a pen in your purse because you will have to fill in a declaration card and many many people had no idea what to write!
  9. Put bright colored duct tape or something on your bags to help identify them as yours from a distance.  I put orange duct tape on all of our bags - even carry-ons and let our family know that I did.  It helped us keep all of our bags together.  Also when we arrived after everyone else to get the bags, they had spotted ours and taken them off the baggage claim for us!
  10. If you don't want your bags to get searched (at least in Mexico) then have a porter put them on a cart and walk you through customs.  They never stop these guys and so your bags never get searched!  Yes, it will cost you a tip, but we had to stand and wait with the kids for what felt like forever while my parents walked right on through because they had a porter!
  11.  Have hand sanitizer on hand so the kids can use it all the time!  You know they will have to use the bathroom when you land so you will want a 3oz size on hand.  That water isn't the healthiest.
  12.  Do not drink the water and prep the kids beforehand that that is a no no!

You can find other basic airline travel tips with kids here.

If you have more ideas add them below!!

Happy Travels!

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