Some of our best posts on family travel tips are about the places close to New Orleans, highlighting places that offer an easy getaway for mothers that won’t break the bank or wreak havoc on your schedule. Whether it’s a quick trip to Gulfport or a long weekend in Gatlinburg, we’ve got all the angles covered with our family travel tips.
No matter where you’re going, how long you’re staying, or how you’re getting there, New Orleans Mom has key family travel tips and information that makes it easy to have a memorable getaway or vacation.
5 Tips for Traveling Abroad with Kids
School breaks are always perfect for a family getaway!
Christmas break, spring break, and summer are full of travel and it seems that everyone is always ready to hit the beach! Louisiana families are known to head over to the Gulf Coast for a great time but traveling a little further may be easier than some realize. These are a few tips for taking your family on an international trip.
1. Get those passports ready!
If you are traveling abroad, you obviously need a passport for you and your family. If you do not have a passport, please keep these things in mind when completing your applications. Kids must have both parents (one parent is okay if only one is listed on the birth certificate) present at the time of a passport application, you need both parent IDs, and your child’s original birth certificate. We were able to make our reservation online for the post office to complete applications for our children. The passport office at the post office can handle the picture and full application process. From experience, we prefer using Walgreens and bringing our own picture. The passports took 8 weeks to come back to us; although processing times were listed as 12 weeks. Be sure to leave room for errors and extended processing times; I would suggest planning for 12-16 weeks in case one comes back with a typo like my renewal did!
2. Packing for your trip
Traveling light is my preference but you definitely want to be prepared because going to a nearby convenience store is not always possible while out of the states. If you are traveling with a toddler be sure to also check out these awesome tips. Here are some things you may want for an international trip:
- Sunscreen (Waterproof and Reef Safe)
- Bug Spray
- Children’s Meds (Tylenol, Benadryl, Pepto Bismol, allergy meds, itch relief cream)
- Adult Meds (Tylenol, Tums, Benadryl, allergy meds)
- Travel First Aid Kit
- Waterproof phone holders
- Travel Blanket
- Electronics Converter (Check the hotel website for more info)
- RFID Passport Holders
- Masks (Some countries still require them in airports)
- Extra bathing suits
- Baby wipes
- Travel-size Lysol wipes, sanitizer, alcohol wipes
3. Load up your carry-on:
This is a trick I use for every trip but especially for a long journey. Pack 1-2 small outfits, flip flops, sunscreen, soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, and bathing suit in your carry-on. I do this for two reasons: if my bags are lost in transit, I can still easily enjoy my vacation and the beach without having to go out for clothing; the second reason is many times you arrive before your room is ready and this allows you to hit the beach or pool as soon as you arrive at your destination.
4. Pack “line-friendly” entertainment
When traveling abroad you tend to stand around a bit more than domestic travel. Customs going and coming can be quite the wait. Make sure your kiddos have something to entertain themselves while standing in line, maybe a fidget toy, book, or small tablet/old cell phone attached to wi-fi. The lines move pretty steadily but kids can get antsy after a long day of travel. Another quick note is if you can get a direct flight going through customs in New Orleans, it is much easier than the larger hubs like Miami, Atlanta, and Houston. Here is a link to non-stop flights out of New Orleans. To shorten your wait in customs on your way home, you may want to consider Global Entry, it also includes TSA pre-check which helps you breeze through security on domestic flights. The cost is $100 but many credit card companies offer a statement credit for the fee.
5. Don’t stress!!
I know it seems weird to say that to a parent getting ready to trek across the globe with their children but kids feed off your energy. If you seem calm and ready for fun, they will definitely pick up on your vibes. If this is your first time leaving the country and you are headed to a beach getaway, try to go with a mid to large resort because they generally have on-site shops that are stocked with little items you may have left at home. Knowing that I have access to toothpaste, snacks, and sunscreen on site makes travel less stressful for me.