Tag Archives: Family Vacation

Traveling with Children: Emergency Preparation


It is common for nature-based or adventure tourists to pack emergency kits. However, I would encourage all travelers to create a kit, regardless of the type of trip planned.  Youngsters tends to be high energy, courageous and perhaps a little more accident prone compared to older, more seasoned travelers. The reality is, as a parent/guardian you are assuming a greater level of responsibility when you decide to travel with minors. So, keep in mind the type of activities you have planned and remember to grab some essentials for your day pack.

Fist aid kit! Image by Graphic Fuel. Retrieved from Flickr and used under Creative Commons Licensing.

Fist aid kit! Image by Graphic Fuel. Retrieved from Flickr and used under Creative Commons Licensing.

The Basics (travel sized):

  • Band Aides
  • Antiseptic
  • Gauze
  • Bandage/Wrap
  • Small Ice Pack (some can serve as a heating packet as well)
  • Copy of Medical Cards (front & back)
  • Compass-you are traveling after all 😉
  • Emergency/Contact Information**

As a special note, it’s always good to consider dressing in layers (weather changes), bringing high protein snacks, water, sunscreen and bug repellent.

** The story that prompted this post:

When my son was two years old, I spent a summer visiting my brother overseas. Sadly, it only dawned on me during the return trip home how naive and irresponsible I had been.  What if something would have happened to me in route? Although this is the risk any parent/guardian takes when traveling with minors-there are some things that can be done in case of an emergency to help you/your family. First, I would suggest simply listing additional information (i.e. names, language(s) spoken, emergency contact, special medical instructions [i.e. diabetic, allergies, etc.], along with start and end destinations) in an accessible (but still private) location such as in your child’s backpack, diaper bag, and/or suitcase. The parent/guardian should also keep a copy with them at all times as well.

I was fortunate that we had a successful and safe trip, but I promised myself I would do what I can to safeguard loved ones on future trips-regardless of the distance traveled (regionally, nationally, or internationally). I would encourage you to do so as well!

Wishing you safe travels-now & always!

Depending on the intensity of your trip, space and accessibility to other resources-here are some additional items  to consider packing and deserve an honorable mention:

  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Duct tape (101 uses)
  • Throw away cell phone
  • Poncho
  • Pocket Knife
  • Whistle
  • Gloves
  • Flares
  • Seal-able Plastic Bags
  • Matches (dry case)
  • Heating pouches
  • Small Radio
  • Maps
  • Language/Travel guide
  • Appropriate Apps

Suggested Reading for Traveling Families



This week, RCompass points to a must have book, for those brave parents traveling with kids, “How to fit a car seat on a camel,” by Sarah Franklin. The author talks about the adventures and misadventures of traveling with children-serving as a reminder of what it means to travel with kids both young and old.  Click here to view more of her insightful book.

Feel free to share your misadventures in the comment section below!



Although there are many families that successfully travel with children of all ages, I believe there is a magical point in which a child holds onto memories-processing and reinterpreting their surroundings and experiences more fluently.  When, exactly does this occur? I imagine it is different for every child. I am also sure that the field of developmental psychology has studied this concept extensively. But for me I saw the signs of a pending traveler after taking a mini trip with my extended family in October.  I noticed how excited my son was simply exploring eclectic shops, trying new restaurants and sightseeing. We openly debated if we should plot out the day or make a definitive choice to wander freely.  I took it as a sign-he was finally old enough to begin composing his personal inventory of places traveled.

As a part of my 2013 New Year’s resolution to make connections with family; I felt the need to create what I hope will become a new tradition. Beginning 2013, we (my son & I) will plan 1 unique get-away each year until he graduates from School (9 trips in all)!

Here were the parameters I chose to set:

–          It will include a minimum of one stay overnight,
–          Two thirds of the trip destinations will be located within the United States
–          The first trip will be announced on his birthday in June,
–          He must successful pass each grade and all subjects,
–          Variety will be key

  • Use different modes of transportation (train, boat, bus, plain, automobile, etc.)
  • Identify types of travel (alternative vs. mass)
  • Explore diverse sights (historical, natural, manmade, etc.)
  • Experiment with various travel experiences (adventure, volunteer, etc.)

My Goals:

–          Start simple
–          Establish a tradition
–          Build memories (although I anticipate not all will be positive nor perfect)
–          Incorporate teachable moments
–          Encourage him to set goals
–          Ignite personal connections
–          Enlist my existing knowledge of travel and expand
–          Commemorate another year (school-life-love-family)

 [Layers] tourism degree, transportation planner, new experiences, annual resolutions, birthdays, celebrations, achievements, family, traditions, parenting, goal setting, lifelong learning, and variety.