Family travels are some of our most fun and memorable adventures. International travel with toddlers can seem overwhelming and scary at times. Well not anymore! These family travel experts have mastered international travel with toddlers (and kids) to help make the adventure more enjoyable for all. Use this list of top 20 tips to keep your family safe and prepared on your next international travel with toddlers and older kids.
Preparing for your upcoming international travel with a toddler:
- “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.” – Annette at Tips From A Typical Mom
2. “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.” – Regina at Full Time Field Trip
3. “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 havewhat we need to help us navigate to our next location.” – Regina at Full Time Field Trip
Get Travel Insurance.
4. “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.” – Shannan at Captivating Compass
If you are looking to explore travel insurance, I recommend starting with World Nomands Travel Insurance. They are easy to use and a program that is developed by travelers for travelers.
5. 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. – Melissa at Disabled Disney
Traveling International with a Toddler, Baby, or older Kids:
6. For international flights, “we have always chosen a flight with seat-back entertainment which is a lifesaver 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.” – Nikki at Yorshire Wonders
7. “Pack a bag that works as a carry-on and is roll-able. I packed a carry on but it was a duffle bag and it was the WORST to hold on to in the custom’s lines.” – Annette at Tips From A Typical Mom
Still trying to decided on your next vacation? Use the “Everywhere” feature here on SkyScanner to find the best flight deals.
8. Help your kids recover from jetlag by having a big breakfast the first morning you arrive, even if you just landed and don’t feel hungry. Usually people think because they aren’t hungry they shouldn’t eat. This is not the case when you are traveling international with toddlers and kids. 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”. – Tiffany at Mommy And Me Travels
Bonus: Check out the tips and tricks to fighting jetlag for kids from Mum With Wanderlust.
9. “In theory, all you need to travel is your passport. In certain places, and for certain types of visas, you may also need birth certificates and a marriage license. Keep your documents safe in a waterproof, RFID protective case. Have a digital copy on your phone. Ask a trusted friend or family member back home to keep a digital and hard copy of your documents in case of an emergency.” – Regina at Full Time Field Trip
10. “As you plan, make a list, even months in advance, making lists will help you keep things organized. From itineraries to packing, to places not to be missed, your lists will help keep it all organized along the way.” – Shannan at Captivating Compass
11. “Culture shock can affect kids as much or more than adults. Baby, toddlers, and kids 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.” – Kirsty at World For A Girl
12. “Adjusting to different safety standards (if any at all) can be challenging (especially for parents). You always need to be aware of potential dangers. From dodgy playpark equipment, street stands with flaming grills to open sewers, keeping your eye on toddlers and younger children can be hard work. Try carrying toddlers in child carriers as a way of keeping them safe and speak openly to older children about any dangers.” – Kristy at World For A Girl.
How will you access your money?
13. “Look for credit cards and banks with no foreign transaction fees.” – Regina at Full Time Field Trip
Wondering were to find the best credit cards for travel? We love all of the benefits that come with our Chase Sapphire Travel Card and think this is a great card for you to start your search.
14. “Call your bank and let them know that you are going out of country so they don’t freeze your cards.” – Annette at Tips From A Typical Mom
15. “Withdraw money with your debt card from an ATM. The currency conversion rate is usually much better because there is no fee involved as there is when you use a bank or those little stands in the airport.” – Tiffany at Mommy And Me Travels.
16. “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.” – Yamy at Gofamgo
Kids International Travel – Learn before you go:
Learn a few phrases.
17. “Knowing ‘Thank you’ and ‘Please’ in the local language is a minimum. Improve your language skills before you go, if possible, and then try them out in-country.” – Shannan at Captivating Compass
18. “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.” – Deb at World Wise Kid
Rules and Customs.
19. “Research what the rules and customs in the country you are visiting 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.” – Sarah at State By State
20. “Study the local transportation system ahead of time. If you’re traveling by train, do you insert the tickets into a machine for a stamp/validation before boarding, or not? If driving, are there toll roads, and how do they work? Knowing ahead of time is incredibly helpful!” – Sarah at Dandelion Seeds
International travel with toddlers, international travel with kids, traveling internationally with toddler, or traveling internationally with baby; however you phrased it to find this article, I hope that you are now feeling more comfortable and ready to tackle your next family adventure. One last bonus tip: You can purchase almost everything you might need in other countries. If you bring nothing else, make sure you have with you: your passports, insurance cards, and prescription medications.
Let us know below if you have any questions, additional tips to share, or how these tips helped with your international family travels.
Check out our other post on planning a family vacation:
1 – How to start planning you next family vacation and adventure!
2 – Saving Money On Transportation
3 – Choosing Family Accommodations
4 – Sightseeing with Kids: Tips and Tricks
5 – 20 Ultimate Packing Tips and Tricks when Traveling With Kids
6 – 25 Tips for Saving Money on Food While Traveling
7 – 12 Tips for Road Trip with Toddlers
8 – 20 Tips for International Travel with Toddlers (This Post)
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I have never really given a thought to the small things one would need to consider when travelling with a toddler because I do not have children of my own but I can only imagine how much more research and preparation is required when you do travel with kids! For example, I always book budget flights for myself which do not have onboard entertainment but I see what you mean by it can be a lifesaver to keep the kids busy! Also, travel insurance is a must, not just with toddlers but even otherwise!
I don’t have any kids just yet, but these here seem like some great tips!
This is a great list of tips if it traveling internationally with or without kids I would say. I think that these tips are also useful even if I travel alone. I do not have kids but my cousin has and I’m going to pass on this blog post to her and I’m sure that she will find it really useful. Thanks for the share.
This is a very informative post! I don’t have kids but would definitely share this with family and friends who do. Sounds like you have it all figured out.
Flying with toddlers sounds so stressful. I don’t have kids but these are great tips for when the time comes. I definitely would make sure to get a seat that has entertainment 🙂 And I agree that travel insurance is super important!
Good tips for all types of travelers! Remembering to call your bank to put travel notices on your cards is a good tip. I know I have had problems with this in the past before I knew you needed to do that.
This is a great and very detailed article! I have traveled with infants and toddlers several times alone with two of them very long flights and I wish I have had a guide like this back then!!
Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful tips. My sister is all geared up for an international trip for the first time with her baby, am sure she will find these tips helpful!
I’m headed to China with my 3-year-old in September. This post was helpful and the timing was perfect!
I never really travel with toddlers because I don’t have any. But, I do see them on the planes when I go home from Japan to US for a visit.
My sister-in-law is just now feeling comfortable to travel with her kids and so we’ve been looking at places to go. So these tips will be handy for when we make a decision.
Love your post i will be traveling soon and these tips are helpful.
Ooooo so many great tips!!!! I travel with my daughter all the time. I swear it was easier when she was an infant\toddler. All they do is sleep in planes lol
Such great tips. I did a lot of traveling with my baby but not International. Very helpful.
Traveling with children can be so scary and difficult to navigate. So glad you rounded up these great tips to reference.
We have done a ton of domestic travel with our toddler but not international yet. These are awesome and so helpful!
These are all great tips! I traveled from the United States to Germany several times with two children. These tips would have come in handy.
I haven’t done international travel with my kids yet, but we do travel around the US a lot. The few times I’ve gone international, I like having the overnight flight because you can sleep on the plane and when you wake it feels like morning and helps get on schedule easily.
The thought of international travel with a toddler has always made me a bit nervous. But these tips are so great! I could see using a lot of these if we ever travel for an extended period of time or internationally.
I have actually found that taking overnight flights to be helpful. They can sleep on the plane and then are ready for the day.
Some great tips from everyone here. I’ve gotten a few of these wrong in the past.