International Family Vacations | Often Neglected Details

Planning a family vacation requires a little organization.  However, international family vacations require an extra layer of preparation.  The problem is that too often people get ready for their international family vacation without preparing for some of the unique things about the destination.

So I’ve put together a list of …

Often Neglected Details When Planning A Family Vacation Overseas

Children Car Seat Safety Requirements

Before traveling overseas, it is essential to be sure that you have what is needed for kids safety products such as car seats.  Different countries have different policies on kids and car seats.

If you plan to take a car seat on board the aircraft, be sure to check to be sure that it meets the safety standards of the destination country/airline – not just the FAA.

Also, countries have different rules on ages and weight requirements for car seats as well as even a variety of policies depending on the form of travel (i.e. bus or train).

Infant Airplane Tickets

When traveling domestically, you can often just show up at the airport and the airline will provide you with a boarding pass for an infant.  However, when travelling overseas, infants must have both a passport and a ticket that you have paid for.  Before arriving at the airport, be sure you inform the airline you will be traveling with an infant.

Here’s more on Planning Your First Family Vacation With a Baby

Visitor Permit Requirements

Most countries have some form of an automatic visitors visa on arrival.  Others, on the other hand, do not.  Australia is such a country where you need to apply for a visitors visa before arriving in the country.

Temperature / Appropriate Clothing

We are probably the only family that struggles with this, but when we travel, we often forget to check the weather.  This is because we instinctively think we know that the weather will be like.

Our very first trip to Auckland, New Zealand we were only prepared for warm weather, and instead, we had a cold and rainy week.

Don’t forget to check the temperature.

Room Maximum Occupancy Limits

If traveling with more than two kids, it is essential that you confirm that your accommodations are sufficient for your family.  Countries (and specific chains) have different policies and levels of strictness regarding the number of people in a room.

For safety, when checking into a hotel look for emergency exit signs close to your room in order to ensure you know the quickest exits from your hotel in case you need to get out fast.

Children Age Limit Cut Off

When planning a vacation, it is well worth your time to see when different countries typically mark their infant/child/adult cut offs for entrance fees and other travel related costs.  It seems like in Europe, they tend to offer kids free passage until 6 or 8 years old, whereas in the States, it is around 4 years old.

If you are planning on spending a long time at one venue – like Disney World – then you should be sure to carefully check their age cut offs.  It might be worth moving your vacation up a few months so a kid can get in free.

Accommodation Smoking Policy

While you can travel around the US and Canada and expect to always find a hotel with non-smoking rooms, this may not be the case internationally.  Be sure that you confirm your hotel room is non-smoking or that they can guarantee a non-smoking room – unless, of course, you want a smoking room :).

What have you forgot to do when planning a family vacation?  What other items do you think people forget?


  1. says

    I don’t know if this is something that people neglect or just something they don’t think about but whenever I travel to Europe I like to get either a Visa or Master card Travel card which is different then a gift card because many gift cards aren’t accepted in place in Europe. I like keep one of these cards in my carry on bag as emergency money just in case my wallet is lost or stolen. Granted if you are traveling as a family the chances of both husband and wife loosing there purse and wallet is pretty slim but the travel card is a great thing to have handy of something were to happen.

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