Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by BMO Insurance. All opinions expressed are mine.
I have a philosophy for travelling with kids that goes a little something like this: do it early, do it often, don’t stop. Travel is one of the best things you can give your children and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go far. Just exploring a neighbouring city can open up new possibilities and experiences for your kids.
There are three things you need though to travel with kids that are absolutely essential. Always have these three things in place to help make your trip a success.
If there’s one thing you absolutely must have when travelling with children, it’s a boatload of patience. You literally need to be the most zen version of yourself you can muster.
There’s a really important reason for this. If you are freaking out every time there is a delay, if you get flustered when the line doesn’t move fast enough, or when someone is slow moving, you will then be travelling with mini stressed out versions of yourself.
Model and teach patience when travelling with your kids from an early age. By doing this, you’ll find that travel hiccups don’t bother you as much and the journey really can be as much fun as the destination. My family have had as many laughs in an airport lounge as we have had at Disney. It’s really not about where you are but who you’re with. Always keep that top of mind, and you won’t go wrong.
Don’t Travel without Medical Travel Insurance
You know what else is true? Kids may get sick or hurt on vacation. It’s like the Murphy’s Law of family travel, eventually, someone may need insurance, and if you’re like my family, you may find the need for it a lot.
We have had an allergic reaction in Cuba, bronchitis in Florida, and a sprained ankle in Mexico. We even used our travel insurance on a ski trip to a neighboring province. Yes, you need travel insurance even when travelling within Canada.
Perhaps my favourite story though is the one year in Jamaica, when my daughter sliced her foot open. The Doctor had to be called in from town, anesthetic given, multiple stitches, and instructions for no more play in the water. Womp womp. Exactly one year later on a “do-over”, we returned to Jamaica, but to a different resort, and this same daughter managed to dislocate her knee running on wet tiles. Low and behold, the exact same doctor from the year before shows up to treat her. He just shook his head and suggested maybe we stay home for a bit.
Whut? No way.
While it may seem that my family is accident prone, the reality is that any of these things could have happened at home too.
Medical travel insurance can help protect families when they travel. We purchase an annual medical plan that is more cost effective and convenient for frequent travellers like us. Annual plans often cost less than the cost of two single trips plans. With BMO Insurance’s Annual Medical Travel Insurance family plan (two paying adult plans), all dependent children get full coverage at no additional cost. 23-day annual plans will cost those aged 18-49 just $92 or $111 for those between the ages of 50-59.
The bottom line is this. I have a credit card to purchase anything we may have forgotten to pack for our trip, but medical insurance is something I wouldn’t even think of leaving home without. It’s simply not worth the risk.
Check Those Passports
This might seem silly, but you know how fast your babies grow. Believe me when I say their passports seem to expire just as fast as they grow. I will admit that I’ve come close a couple of times to being sorely disappointed at the airport. To avoid this now, I add a three-month notice into my calendar, share it to my husband’s calendar and add in multiple reminders. Just like medical insurance, without our passports, we’re not going anywhere.