Travelling with Juniors

Travelling with Juniors
A family outing is always a happy one if there are no hitches and everybody stay safe and healthy throughout the entire trip. Depending on their ages, physical condition and state of health, this can be accomplished quite easily by acquiring necessary knowledge of the destination(s) and making sufficient preparations.

Parents will find the following tips, pointers and reminders useful but they must be read in conjunction with Health, Safety and other relevant Guides.

‘Think small, think smart and think safe’

Before you go
Tips on preparations
  • Do homework on destination country
    • Availability of children’s products - food, hygiene items etc. especially if you have very young children
    • Prescription and non-prescription medications that you need to bring along, check if they are considered illegal - consult embassy or relevant authorities in destination country
    • Reputable and reliable day care centres should their services be required
    • General health and safety standards and any particular issues involving children
    • Any existing, potential or suspected epidemic
    • General infrastructural convenience and special facilities for children in public places
    • Any special passport, visa and other entry permit requirements for children
  • Children’s documents
    • Apply for children’s passport at least 6 months before departure date. Check rules, some home countries require children irrespective of age to have their own passports while others allow very young children up to a certain age limit to be combined with a parent.
    • Apply for visa and any other entry permits early, at least 3 months before departure date
    • Obtain health certificate, if any required early - at least 1-2 months ahead
    • Include additional coverage for children’s risks in your insurance policy
  • Find out airline regulations regarding very young children if you are bringing them along
  • Visit a doctor, check and ensure children are sufficiently vaccinated and fit for travel particularly to countries known to have low hygiene and healthcare standards
  • It is best to avoid visiting a country or place known to have an existing/potential epidemic
  • In places known to be criminally notorious, plagued by hazards and unrest, avoid these places if there are insufficient adult hands to take care of the children, especially in an emergency
  • If you are planning outdoor activities in vast areas or crowded places, make sure there are enough adults to keep watch and take charge of the children. Children may lose their way or become targets of abduction when parents have their ‘hands-full’.
  • Brief your children on safety measures and health precautions and make sure they are well understood. Their ‘co-operation’ is very important.
On the go
  • Do not forget your children’s documents, put them in a pouch you can wear around your neck or waist together with other important documents so that your hands are free to hold young children and baggage
  • Remind children regularly on safety issues including not to trust strangers especially in high risk areas
  • For children old enough, they should carry bottled water (ensure safe), weather shields - raincoat and other accessory clothing and make sure they drink sufficient water.
  • Follow pointers on food in Health Guide closely as children are more vulnerable to food poisoning and parents must stay fit to take care of them
  • Avoid going out in bad weather, be very careful moving in poor road conditions and when crossing streets. In some countries, traffic rules are not always followed (or may not exist).
When help is needed
  • Dealing with losses
    If your loss is other than just documents and material belongings for example, a family member is missing
    • Report to the police and seek help from your embassy or consulate (if any) immediately
    • Seek assistance from local help centres and organisations to find the missing person
    • Contact home and get additional helping hand - someone can come over immediately if the situation is sinister. Send all young children and others requiring care home first while the search continues.
Also see Safety Guide and When someone is missing

The information and advise are intended to be a general guide for travellers only. While every care has been taken to prepare the information and make recommendations or suggestions, neither the publisher of nor its management or staff are responsible for any injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained therein.
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