Lifestyle Advice For Traveling Families
Are you looking to make a major change for 2018? Traveling for extended periods has become more accessible than ever with the rise in acceptance of international nomads and remote workers. Two separate destinations in Asia make the top five list for travel destinations in 2018, and the combination of tourism opportunities and international-class business centers makes it a peak zone for travel.
Whether you’re taking an extended leave of absence to go exploring, relocating for work, or switching to a nomadic lifestyle, technology is giving you more options and making life easier year over year. However, traveling with a family can add some complications back into the picture. Your kids will have different needs during travel, and you’ll need to consider what they require before setting off. Here are four aspects to check off as you make your travel plans.
Checking on health requirements before heading to a new country or region is important for people of all ages, but since kids have less energy reserves and built-up resistance to illnesses, you want to be particularly careful to make sure that they’re up to date on all necessary vaccinations before setting off.
Double-check on the type of insurance that’s needed while still at home. Based on the duration of travel and locations, you may need to arrange local health care coverage instead of travel coverage. A regular schedule of health care, including checkups, dental, and vision care, should be adhered to as much as possible, so you’ll want to look at what’s available in your chosen destinations. Major city centers such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, or Seoul offer a variety of high-quality health care options, but small, remote destinations may not support the variety or quality of health care that you expect for your child. Make sure you stay safe while traveling and be aware of any health needs or required check-ups.
This depends partly on your children’s ages and also on their individual capabilities or preferences. Small children may not be able to keep up with an adult’s taste for day-to-day travel, and some have a stronger need for security and a defined home base than others. Regular meals and naps or sleep schedules as appropriate can help safeguard health, happiness, and energy levels for children.
Take their mobility capabilities into account when planning trips, and arrange for child care or adjust your pace accordingly to find the right balance between keeping things fun and accessible for them while also meeting your needs as parents. A day on the beach in Thailand is probably within reach, but a weekend on the slopes in Hokkaido or marathon shopping sessions in Singapore might be too much for some.
Older children need to keep up with school. If you’re traveling for shorter periods of time, it may be possible to make arrangements with school to complete special projects, but for extended travel or a long-term relocation, you’ll need to start homeschooling, enroll the kids in a local school, or place them in an international school to make sure that their education stays up to date and on track.
If you or your partner is up to the challenge of homeschooling, and your children learn well in short, focused doses, then remote learning can be an excellent travel-friendly learning solution. However, many children do better in a classroom setting with qualified instructors and classmates to interact with. Local schools can be a good way to learn a language and culture, but those benefits can also be barriers to education, and the curriculum may not be widely transferrable.
International schools offer recognized curriculums and English language instruction among other benefits and are an accessible way to handle your child’s education. A Singapore American school offers the benefits of a high-quality education in a key transportation hub. If good schooling options aren’t available in your area of travel, or you’re moving around frequently, picking a school in a city with main transportation arteries makes it easy to check in on a regular basis.
Kids need a certain amount of consistency in their relationships, as well as healthy socialization opportunities. While needs will vary based on family patterns and the individual, you’ll want to consider how much together time you need or want as a family. Will you arrange child care and go off on adventures as adults-only, or do everything together? Will you make time for the kids to interact with other children on trips, or help them make connections with other children in local communities?
Getting the kids into a good school can be a great way to establish consistency and relationships. A local school offers more cultural exposure, which can come with a shadow side of bullying in some cases. An international school generally offers more diversity, a more accepting environment, and a worldwide network of friends for the future.
Traveling as a family is certainly within reach. Consider the needs and preferences of each member of the family, and make arrangements to meet those needs as you travel or during your upcoming relocation.