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13 Tips For International Travel

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

2 women, 1 male posing in Ensenada,MX
David and Melissa from Disabled Disney in Ensenada, MX

International travel can be very daunting, especially with disabilities! Or with little ones. This article is about tips and tricks from family mama bloggers! Always make sure you research your destination and Google the Country and City. You can get quite a lot of valuable information from a Google Search!

1. Shannon at Grab My Passport- "Most airlines let you check a car seat for free, but they don't specify that if you place your car seat in a protective carrier, that you can only put a car seat in it. We were able to toss a week's worth of diapers in there with plenty of room to spare! Just tuck the diapers (or whatever) in the seat, buckle them in so they don't get tossed around, and voilà, more space saved in your suitcase!"

2. Sarah at Dandelion Seeds-" Most of the travel in my adult life has been international. I've learned a lot of lessons that differ from what I know in my life in the United States. One of the most important, however, was to bring an old-fashioned paper map of the area I was visiting, particularly when I didn't speak any of the local languages. True, GPS works nearly everywhere on a mobile device. When it hasn't, however, I've found myself in some sub optimal situations. A paper map isn't necessary in areas where someone is likely to speak your language, but pointing at a map is a wonderful universal "language"---and a great safety net."

3. Sarah at State By State- " From observing these travelers I have learned many things about traveling to an unfamiliar place. My number one recommendation is to be respectful of the rules and customs in the country you are visiting. Research what these my be before you go and learn from the locals once you arrive. Doing this will enhance your travel experience because people will notice your efforts and be willing to help you more."

4. My advice is mostly disability related-" My tips on international travel is get a document holder for passports and whatever documents you need. Make sure it is RFID protected and waterproof! And keep everything together. The next thing is check if you need a physician statement about your medications. You can use the International Narcotics Board website to check for guidelines on controlled substances if you are taking any. Also take your original prescription bottle with you. In keeping with medications make sure your medications are in your carry on. The horrible truth is luggage gets delayed, lost and even stolen. If you keep your medications with you, it is less likely to encounter these problems while travelling. Also if you have disability needs you will need to research what the country you’re considering would have available for you. Not all countries have the same disability access laws."

2 children female, 1 adult male standing in a rice fiield
Courtesy of World Wise Kid Rice Fields Chiang Rai

5. Deb at World Wise Kid-" Watch some YouTube videos to learn the basics of the language. Choose a “word of the day” that you all learn and practice to keep your language skill developing. Ask the locals for help with pronunciation."

6. Yamy at Gofamgo- " One of the useful things to know when things go awry is how to access an emergency fund. Aside from my travel pocket money, I have an emergency stash of cash in a safe place on my person, in case of lost luggage or theft. Hiding it in a piece of clothing like socks or shoes will allow you to use them when all you have is yourself."

7. Kris at Gadsventure-" When travelling internationally, I always try to plan a trip based on short flights. Not only is it cheaper when travelling with a large family, but it also takes a lot of the stress of flying away.Our youngest is almost 2, so for our current trip in SE Asia, we have her still sitting on our laps! The flights around Asia are only between 1.5 and 3 hours in length so we don't have to be cooped up in planes for too long at all. This still maintains excitement levels high with the kids!"

8. Shannan at Captivating Compass-" Get travel insurance. Without question, you need travel insurance. An accident or illness in a foreign country can be complicated, stressful and expensive. Good travel insurance is worth every penny just for the peace of mind."

9. Tiffany at Mommy And Me Travels-" Help your kids recover from jetlag by having a big breakfast the first morning you arrive, even if you just landed and it is breakfast time. Usually people think because they aren’t hungry they shouldn’t eat. This is not the case when you are traveling. Filling up bellies first thing in the morning helps kick start your body into knowing that you have started your day and adjust to a “new normal”."

Woman and man with ocean and beach in background
Courtesy of Tips From A Typical Mom

10. Annette at Tips From A Typical Mom-" Passports take a very long time to get, so you should just get one now. Whether or not you are planning on traveling out of the country, it's always good to have a passport for you and your family members."

11. Nikki at Yorkshire Wonder-" Living in the UK we often fly for our holidays. When we visit Florida the flight is 9 hours on the way there (shorter on the way back!), but we have always chosen a flight with seat-back entertainment which is a lifesafer when you have kids! We also choose the four seats in the middle of the plane, and I sit on one end and my husband on the other, sandwiching the kids between us. They definitely feel more comfortable like this, as it's their own private space then, and if they are comfortable they are happier! When we do shorter flights to Europe I make sure the kids have their tablets fully charged and a movie downloaded. When they have watched their own movie, they can then swap tablets and watch the other one's movie!"

12. Kirsty at World For A Girl-" Culture shock can affect children as much or more than adults. Children like routine and rhythm in their lives. They might find the sights, smells and sounds of new places unsettling. Try to empathize with them, acknowledge the things that might worry them and give them the time and space to adjust to their new surroundings. Bring familiar toys and sometimes spend more money to go to a restaurant or indoor playground that reminds them of home."

13. Regina at Full Time Field Trip-" There are a million ways/apps to stay connected and free WIFI all around the world. But sometimes you want/need an internet connection from your phone. •Contact your service provider and ask about short term international plans, they may be more affordable than you thought. •We like to get a SIM card in the country we’re visiting. FYI, your phone must be unlocked for this. While we may pay a bit more in the airport or bus station, it’s worth it to have what we need to help us navigate to our next location. •For talking to anyone from taxi drivers to friends back home, we like WhatsApp. Viber is great when you need to make a call, like to your credit card company or airline."

If you want more great travel tips from these well traveled on the links for their blogs!!! This is series is at a close. This is our last topic. I have so enjoyed this journey with every one of these talented ladies and their writing. As well as all of my readers! If you have a topic you would like me to cover just comment or send me an email!!

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