7 Health Tips You Need to Know When Travelling With Children

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A smoother journey starts with some simple health and nutrition advice.

With “bleisure” travel (the blending of business and leisure travel) on the rise, more people are taking their families with them on business trips. Travelling with children can be a joy and a challenge for parents. For things to go smoothly, it’s important to be well prepared and know what to expect in the country you’re travelling to – and what resources you’ll have access to along the way. Here are seven tips to keep in mind:

#1. Research your destination

Research your destination prior to departure. Find out what the local foods are, whether there are any local markets or supermarkets that are close to your accommodation.

Once you arrive, find the nearest convenience store where you can buy some familiar items (cereal, bread, crackers and fresh fruit).

If you’re travelling with children to a culturally diverse region, plan ahead and take some familiar food with you to get you started. Some good ideas include a container of dried breakfast cereal, crackers, pasta and dried fruit. Once you’re settled, you can explore the area and stock up on some basics such as rice, bread, fresh fruit and vegetables.

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#2. Be prepared for flights

Flights – especially long-haul flights – can be stressful for parents travelling with children. Make it easier for yourself and prepare before you get to the airport:

  • Take a water bottle for your child and encourage them to stay well hydrated
  • Bring their favourite snacks onto the plane, like crackers and cheese, carrots and cucumber, fresh fruit and sandwiches
  • If travelling with infants, feed them as you would at home
  • The change in atmospheric pressure when landing can cause ear pain that can be distressing in young children. Give them a bottle/drink during descent, or something to chew
  • Bring along entertainment or activities to keep them occupied during the flight

#3. Choose the right accommodation

Self- contained units, apartments or holiday rentals with a kitchen or kitchenette often better suit those travelling with children. This enables you to prepare quick and familiar meals, and organise snacks for the day if you plan to go touring. Be sure to always bring along snacks and water in your day pack.

#4. Stick to a meal-time routine

Keep to a fairly regular meal-time routine. A good start is to keep breakfast simple and familiar. This will provide a sense of security for your children while they are away from their familiar home environment.

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#5. Stay hydrated

A child can become dehydrated very rapidly, particularly in tropical regions. A good guide is the colour and amount of urine they produce. If it looks more concentrated, they require more fluid.

#6. Avoid traveller’s diarrhoea

Reduce the risk of food borne illnesses or upset tummies when travelling with children by:

  • Encourage regular hand-washing
  • Carry hand sanitiser and use it regularly
  • Avoid high risk foods such as seafood, undercooked meat and pre-prepared salads.
  • Avoid street vendors
  • Drink only bottled or purified water when travelling in foreign countries
  • Eat foods that are cooked and served hot
  • Peel fresh fruit and wash them in clean water

#7. More health advice when travelling with children

Reduce the risk of food borne illnesses or upset tummies when travelling with children by:

  • Visit your doctor before departure to ensure immunisations are up to date
  • Take a first aid kit with you
  • Pack paracetamol, band aids, antiseptic lotion, mild corticosteroid cream, insect repellent, and oral rehydration fluids

Looking for more health, wellbeing and travel tips? Head here.

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