Travelling is one of the most educational and inspiring adventures you could embark on with your children, so don't let having kids in tow - stop you go.
Sure travelling can be a risky business, particularly when travelling with kids, but unleashing your sense of adventure and adopting some patience and understanding could turn a dream holiday into a family memoir to be cherished forever.
Arguably, the two most important things to do before you begin to travel with kids are: to firstly manage everyone's expectations; and secondly, to take out family travel insurance.
Small children tire quickly, particularly when things get 'boring', so keep in mind that you may not be able to see and do everything. Make sure you're not overdoing things and allow time to relax and for the kids to play. Make the most of childcare minding services where available to give you and your partner some downtime.
You may think that family travel insurance is just another unnecessary cost, but the truth is no one should ever travel without it.
One particular threat of travelling with young kids is that if they get sick in the days leading up to your big trip, it may mean having to cancel the whole thing. Besides the disappointment this may cause, it can also be quite costly in terms of cancellation fees and lost deposits. Having a comprehensive travel insurance policy will mean that if this does occur you have yourselves covered. Most travel insurance policies will include unlimited cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits, so if you do have to cancel your big trip then you can at least be reimbursed for any lost costs, and have the opportunity to reschedule.
You might say that these things happen all the time with kids. Sure they do, but when you're at home you have all the comforts of being in a familiar place with people you know, doctors who speak English, and running a bit late isn't as serious as missing that flight back to Australia.
The idea of expensive overseas medical bills can also be troubling, but this is another area where travel insurance will have you covered. Unlimited medical and hospital cover as well as unlimited emergency assistance is a huge load off your shoulders, ensuring that any trip to the doctor overseas will not be a financial burden. Travel insurance will usually allow your family to alter your travel plans if need be, with cover for cancellations, additional accommodation & travel expenses and family emergency cover. Having family travel insurance to cover your luggage and personal belongings comes in handy for families with kids who haven't quite learned the importance of being both organised and street-smart when travelling. Whether it's a bag, a camera or a passport, there's nothing worse than realising something important is no longer with you. As long as you get the correct documentation, your travel insurance will ensure that damaged or stolen belongings are replaced or reimbursed.
Cover for cancellation fees, medical costs and luggage, are three important benefits of a travel insurance policy, but the list doesn't end there. From flight delays to family emergencies, travel insurance is a must. The great news is that it's not as expensive as you might think. Just have a quick browse online and you will find a whole heap of insurers willing to provide comprehensive cover specifically for family travel, and in some cases your kids will even be covered for free.
Cost is often a barrier for family travel, however with the market now flooded with travel comparison sites there is always a cheap destination or deal to be found.
When travelling with kids, it's a good idea to compare policies to help you get the right cover for the entire family. Different companies offer varying levels of cover and may also have different rules and restrictions when it comes to covering dependents. Start doing your family travel insurance comparison to see who covers what.
Whether travelling on a single or family policy, dependent children will need to be added to the policy and usually have to be travelling with their parents. A family travel insurance policy will have set limits of cover for the entire family rather than for each individual.