Family vacation time is always one that carries anticipation and dread in almost equal measure and an overseas trip provides even more of both whether it’s a camping trip or a Chic French vacation. So how best to get through this one and ensure that you make the most of it and make a trip to remember? Here is a handy family guide based on our experiences and opinions on foreign trips.
Be Sure Passports Are Up To Date & Visas Ordered
Before you do anything, even book the trip, it’s important to make sure your passports are up to date and, if not, how long they will take to order and be delivered. As well as the passport situation many countries require visas to be applied for so be sure you have this well researched. Some places such as visiting the UK is just a simple online form for a tourist visa however other places are a little more tricky. If you are visiting communist or post-communist countries such as China and Russia or politically sensitive states such as Iran, Palestine, etc.
Plan Ahead For Language Barriers
It’s often said that the world is becoming a smaller place and that English is the global language. While this is truer than ever you cannot count on this being the case everywhere you go, especially the further you deviate from a dedicated tourist resort. If you feel the area might be an issue then consider employing a translator if you can afford one, or go along with a recognized tour group so that you can be safely taken around and shown all the best places.
Hire A Vehicle
With the family in tow and the trickiness of trying to navigate a foreign city and public transport system, which can be challenging even if it is English, why give yourself this stress? Think about hiring a vehicle and keep in mind that most providers can also supply you with a GPS, companies such as GlobeCar even include the GPS for free and vehicles can be booked online and in advance on their website. This gives you your freedom and allows you the ability to leave and return at your own leisure.
Make Sure You Have Your Entertainment Sorted For The Kids
You will be limited in how much luggage space and also, more importantly, weight you will be able to bring on the plane. So it’s important to have a good idea of how you will keep them entertained during quiet periods and down-time. Using hand-held devices such as phones and tablets are a good idea, but be aware that certain streaming or e-reader services won’t work outside of your region. You can pre-download titles on many services however and this will help with the boredom.
Leave A Copy Of Your Schedule With Someone Back Home
Finally, safety is a key concern when traveling anywhere and especially if you are going out of the country it’s a good idea to leave details of when and where you are staying with a good friend or relative in case of any issues.