Hi friends! Today I’d like to share a few takeaways from our international travel a few months ago, the family globetrotted to Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia for 3+ weeks and had a blast. Traveling for more than a week and with kids can be challenging, you’ve got to plan ahead! Times have changed so much from my two month backpacking trip through Europe in my early twenties when it was just me but I had to carry film, maps and a guide book, there was no technology back in the dark ages :)
My children are 10 and 12 and that’s a really good age for taking them abroad. I recall the days of strollers, diapers, naps and car seats and I know this trip would not have been as enjoyable had the trip required all that extra gear. I’m a big believer in waiting until they’re older when attempting long trips to far away places because they can carry their own stuff. They can also enjoy the trip, remember it and learn from it. When they were toddlers we kept our travel close to home for years then started traveling again just a few years ago when they were 7 and 9 (from California to Montreal and Québec City). Our next big jet setting adventure will be Europe in 2017.
Passports & Immunizations. This one is obvious but make sure the kids have passports up to date since US passports expire every five years for children under 18. Many countries require that the passports must not expire for several months after your travel dates as well so factor that time in. I also scanned our passports and emailed myself a copy just in case they were lost and we needed to replace them.
Check the travel bureau to see if the country recommends immunizations, and don’t forget to research if the country you’re visiting also requires a travel visa. We found out last minute that Americans need a visa to travel to Australia but thankfully we we’re able to get them within an hour. We felt foolish not knowing that information months in advance so take my advice and check to see if you need a visa before you go!
Pack Ultra Light. Our strategy was one rolling carry on and one backpack per person, that’s it. My kids had to bring independent study homework with them, they also had a book and their school issued iPad they carried in their backpack. Matt and I also had only one carry on piece of luggage and one backpack each. We left a little room it them to pick up souvenirs but I was proud of how lightly we traveled, it helped us quickly move from place to place without spending hours repacking everything.