Are you planning a global adventure with your family? Here are five things to keep in mind:
1. GO LOCAL Make every effort to chat with local shopkeepers, dine in neighborhood cafes and introduce the kids to regional delicacies. Take local transportation when practical and perhaps even consider renting a room from a local family.
2. DOCUMENTS AND DOCUMENT Be sure your passports are current for the dates you plan to travel (some countries require an additional six months of validity). Take photos of your passports, IDs, visas credit cards and store them with a family member (or in the cloud). Encourage the family to document the adventure by journaling and taking plenty of photos.
3. HEALTH MATTERS Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Department and your family physician for country-specific tips, advisories and a list of medications or vaccinations you may need for your trip.
4. PACK LIGHT Leave the gear and gadgets behind and focus on the experience. Roll your essential clothing to save space and to minimize wrinkles. Choose lightweight roller bags and personal backpacks for each child old enough to manage his or her own stash of onboard necessities.
5. STAY CONNECTED For helpful updates about what’s happening in your targeted destination, sign up for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Program (STEP). Should you lose your passports or need other emergency assistance, it will be easier for the consular officers from the U.S. Embassy or consulates to help.