Traveling with Children
Traveling with children can certainly be daunting, tiring, and stressful. However, if you’re about to head off to your Jamaica villa family vacation there are some tips you can try that should make everything a lot easier. One key point to keep in mind is to always think ahead and be prepared. Just because last time you traveled with children it went smoothly without much planning, doesn’t mean you’ll get lucky again.
Before You Leave
The first thing you need to prepare is the appropriate travel documentation. The Jamaican Consulate states that citizens of North American need to have a valid passport mainly because to re-enter their home country a passport is required. Since this may be the first time you travel outside the US or Canada with your children they may not have a passport yet. Getting a passport can take a while depending on how busy your local issuing office is, so you will want to get this sorted as soon as possible. The passport must be valid for the length of stay, but ideally for at least six months after the return date. Another important entry requirement is that you will need to show Jamaican authorities proof of sufficient funds to cover the expenses of you and your family for the duration of your trip.
When packing a good tip is if your children are old enough to manage wearing a backpack have them use one. Each child can put their things for on the flight in their own backpack, but make sure you approve what goes in. This makes it easier to find something while in flight. With regards to your packing always make sure you bring along basic medicines and first aid items just in-case.
Another excellent tip that is probably overlooked is have recent photos of your children. Airports are big and very busy. And while you take every precaution to keep the kids together there is still a small chance someone can get lost. The best way to do this is take photos of the kids on departure day in the clothes they’ll have on at the airport with your phone or digital camera. You can’t get any more recent than that. It is also a good idea to put your cell phone number on your child, so you can be contacted if necessary. And finally when going to the airport give yourself an extra half-an-hour. Things inevitably take longer with kids in tow, and you’re less likely to meet a long line at check-in.
Once on-board younger children can be difficult to settle due to over stimulation. Always bring something that will help keep your child occupied and hopefully quiet. A good tip is get each child something new for the trip. Once on-board you can surprise them with their new item, which often has a better effect at distracting them than something they’re familiar with. Some good options are coloring books, puzzle books, Nintendo Gameboys, and small, non-noisy toys.
During Your Vacation
If you child is old enough a fun trip long activity you can suggest for them is keeping a travel journal. They can write down or draw all their thoughts and observations along the way. This can include picking out postcards and having them write a message on it. These make for great keepsakes they can look back on when they are adults.
Don’t stress about packing every little thing into your trip with kids. Make your Jamaica villa stay much more slow placed. The kids will stay happier without constantly being taken off to another attraction or place.
Use plenty of sunscreen and have sunglasses and hats at hand. The sun is a lot stronger in Jamaica than your children may be used to. This can make them more susceptible to sunburn and irritated eyes. Hats will help keep their head cooler in the tropical sun. Lightweight clothes made with natural materials, such as cotton are the best for preventing skin irritations in the heat.
Before arriving have a good idea of different activities that you can do depending on the weather and your children’s moods. Kids love to help with this kind of thing, so let them make some decisions on what to do. During your family vacation give each child the chance to choose a day’s activity.
If your kids span both young and teenage years, or you’re traveling with another family with kids of mixed ages, it can be a good idea to sometimes split up. The older kids can get that extra freedom to do something more interesting to them, instead of always having to give way to younger family members.
Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding your Ocho Rios/Jamaica travel questions and/or any special requirements. We are just as excited as you are when it comes to Ochi, so send us your questions, inquiries or feedback whenever you’d like