Pre-departure Family Travel Tips


Anuja Pradhan

Pre-departure Family Travel Tips

Travelling abroad requires careful planning, and when you’re travelling with kids, it becomes even more important to make sure you’re well prepared. At PlanetWildlife, we regularly have families going on safaris with us. A few weeks before their departure date, we make sure to send them a pre-departure pack so they’ve taken care of all the essentials. Other than the usual advice of checking your passports, and buying insurance, here are a few travel tips to keep in mind when you’re preparing for your next family adventure:

Don’t forget to pack the essentials

  • Check luggage allowance with your air carrier before packing. Your kids might have small bags but the same allowance as you, so you could check in an extra bag with them.
  • Buy a Forex (foreign exchange) card from your bank so you don’t have to carry traveller’s cheques or too much cash.
  • Check with your General Practitioner to see if you or your kids need any vaccinations to enter a particular country. Make sure to do this well in advance, as you might need to visit a specific vaccination centre that might not be located in your city.
  • Loss of luggage can be a big mood killer and quite an inconvenience, so be sure to remove old airport tags from your baggage so it doesn’t get sent to the wrong destination.
  • As an extra precaution, email yourself copies of your passports, visas, insurance, and tickets.
  • Make sure you choose child-friendly accommodation. Avoid hotels with bars in the lobbies or low balcony railings. When you’re travelling with PlanetWidlife, our experts will take care of recommending the best accommodation for you.
  • If you’re carrying any medicines that can’t be bought over the counter, take a recent prescription along.

Even younger kids love using binoculars and cameras on safari!

Taking kids on safaris can be a unique and memorable adventure. However, since you’ll be in a rugged environment, we recommend you take extra care and keep these tips in mind before you fly:

  • Pack hats with straps, as you will be in an open topped vehicle while game viewing. Also pack close fitting sunglasses, more for protection from the dust than the sun.
  • You’ll need to wear neutral-coloured clothing on safari. Kids clothes are usually brightly coloured so you might want to take them shopping in advance.
  • In many places in Africa, even if the days are hot, evenings can get slightly chilly so be sure to pack light jackets for you and your kids.
  • Sunburn can also become a problem since you’ll mostly be in open-topped jeeps through the day on safari. So, make sure you and your kids regularly apply sunscreen. For more on preventing and treating sunburn, check out this post by an ex-lifeguard.
  • And finally, get your kids excited about the animals and birds you’ll be seeing on safari. Show them photos, videos, and teach them animal facts so they’re enthusiastic about their experience. Also remember to tell them how important it is to follow rules and not disturb any animals to have the best possible family safari.

Do you have any tips of your own? Join in on the discussion on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.