Preparing for international travel with a preschooler can be a daunting task. There are flights to book, reservations to make, and endless blogs that give you advice on what you “MUST SEE!” Throw in an unpredictable preschooler to the mix and it’s bound to be a vacation (trip?) you’ll never forget!
Preparing for International Travel with a Preschooler:
- Make a Packing List: An international trip is not the time to test out your preschooler’s packing skills. Make a list; check it twice. Pack versatile things you’ll need; plus a little extra, because, you know, accidents and spills!
- Start Talking Early: Involve your preschooler in the travel plans. Once you’ve narrowed down a few things, let them check out the pictures online. Anticipation is half the fun of traveling.
- Media: Load up your devices. There are endless apps, from educational to movie viewers, that could come in handy during an international trip. Do yourself a favor and download a translator app if you aren’t fluent in the language of the country you’re visiting. Be aware of international data charges.
- Pack Snacks: Our daughter loves trying new things, especially when we travel. However, sometimes it’s nice to have comfort food at the end of a long day. Remember to check for Customs food restrictions!
Ways to Involve Your Preschooler Before the Vacation
- Read: There are so many books written in an international setting. The local library has tons to choose from. We like to check out non-fiction books with beautiful pictures to explore together before the trip. We also purchase an age appropriate picture book for each country we’re visiting. This is one of the airplane surprises we bring. Plus, it’s a nice keepsake to have after the vacation. Here are a few great choices we’ve come across: London, Paris, Portugal, and Spain.
- Watch Movies: There are a lot of movies that take place in international settings: Beauty and the Beast in France, Mulan in China, Mary Poppins in England, etc. These aren’t always the most culturally accurate representations, but they might help get your preschooler excited to explore a new place.
- Listen to Cultural Music: Again, visit the library! We borrowed CDs with music from the different countries we’ll be visiting this summer. I suspect we’ll want to revisit these after our vacation to reminisce.
Looking for Travel Tools to Make Your Trip Planning a Breeze? Need some Tips for Flying with Kids? Whether it’s your first international trip or you’re a seasoned pro, I hope your family has a relaxing time filled with wonderful memories. Travel is an invaluable gift – read more about Life Lessons Kids Learn from Travel.