I have travelled overseas with my kids multiple times, even when they were as young as 6 months old. I have also had the experience of bringing one kid alone to Japan by myself (I will probably write a post on this!). Certainly it is not easy at times but it pays to be well prepared in advance.
Plan in advance
I guess this sounds pretty straightforward but it is tough to do well. Besides planning the places you want to visit, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the kids and whether it is suitable for them. A non-exhaustive set of questions that you might want to ask:
- Is the place stroller-friendly or is a baby carrier preferred? Some places just don’t have lifts and it would be troublesome to have a stroller. This is the case for me when I brought my kid to Japan.
- Are there baby changing rooms and where are they located?
- Are there baby or kid friendly restaurants? Do the restaurants sell non-spicy food, or what your child likes?
- How to travel from one place to another, need to buy a train ticket online? Do I need to book a taxi or transport in advance?
- How to book places of attraction, at the place itself or online in advance?
- What are the opening and closing hours, including last entry time for attractions?
- What are the children limitations, e.g. height and age?
- What is the weather like, do you need extra thick jackets etc?
- Do you and your child need extra vaccination? Can contact TTSH for more info on vaccination.
Involve your kids in the planning
Tell them where they will be travelling using a map. Google maps would be useful to show various information like how far it will take to travel from one place to another, how far it is away from Singapore etc. Show them the currency being used and pictures of the places you will be visiting to prepare them. Ask them what they want to see and plan it into your itinerary if possible to give them a say in your trip!
Sample packing list
- Diapers, wet wipes, tissue paper
- Napkins, bibs, bath towels
- Baby carrier, stroller
- Milk bottles, milk powder, cleaning brushes
- Baby/Children’s clothes, pyjamas, underwear, socks, jackets
- Hair accessories for girls
- Footwear, including slippers for beaches/swimming pool
- Swimwear, goggles, inflatable floats, swim boards
- Sunblock, shades
- Medication, first aid, including mosquito repellent
- Toys/books to entertain child on plane and while travelling
- Snacks and bread
- Toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, baby shampoo/body wash)
- Washing powder
- Credit card (recommend Youtrip card because of its good exchange rate and convenience)
- Cash in local currency
- Your own clothes
- Electronics and charging cables
- Sim cards (if not on roaming)
- Disposable masks
- Ziplocks, plastic bags
Other things to prepare
Make sure you have purchase a travel insurance which I have actually used a couple of times, e.g. emergency medical assistance. Also do notify MFA via their eRegister link.
Photo: image above taken from Unsplash