The Best Travel Destinations for Any Kind of Traveler

Finding a travel destination may be the hardest step when planning a vacation. Whether it’s a solo trip, a friends’ trip, or a family trip, discover the top destinations for your ideal vacation experience.

This comprehensive list of travel destinations will cover various destinations based on how you want your vacation to look and what kind of traveler you are. Also, discover the must-see tourist destinations in each location.

 

What to Consider Before Deciding on a Vacation Destination

You should consider several important factors before deciding on your travel destination. Use these questions to help in your decision-making process:

  • How Much Time Do You Have? Are you able to travel for a week? A few days? A month? Make sure you figure out your timeline. This can help you decide how far you can travel and how many destinations you can visit.  

     

  • What Are Your Hobbies or Interests? Consider what you love to do on a vacation. Are you more of an adventure seeker or do you just want to relax by the beach? Do you like to surf, ski, or hike? Use these answers to help you narrow down what you want out of your vacation and what you will enjoy doing.

  • What Season Is It? Certain activities may only be available during certain times of the year. Factor in the season and weather of the destinations you want to visit. You might also opt for a warm weather destination if you’re in the depths of a bitter winter at home.

  • What’s Your Budget? Some destinations are more expensive to travel to than others. Estimate cost of meals and accommodations in your desired location. More popular tourist spots like Western European countries may stretch your budget if you’re don’t want to spend too much.

  • Who’s Going with You? Are you doing a solo trip or traveling with friends, family, or a partner? Take input from your fellow travelers before settling on a location.

 

What Kind of Traveler Are You?

Jump ahead to see destinations based on your desired vacation experience.

 

Traveling internationally for the first time? Read this 11-step guide to planning for international travel.

 

Best Beach Travel Destinations

 

Providenciales 

Beachgoers will love an island visit to Providenciales (referred to locally as Provo), an island in the Turks and Caicos.

 

What to Do

  • Grace Bay Beach is a popular beach near many of the island’s resorts, but Sapodilla Bay can be a quieter spot if you want to dig your toes in the sand and relax.

  • Take the Chalk Sound Drive for a scenic view that features water on both sides.

  • Stop by Turtle Cove for a day of shopping and eating at local Provo stores and restaurants.

 

Where to Stay: The Sands at Grace Bay

 

coast with blue water in indonesia

 

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is an island in Indonesia known for its volcanic mountains, beaches, and coral reefs.

 

What to Do

  • Explore the island’s luxury suburb of Seminyak for shopping and public beaches.

  • Venture to Mount Batur, an active volcano popular for climbing.

  • The Uluwatu Temple is another popular tourist spot. This ancient Hindu temple allows visitors a walk through history while showcasing stunning ocean views.

  • Don’t forget to visit Sanur while you are there. It is a small coastal town with an impressively long stretch of beaches.

 

Where to Stay: Nadini Jungle Resort and Spa

 

art deco buildings along the beach in miami beach florida

 

Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.

This beach island in southern Florida is a popular international destination known for its Art Deco architecture.

 

What to Do

  • Visit South Beach for a beach day in the sun.

  • Venture to Ocean Drive for the famous nightlife housed in many of the town’s Art Deco buildings.

  • Take a walk along Lincoln Road for shopping and dining.

  • Even venture out to South Point Park Pier for seafront outdoor recreation with walking trails, a kids’ playground and splash park, and fishing off the pier.

 

Where to Stay: The Villa Casa Casuarina at the Former Versace Mansion

 

Best Adventure Travel Destinations

 

turtle swimming through water in the galapagos islands

 

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

This group of 21 volcanic islands in Ecuador is known worldwide for its unique wildlife.

 

What to Do

  • Explore Northern Seymour Island, known for its bird and iguana wildlife.

  • Walk through the Charles Darwin Research Station to see a sizable collection of Galapagos flora.

  • You won’t want to miss Black Turtle Cove, an unspoiled area with extremely rare wildlife.

  • Have you ever seen a red-colored beach before? Rabida Island boasts beautiful red beaches unlike anywhere else.

 

Make sure you purchase travel medical insurance before leaving the country, especially if your primary health insurance doesn’t cover you abroad.

 

Where to Stay: Galapagos Morning Glory

 

pond in the middle of red rocks and trees in the australian outback

 

The Australian Outback

Most of Australia’s population resides on its coast, but the Australian Outback can be an exciting visit for curious adventurists. The Outback is the vast and remote interior of Australia with few settlements and a largely intact natural environment.

 

What to Do

  • Kakadu National Park features rock art created over 20,000 years ago by the world’s oldest living creatures.

  • Trek through the Flinders Ranges, a unique mountain range with a dramatic and beautiful landscape.

  • See more of Australia’s unique landscape at Wilpena Pound, a large, bowl-shaped mountain formation above the surrounding planes. (Take a scenic overhead flight from Wilpena Pound Resort located inside the Pound!)

 

Where to Stay: Bullo River Station

 

dusk view of los angeles california with palm trees and sky scrapers

 

California, U.S.

California is a Western U.S. state with terrain featuring cliff-lined beaches, redwood forests, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the Mojave Desert.

 

What to Do

  • Visit the Redwood National Park, home to the tallest trees in the world.

  • Venture through Yosemite National Park, famous for its giant sequoia trees and tunnel view. The vista of Bridalviel Fall is another breathtaking feature of this park, as well as the cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome.

  • Encounter 500 lava caves in California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park.

  • Outside of these magnificent parks, discover the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes – the highest beach dunes in Western U.S.

  • You might even consider taking the 17 Mile Drive, a scenic road offering a picturesque view of California that runs through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove.

 

Where to Stay: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

 

Where to Go for a Relaxing Holiday

 

grapes hanging from trees in a vineyard in napa valley

 

Napa Valley, California, U.S.

Napa Valley is the place to be in California for a peaceful and relaxing holiday.

 

What to Do

  • Take the Napa Valley Wine Train for a traveling restaurant experience in a vintage locomotive.

  • You can also opt for a Napa Valley Bike tour or a balloon ride for a scenic view of the wine country.

  • Make time to visit Castello di Amorosa, a winery housed in a 13th-century-inspired castle.

 

Where to Stay: Rancho Caymus Inn

 

canal hugged by buildings on either side in amsterdam the netherlands

 

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a go-to destination for a relaxing holiday. Amsterdam, its capital, is known for its elaborate canal system and unique, narrow houses sitting along its canals.

 

What to Do

  • Take a boat ride through the intricate canal system for an up-close view of the entire city.
     
  • Bike ride (the most popular way to travel in Amsterdam) through the Jordaan area for local eateries and galleries.

  • Keukenhof Park features Holland’s famous tulips for a stunning photo background or just beautiful scenery for a walk.

  • In the evening, you won’t want to miss an orchestral performance at the world-famous Royal Concertgebouw. Make sure to get your tickets early!   

 

Where to Stay: Ambassade Hotel

 

kayakers floating in clear water in the maldives

 

Maldives

The Maldives is a small island nation in South Asia with over 1,000 islands. Each resort in the nation typically has its own island for an isolated and peaceful getaway.

 

What to Do

  • Take a ride on a Dhoni (a traditional Maldivian form of transportation).

  • Eat lunch at a table in the shallow water, a popular feature in the Maldives.

  • The white beaches and striking blue water are a perfect place to relax in the sun or go for a swim.

  • Truly relax on your vacation with a soothing spa treatment at any of the many resorts located in the Maldives.

 

Where to Stay: Olhuveli Beach and Spa

 

Best Warm Travel Destinations for a Winter Vacation

 

rock formations in the water in cabo san lucas

 

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo is a resort city in Mexico known for its water-based activities and nightlife, as well as its warm weather all year long.

 

What to Do

  • Explore the barren desert vistas and beaches along the Sea of Cortex.

  • Venture into La Pamallia, a bustling street on the north side of town with shops and restaurants.

  • See the Arch of Cabo San Lucas, a famous arch-shaped rock formation just off the coast.

  • Enjoy the warm weather at many of the beaches along Cabo’s coast, where you can snorkel, whale watch, or relax on the sand.

 

Where to Stay: Cabo Villas Beach Resort and Spa

 

snorkeler swimming through the ocean in the canary islands

 

Canary Islands

This Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa is known for its black and white sand beaches and active volcano, Mt. Teide.

 

What to Do

  • Take an exciting cable car ride up Mount Teide.

  • Explore Timanfaya National Park, which features unique volcanic landscape with geysers and local eateries.

  • Spend the day at Siam Park, a Thai-themed adventure water park.

  • Enjoy the sun at Playa del Inglés, a lively beach with resorts and shopping.

 

Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

 

sailboats docked in key west florida

 

Key West, Florida, U.S.

Key West is an island city off the coast of Florida known for its coral reefs. It is also a popular cruise ship stop.

 

What to Do

  • Walk along Mallory Square, which features bustling shops and beautiful sunsets over the water.

  • Truman Little White House is also worth the stop. This house was the “winter White House” for U.S. President Harry Truman in the neighborhood of Old Town.

  • And of course, don’t forget about the stunning Florida beaches for some time in the sun, including Smathers Beach, Higgs Beach, and Rest Beach.

 

Where to Stay: Kimpton Lighthouse Hotel

 

Best Inexpensive Travel Destinations

 

arco de santa catalina in guatemala

 

Guatemala

Guatemala is a country in Central America that is home to volcanoes, rainforests, and ancient Mayan sites.

 

What to Do

  • Explore the ancient Mayan city of Tikal featuring impressive pyramids.

  • Venture into the Natural Monument Semuc Champey, a beautiful remote setting with stunning swimming holes.

  • The towering volcano of Pacaya peaks at 2,552 meters (about 8,373 feet) and features many popular hiking trails for the adventurist.

  • Guatemala’s Plaza de la Constitución is a notable town square in Guatemala City dating back to 1776.

  • Don’t forget to visit the Mercado Central before you leave. It is a popular market with food, crafts, and other shopping.

 

Where to Stay: Hotel Casa Santo Domingo

 

french quater in new orleans

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.

New Orleans is a city in Louisiana nicknamed the “Big Easy.” It’s known for its vibrant music scene, unique cuisine that merges French, African, and American cultures, and round-the-clock nightlife.

 

What to Do

  • Jackson Square is a historic park in the French Quarter where you can find artists, musicians, and various street performers.

  • Stop by Frenchmen Street in the 7th Ward too. It is home to some of the city’s most popular live music venues as well as restaurants, bars, coffee shops, record and book shops, and other local businesses.

  • Bourbon Street is another must-see location for adults visiting the city. It is a historic street in the heart of the French Quarter, famous for its many bars and strip clubs.

 

Where to Stay: Place d’Armes Hotel

 

lit bridge over water in the evening in st augustine florida

 

St. Augustine, Florida, U.S.

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the continental U.S. (founded in 1565). The city is home to many family-friendly activities as well as plenty of beaches.  

 

What to Do

  • Visit the Pirate and Treasure Museum to learn about the history of pirates and the colonial history in America.  

  • The city features 42 miles of beaches along the Atlantic Ocean for a much-needed beach day.  

  • Wander through the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park in St. Augustine. The park includes a working archeological dig site where you can learn about the city’s history or feed the many peacocks that roam the park.

 

Where to Stay: The Conch House Marina  

 

Best Family Travel Destinations

 

street with hotel and cafe in vietnam

 

Vietnam

This country in Southeast Asia is home to varying landscapes and cultures. Its food is loved around the world too.

 

What to Do

  • Kids will love to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam. This large maze of war-time tunnels and historic relics makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

  • Cát Bá Island is the largest island in the southeastern edge of Lan Ha Bay in Northern Vietnam. This tourist hot spot offers beautiful beaches for a family vacation.

  • Do your shopping at Ben Thanh Market, a popular market welcoming over 10,000 visitors per day with nearly 1,500 booths and more than 6,000 small businesses.

 

Where to Stay: Banyan Tree Lang Co

 

city street with pedestrians in dublin ireland

 

Ireland

Ireland is an island country that is part of Great Britain. It is known for its Irish hospitality and unique, rugged landscape.

 

What to Do

  • The Cliffs of Moher are a popular tourist destination featuring breathtaking views and historic nearby villages.

  • See more of Ireland’s beauty at Killarney National Park. It was the first national park in Ireland with forested mountains, valleys, lakes, and many recreational activities.

  • You can’t visit Ireland without seeing one of its famous castles. Blarney Castle and Gardens is a medieval castle and mansion that dates back to 1446.

 

Where to Stay: Inch House

 

walt disney world resort in orlando florida

 

Orlando, Florida, U.S.

Orlando is a city located in central Florida. It is one of the most visited cities in the world for its world-famous theme parks.

 

What to Do

  • Visit Walt Disney World Resort during your trip to Orlando. It covers nearly 25,000 acres and features four theme parks, two water parks, 27 themed resort hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and other entertainment venues.

  • Universal Studios is another world-famous park in Orlando. It includes theme parks, hotels, entertainment complexes, rides, shows, events, restaurants, and shopping.

 

Where to Stay: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

 

Best Spring Break Travel Destinations

 

river snaking through little florida in fort lauderdale

 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.

Fort Lauderdale is the must-visit beach destination for spring breakers. It’s well known for its beaches and boating canals and is a perfect destination for a break from the cold weather.

 

What to Do

  • Spend a day shopping on the East Las Olas Boulevard, a popular shopping district with boutiques and cafes.

  • Las Olas Beach is also a great beach hangout spot with many bars and restaurants.

  • Families can visit the Museum of Discovery and Science, which features science exhibits for all ages.

 

Where to Stay: Fortuna Hotel

 

white beaches along the water in cancun mexico

 

Cancún, Mexico

Cancún is a Mexican resort town known for beaches, reef snorkeling, and nightclubs. It’s the perfect destination for spring break.

 

What to Do

  • The Cancún Underwater Museum is a unique underwater sculpture museum for the adventurist at heart.

  • You can also visit Zcaret Park, a privately owned theme park and nature park that is a self-described ecotourism development.

  • Spend sun-filled days at Playa Norte, a popular beach in Cancún known for its clear blue water.

 

Where to Stay: Krystal Cancún

 

San José, Costa Rica

San José is the urban capital city in Costa Rica that sits in one of the most diverse provinces in the country.

 

What to Do

  • Learn about Costa Rican culture and history at the National Museum of Costa Rica.

  • Hike along the Arenal Volcano, an active volcano with hot springs.

  • You can’t miss La Sabana Metropolitan Park. This park covers 0.28 square miles of land and features green space, the Costa Rican Art Museum, and the national stadium (as well as several sports fields, running and skating tracks, a gymnasium, and a shooting range).

 

Where to Stay: Gran Hotel Costa Rica

 

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

 

city in taiwan at night

 

Taiwan

This island country sits in the western Pacific Ocean about 100 miles off the coast of China. Its parks boast beautiful mountains and beaches.

 

What to Do

  • Taroko National Park is the national park to visit. Explore Taroko Gorge, a beautiful shrine, and much more.

  • See Chinese art and artifacts at the National Palace Museum in Taiwan.

  • Visit National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, a famous memorial park with ponds and pristine gardens that show off Taiwan’s beauty.

  • Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei, features one of the tallest buildings in the world, the Taipei 101. This building offers an observation deck for panoramic views of the city.

 

Where to Stay: Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel

 

overhead view of town in Georgia

 

Georgia

Not to be confused with the state in the U.S. of the same name, this country sits at the intersection of Europe and Asia. The country has a unique and old cultural heritage and is famous for its hospitality and local cuisines.

 

What to Do

  • Explore the ancient cave monastery site of Vardzia in southern Georgia. It was excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain dating back to the 1180s.

  • Check out the Bridge of Peace, a modern pedestrian bridge illuminated with lights. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the capital city of Tbilisi.

  • The beautiful Batumi Botanical Garden is another must-see attraction. It is a 108-hectare (about 267 acres) area of land north of Batumi.

 

PRO TIP! When traveling to a destination where you don’t know the language, make sure you memorize at least a few basic phrases to help you get around. Also, research tips for traveling to a country without knowing the language.

 

Where to Stay: Crown Plaza Borjomi

 

pink cloud sitting above mountains near albuquerque

 

Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.

Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico and has a modern downtown that contrasts with Old Town Albuquerque.

 

What to Do

  • Stop by the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, operated by the Indian Pueblos of New Mexico. The center is dedicated to the preservation of the Pueblo Indian culture and history and features authentic history and artifacts of traditional Pueblo cultures, as well as their contemporary art.
     
  • Also see Albuquerque Biological Park, an environmental museum featuring four separate facilities: Albuquerque Aquarium, Albuquerque BioPark, Botanic Garden, and Rio Grande Zoo.
     
  • Make sure you take the Sandia Peak Tramway, an aerial tramway, across the Sandia Mountains. It is the longest aerial tram in the Americas.

 

Where to Stay: Casas de Suenos Old Town Historic Inn

 

Best Solo Travel Destinations

 

devils bridge in sedona arizona

 

Sedona, Arizona, U.S.

Sedona is a desert town in Arizona near Flagstaff. It’s surrounded by iconic red-rock, steep canyons, and pine forests and is known for its vibrant art community.

 

What to Do

  • Explore Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, an Arizona landmark featuring artisan shops and galleries, for some take-home treasures.

  • See a breathtaking panoramic view of Sedona and the landscapes from Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout.

  • Hike through Arizona’s unique landscape of red rock formations in the Sedona / Red Rock Country. You can’t visit Arizona without getting a picture of its beautiful red rock formations.

 

Where to Stay: Sun Cliff Casita at Red Rock Ranch

 

person looking at mount cook in new zealand

 

New Zealand

New Zealand is the place to be for an adventure-seeking solo traveler. It is the island country off the coast of Australia and is comprised of two main islands and a number of smaller islands.

 

What to Do

  • Explore Zealandia, a protected natural area in Wellington, home to many rare native birds, plants, and trees of New Zealand.

  • Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand, and it features an active volcano and various religious sites. The park is also home to the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, widely considered one of the best one-day hikes in the world.

  • Ski enthusiasts can visit Whakapapa, a ski resort in Mount Ruapehu in Manawatu-Wanganui.

 

Where to Stay: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

 

child walking into the waves in las cruces chile

 

Chile

Chile is a long, narrow country lining South America’s western edge. It features over 6,000 km (about 3,728 miles) of Pacific Ocean coastline as well as the Andes and Chilean Coast Range mountains.

 

What to Do

  • Visit Magdalena Island, a small island in the Strait of Magellan known for its penguin population.

  • See some incredible Petrohué Waterfalls in Pérex Rosales National Park. The falls are supported by basaltic lava stemming from the Osorno Volcano.

  • Ahu Tongariki is the site of famous stone statues (moais) and beautiful sunrise views. Visitors on the summer solstice can view all of the moai directly facing the sunset.

 

Where to Stay: Casa Bueras Boutique Hotel

 

Top LGBTQ+ Friendly Destinations

 

docked boats and colorful buildings along the water in copenhagen denmark

 

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital city of Denmark and sits on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager. Denmark was the first nation in the world to recognize registered same-sex partners in 1989.

 

What to Do

  • The Little Mermaid is one of Copenhagen’s most iconic landmarks. This bronze statue is displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie and has been a major tourist attraction since it was unveiled in 1913.

  • Tivoli Gardens is another must-see destination in Copenhagen. This 19th-century amusement park is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world.

  • Finish the night off with drinks at Centralhjørnet, Europe’s first openly gay bar – which is over 100 years old!

 

Where to Stay: Hotel D’Angleterre

 

toronto skyline by the water

 

Toronto, Canada

Toronto is a major Canadian city along Lake Ontario’s northwest shore and is home to the world-famous free-standing CN Tower stretching far above its metropolitan skyscrapers.

Canada is regarded as one of the most progressive nations in the Americas for the gay community and hosts a large annual Pride event.

 

What to Do

  • Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is a public aquarium located in downtown Toronto. This tourist destination houses many marine species as well as classes and events.

  • Check out the Toronto Islands while you’re there, too. This chain of 15 small islands south of the mainland offers beaches and other recreational activities.

  • You can also spend the day shopping at the CF Toronto Eaton Center, a long-standing multilevel shopping mall.

 

Where to Stay: Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel

 

hotel under the mountains in palm springs california

 

Palm Springs, California, U.S.

Palm Springs is a southern California city known for its hot springs and luxury hotels, golf courses, and spas. Its warm weather most of the year also drives up its tourism.

 

What to Do

  • Take a ride in the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a scenic canyon ride on rotating tram cars.

  • Adventurists can climb Mount San Jacinto for spectacular views.

  • Nothing beats a cruise down South Palm Canyon Drive for a classic Palm Springs feel. Also, stop for a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants on this street.

 

Where to Stay: Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel

 

Best Honeymoon Travel Destinations

 

overwater bungalows with sun shining through in bora bora

 

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

This French Polynesian island is surrounded by sand-fringe islets and a turquoise lagoon protected by coral reef.

 

What to Do

  • Explore the beautiful water and coral reefs with a scuba dive.

  • Take a hike or a Jeep tour through Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu.

  • Enjoy a relaxing sunset at Matira Beach, which offers clear, shallow water and nearby shops and restaurants.

  • For the true Bora Bora experience, book a room at a luxury resort where some guest bungalows are perched over the water on stilts.

 

Where to Stay: Four Seasons Resort

 

surfboards along the road in maui

 

Maui, Hawaii, U.S.

The island of Maui is a popular honeymoon destination and the second largest Hawaiian island. Its highest peak is the volcano of Haleakala, and the island features 30 miles of beaches for participating in water sports or relaxing.

 

What to Do

  • Hike through Haleakala National Park to see Haleakala Volcano and Pools of Ohe’o.

  • Venture out to Molokini, a crescent-shaped islet and a popular site for snorkeling.

  • Kaanapali Beach is a popular beachfront lined with popular resorts for honeymooners and other visitors.

  • Take a scenic drive on Hana Highway to experience the beautiful tropical rainforests on the island.

 

Where to Stay: Honua Kai Resort & Spa

 

bridge over water in paris france

 

Paris, France

This French capital is home to many world-famous monuments and is known for its café culture and designer boutiques. It is also the perfect spot for a romantic honeymoon.

 

What to Do

  • The Eiffel Tower is a must-see tourist attraction in the city. Admire its intricate architecture and take in panoramic views of the whole city.

  • The Louvre Museum is another world-famous attraction. This large museum is home to none other than the Mona Lisa and many other renowned paintings.

  • Couples can also visit Temple de l’Amour, or “Temple of Love,” a famous temple in the Chateau de Versailles.

  • A trip to France wouldn’t be complete without some wine tasting. Book a wine tasting experience for a relaxing afternoon tasting hand-picked wines.

 

Where to Stay: Hotel Pavillon de la Reine

 

Top Caribbean Travel Destinations

 

Puerto Rico

This U.S. territory is a beautiful Caribbean nation worth visiting for its mountains, waterfalls, and El Yungque tropical rainforest.

 

What to Do

  • Explore El Yungue National Forest for the Mount Britton trails and Taíon petroglyphs (prehistoric rock carvings).

  • Tour the Castillo de San Cristóbal in Puerto Rico. It is the largest Spanish fort building in the “New World.”

  • Visit Casa Blanca for more history exploration. It is a 1520s house originally built for Ponce de León.

  • The Calle del Cristo is another tourist attraction to see for a peak into modern Puerto Rican culture. Calle del Cristo is an art district with shopping, galleries, and restaurants.

 

Where to Stay: CasaBlanca Hotel

 

people lounging under umbrellas in aruba

 

Aruba

Aruba is an island and constituent country of The Netherlands in the southern Caribbean Sea. The island is known for its stunning beaches and desert landscape.

What to Do

  • Aruba’s Arikok National Park is home to the conchi pool as well as ancient Fontein cave paintings.

  • See a more modern look at Aruba’s history by taking a tour of the California Lighthouse. This was named after the S.S. California, a steamship that wrecked nearby before the lighthouse’s construction. Take in panoramic views of the island from the top of the lighthouse.

  • Take an underwater dive to see Antilla Shipwreck too. This underwater wreckage with marine life is the largest shipwreck dive in the Caribbean.

 

Where to Stay: Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort 

 

boats sitting in the water in the cayman islands

 

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are a British territory in the Western Caribbean Sea. Its largest island, Grand Cayman, is known for its beach resorts and various scuba diving and snorkeling sites.

 

What to Do

  • Take an underground cave tour in Cayman Crystal Cave or explore Cayman Turtle Center, a wildlife park in the Cayman Islands.

  • Starfish Point is a popular beach known for its starfish. Spend an afternoon relaxing in the sun or taking a swim.

  • The shopping hub for the Cayman Islands is Cayman Bay. It’s home to many restaurants and stores for a day of shopping.

 

Where to Stay: Grand Cayman Marriot Beach Resort

 

If you need more help planning your trip, see this list of top travel websites to help you prepare. Or check out our list of the best travel destinations for 2024!

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There are many “what to pack for family vacation checklists” and “family vacation packing list printable” checklists available online, but a toddler travel checklist will be more specific to your needs and help you prepare for almost every situation—both expected and unexpected. This list of the top recommended items for those traveling with a toddler will help you simplify your travel preparation, whether you’re traveling domestically in a car or plane or internationally. Toddler Packing List Toddlers have unique needs and requirements that can’t be ignored. Before planning a vacation with a toddler, you’ll need to know: Where are you going? Is your destination kid-friendly? How will you get there and how will you navigate your destination once you arrive? How long will you be traveling? What is the weather forecast? What activities do you have planned? How easily can you purchase necessary supplies? Note that the age of your toddler can influence what is considered necessary in your packing list. For instance, deciding what to pack for a 4-year-old on holiday could differ from what to pack for a 3-year-old on vacation, or what to pack when traveling with 1-year-old babies. Generally speaking, your toddler packing list should include enough clothing and other accessories for the trip, snacks and other foods, special items your toddler needs for the bath and bedtime, items for entertainment, diapers, travel gear, medications, and miscellaneous items. Your printable packing list for toddler travel may include: Standard outfits for different activities as well as lounging Dress clothing for special events PJs Socks Shoes (for the pool, for playing, for dressing up, and extra shoes for lounging or every day) Underwear Jacket and maybe a sweater Bathing suits Hats Soap Shampoo Toothbrush and toothpaste Sunscreen Hair accessories Brush/comb Baby wipes Diapers or pull-up diapers Medicine First aid kit Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes Car seat Stroller Sippy cups Pack and play Toddler’s favorite blanket or pillow Books Coloring books and crayons Snacks iPad or tablet Ziploc bags Toys Toddler headphones There are additional considerations for specific types of trips. If your family is going away to a cabin in the winter, your toddler will need specific clothing such as mittens, hats, earmuffs, ski suits, and more. It’s also important to make sure your toddler has all their required immunizations, and that you have copies of their medical records, passport (if necessary), and birth certificate. While this may seem like a lot to pack, it’s always best to be safe than sorry. Daily, toddlers go through different outfits, need multiple snacks of different varieties, and need to be entertained. It may take their own set of luggage to have everything you need, but that’s much better than wondering why you didn’t pack everything you needed. PRO TIP! Download your toddler’s favorite shows or movies to your tablet, phone, or computer before you leave home in case you don’t have access to Wi-Fi while traveling. (And don’t forget to charge your electronics!) Packing Overnight Bag for Toddler When deciding what to pack in an overnight bag for your toddler, think through your daily morning and nightly routines. This should give you a general idea of what essentials to pack and what you can get by without for only one night. Another good idea would be to look at your toddler vacation packing list and choose the items that you’ll likely need for a single night. An overnight bag shouldn’t be all about clothing, but should also include the items that will make your toddler comfortable from the time you reach your destination to the time you’re on your way back home. Snacks, entertainment, toys, items to soothe your toddler to sleep, and multiple items to wear are a must. If your toddler has a special stuffed animal that makes them feel better, it should be in the overnight bag. Even if you’re just going overnight, consider it a real trip. You may not have access to a washing machine to launder any soiled items, so being prepared for anything is the best recommendation. The slightest thing can make a toddler sick, so going through lots of outfits if they are having a bad day is not uncommon. Packing List for Beach Vacation With Toddler Everyone loves the sun and waves of the beach – toddlers do too! But creating a packing list for a beach vacation with baby and toddler in tow has its challenges. While a toddler packing list for beach fun isn’t that different from a standard packing list, it’s important to consider the additional items you might need to add to your packing list for a beach vacation with a toddler in order to accommodate the unique environment: Floaties Multiple swimsuits and a cover-up Sunscreen Beach hat Beach shoes Beach toys Beach umbrella Toddler cooler with juice, water, and snacks Extra pull-up diapers First aid kit Wipes Beach towel or blanket Beach bag, wagon, or stroller to carry it all Depending on how much beach time your family wants, you may also want to bring along a pack and play for nap time that will keep your toddler out of the sun. It goes without saying that there should be a variety of snacks and wipes to wipe your toddler down after playing in the sand. Traveling With a 1-Year-Old by Car If you’re traveling with a 1-year-old by car, being prepared is key. Consider a GPS app like Waze to figure out the best route to take and how long the trip by car will be so you can start planning activities and entertainment. PRO TIP! Is your arrival time flexible? Add your trip to the Waze app ahead of time and its “Planned Drives” feature will tell you the best time to leave based on traffic history and predictive analysis. You can even add bathroom and stretch breaks to your road trip and it will factor these into your total drive time. Car activities for 1-year-olds should be diverse and versatile enough to keep them occupied between naps. You can read them a book, take a magnetic board for drawing, and bring a tablet for them to watch shows. Also, have their music on hand for singing, and, of course, bring their toys. Once you’ve determined how to keep them occupied, refer to the packing list for a toddler road trip to determine what else you will need, like clothing, diapers, wipes, snacks, toiletries, a car seat, a stroller, a pack and play, and more. Is your 1-year-old teething? Keep a few ice packs on hand in a cooler for them to bite down on. Keep some drinks on hand, too (for them and you). Everything you need when traveling with a 1-year-old by car can quickly fill a suitcase or two, but keeping them from being irritated or getting an upset stomach from so much driving can make all the difference. What to Pack When Traveling With a Toddler on a Plane Knowing what to pack when traveling with a toddler on a plane can be tricky, whether it’s domestic travel or international travel. Use this airplane packing list for toddler travel to help you: Extra change of clothes or two Diapers or pull-up diapers Baby wipes Child restraint system (more on this below) Medicine for tummy aches and earaches First aid kit Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes Snacks and water Sippy cups Books, coloring books, and crayons iPad or tablet and headphones Neck pillow and small blanket Sleep masks and ear plugs Passport or copy of birth certificate (may be required to prove your child is under 2 years old if they are flying for free on your lap) If you are traveling internationally, you will need other important documents as well, which could include: Passport and/or visa Any required COVID-19-related documents, such as vaccine cards, COVID-19 test results, proof of travel health insurance, completed health forms, etc. If traveling alone with your toddler, a notarized letter from your child’s other parent giving you permission to take them out of the country Can a Child Have a Carry-On? Yes! Airlines understand packing for a toddler can be a chore. They need their own things, their own space, and have their own minds. Make sure you bring snacks, sips, toys, games, a tablet for movies, extra wipes, diapers, and their car seat. You may also need to bring a face mask for your child depending on how old they are. Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out to the flight attendants for assistance. They can heat up a bottle or provide napkins for spills and help make things a little easier for you. Tips for Traveling With a Small Child on a Plane Traveling with a 1-year-old by plane is difficult enough, but traveling with an older toddler has its own set of challenges. Here are some tips to note when traveling with your toddler by plane: Book an aisle seat. Your toddler will want to get out and roam when they can. An aisle seat can be a lifesaver for you. Don’t board the plane first. You don’t want to try and calm a cranky toddler after they’ve waited for everyone else to board. Use a child restraint system (CRS) to keep your child safe. If you bring your car seat as a carry-on item, it may be able to double as your CRS. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, this is the safest place for a child on an airplane. “Your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence,” the administration notes. Make sure your CRS is both government and airplane approved, as not all car seats are approved for airplane use. Look for text printed on your car seat that reads “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.” You can learn how to install a CRS on an airplane here. If you’re traveling to a new time zone, be prepared to fight jet lag. Slowly begin shifting your children’s sleeping and eating schedules to coincide with those in your destination. Begin at least four days before departure. Book an overnight flight, if possible. Or pack sleep masks, ear plugs, or noise-canceling headphones for a daytime flight. Also fight the dehydration that can exacerbate jet lag symptoms by encouraging your children to drink lots of water aboard the flight. You can learn more about combating jet lag here. Be prepared to fight ear pain. Ear pain on airplanes is brought on by rapidly changing air pressure. Unfortunately, kids frequently experience this discomfort upon takeoff and descent. KidsHealth recommends providing a child-safe pain reliever to your children 30-60 minutes before takeoff to help ease the pain. Encourage them to swallow, yawn, or chew gum or chewy candy to help their ears adjust. Nursing or sucking on a bottle can help infants. Disinfect everything. Infectious bacteria can linger in environments like airplanes, where groups of people are crowded together in a tight space. Use disinfecting wipes to wipe down seat-back pockets, tray tables, armrests, and seatbelt buckles and clean tray tables before allowing kids to eat off of them. Bring 2 extra outfits on the plane with you in case of vomiting or accidents. You’ll be thankful you did. Make sure all your devices are on full charge. Some airlines don’t have charging outlets on the plane. You can also bring a portable charger to recharge your devices anywhere. Become friends with the flight attendants. They can assist you in ways you’ve never imagined. For more tips on flying with a toddler, read “Tips for Flying With Kids.” Traveling Internationally With a Toddler Traveling with a 1-year-old internationally has its own set of challenges. In addition to packing everything you need for travel (see the “what to pack when traveling with a toddler on a plane” checklist above), you’ll need to organize all the paperwork required to enter and exit the visiting country and return to your home country. Documents Required for International Travel Start early – apply for your child’s passport or visa, leaving enough time for the paperwork to be processed and returned. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can see current passport processing times here. If you’re traveling alone, you may also be required to have a notarized letter from your child’s other parent giving you permission to take them out of the country. Additional Documentation Related to COVID-19 Traveling with a toddler on a plane during COVID can mean additional documentation and restrictions. Your destination country—and return to your home country—may require vaccines, COVID-19 testing prior to travel, travel health insurance, health forms that must be completed, and more. Travel restrictions are frequently changing, so be sure to view your destination’s requirements prior to booking and prior to your departure. This interactive travel restrictions map from Kayak can assist you. PRO TIP! Visit your destination country’s consulate or embassy website to learn more about what your toddler may need to travel internationally. Also read “How to Safely Travel Abroad With Young Children” for advice from the top family bloggers. Consider Whether You Should Purchase Travel Insurance for Your International Trip You’ll also want to consider whether you need travel medical insurance or trip cancellation insurance for your trip abroad. Your regular health insurance may provide limited or no coverage once you leave your home country. Travel insurance can provide you with coverage for unexpected medical expenses (like injury or illness) as well as reimbursement for travel-related expenses (like a travel delay or lost checked luggage). Depending on the plan you choose, this insurance may include coverage for COVID-19-related expenses. Travel medical insurance can offer medical benefits with higher coverage limits than trip cancellation insurance. Travel medical insurance is known for being budget friendly—especially for travel outside the U.S. You can read about our Atlas Travel plan here. Trip cancellation insurance includes a Trip Cancellation benefit that can reimburse you for prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs if you cancel your trip for a reason that’s covered by the insurance. Our Atlas Journey plans even allow you to add a Trip Cancellation for Any Reason (CFAR) benefit if you purchase your plan within 21 days of your first trip payment. This benefit upgrade allows you to cancel your trip for a reason not already covered by your policy, like concern over an increasing number of COVID-19 infections in your destination. You can learn more about our Atlas Journey plans here. KHE2FFFYH6SP-971744701-1073 WorldTrips is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. WorldTrips’ Atlas Travel Series and StudentSecure international travel medical insurance products are underwritten by Lloyd's. WorldTrips has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency, Ltd. WorldTrips' Atlas Journey, Atlas Cruiser, and Atlas On-The-Go trip protection insurance products are underwritten by Tokio Marine HCC's U.S. Specialty Insurance Company (USSIC). USSIC is a Texas-domiciled insurance company operating on an admitted basis throughout the United States. Coverage is available to U.S. residents of the U.S. states and District of Columbia only. This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. Coverage may not be available in all states. In the State of California, operating as WorldTrips Insurance Services. California Non-Resident Producer License Number: 0G39705
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Ultimate Guide to Safe and Healthy Family Travel
There are three key considerations for most parents who are planning a family trip abroad: (a) keeping your family safe, (b) keeping them healthy, and (c) sticking to your budget. This Ultimate Guide to Safe and Healthy Family Travel compiles the best tips and resources from around the web – all in one place. Scan the “Jump Ahead” section below for an overview of the topics covered in the guide. Or click to skip ahead to a specific section. Happy reading! 1. How to Choose a Safe Family Destination As a parent of young kids, you’re constantly aware of the potential dangers all around you. But when you travel abroad with your children, you don’t want to be constantly on guard. You want to unwind, spend time with the ones you love, and soak up each unique experience. You can make this dream a reality by choosing the right destination for your family. Keep reading to discover how to create a list of top contenders. Then use the questions and resources below to assess their health and safety risks and determine the ideal vacation spot for you and your kids. Step #1: Make a List of Potential Destinations Write down all the international destinations you’ve always wanted to visit with your family. If you don’t have specific places in mind or you want to add to your list, explore the following safe travel resources: Resource #1: “Top 20 Safe Travel Destinations (And How to Travel Them as a Family)” This list highlights 20 of the safest travel destinations in the world, according to reports like the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report (2017). Resource #2: The Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Safe Cities Index” This report ranks 60 international cities according to “safety indicators” like digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security. According to the report, the five safest cities in 2017 were: Tokyo, Japan Singapore Osaka, Japan Toronto, Canada Melbourne, Australia Step #2: Assess the Potential Risks and Choose a Destination Use the following tips and resources to assess your health and safety risks and determine the safest travel destination for your family. As you evaluate potential destinations, be sure to ask the following health and safety questions: Questions to Ask About Your Destination Health Questions: Safety Questions: Is there a high risk of food poisoning or water contamination? Is there a travel advisory? Is there a high risk of malaria or other diseases? Have there been negative stories in the news lately? What is medical care like? Is there a reputation for pickpocketing, bag snatching, and other petty theft? How close is the nearest hospital or emergency health facility? Is there a reputation for violent crime? Does our domestic health plan cover us abroad? Is there a high risk of being scammed by a tour company, taxi driver, etc.? Will it be difficult to find a doctor who speaks English? Is there a high risk of a natural disaster? Did You Know? Your travel medical insurance can help you find high-quality, English-speaking medical providers! Tips and Resources Tip #1: Check Travel Advisories at Travel.State.Gov Head over to the “Travel Advisories” page at travel.state.gov. Scroll down and use the “Filter Travel Advisories” box to easily search for the countries on your list. When the country’s name pops up, click the link to view the country’s travel advisory page. This page will provide a detailed explanation of travel advisories for levels 2, 3, or 4. Travel advisory levels are as follows: Exercise Normal Precautions Exercise Increased Caution – Heightened risks to safety and security Reconsider Travel – Serious risks to safety and security Do Not Travel – Life-threatening risks NOTE: Some travel medical insurance benefits may not apply if your destination country is under a level 3 or higher travel advisory on the start date of your trip, or if your destination country has been under a level 3 or higher advisory in the 60 days prior to your trip. PRO TIP: Join the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided to U.S. citizens by the U.S. Department of State. It allows you to enroll your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Benefits include: The U.S. Embassy will provide you with important, real-time updates about the safety conditions in your destination country The U.S. Embassy will contact you in case a natural disaster occurs, or civil unrest breaks out in your destination country Friends and family can easily contact you in an emergency Tip #2: Visit the “Country Information” Pages at Travel.State.Gov The first search bar you’ll see on the “Travel Advisories” page at travel.state.gov is labeled “Learn About Your Destination.” Enter the name of a country you’d like to explore. Then click the search icon. This will take you to a country profile page. At the top of that screen, note the travel advisory level, the reason for the advisory, and the issue date. Click the “Read More” link to see additional information. Review any recent Embassy alerts directly below the travel advisory section. Scroll down to the tabs below the “Quick Facts” section. The “Health” tab is one of the best resources available for general health information on a specific country. It provides information on a country’s water quality, the standard of care in local health facilities, and prevalent diseases. Also read through the information in the “Safety and Security” and “Local Laws & Special Circumstances” tabs. Program the local emergency phone numbers from the “Safety and Security” tab into your phone for easy access. Bookmark the “Country Information” pages of any destinations you’re still interested in visiting so you can easily return to them later. Tip #3: Use Google to Find Recent News Reports Do a quick Google search for the phrase “Is it safe to travel in [destination + year]?” This query will turn up relevant news reports on recent crime and health hazards in your potential destination. Be sure to check the date on any articles you read – only those from the past few months will still be relevant. Tip #4: Check Out the World Health Organization (WHO) Website Select a potential destination country from the alphabetized list to view its country profile. You’ll find relevant statistics, news stories, and information about diseases pertinent to that country. Tip #5: Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website On the CDC’s “Destinations” page, use the drop-down menu under “for travelers” to select a potential destination. Check the “traveling with children” box and any others relevant to your trip. Then hit “go.” You’ll then land on the “Travelers’ Health” page for the country, complete with travel health notices, vaccine and medical information, tips for staying safe and healthy, and even a healthy travel packing list. For an overview of the healthcare system in some of the most popular international destinations for families, see “What to Expect from Healthcare Abroad.” Tip #6: Visit Travel Forums for Tips and Advice Travel forums allow you to post questions and get feedback from travelers and locals. If you don’t have a specific question in mind, search for the phrase “safety + [destination]” to find already-existing threads on the topic. Here are a few of our favorite travel forums: Lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/welcome Tripadvisor.com/forumhome Reddit.com/r/travel Ricksteves.com/travel-forum Tip #7: Explore Expat Websites for Additional Information An expatriate (expat) is a person who has moved abroad from their native country but maintains citizenship in their native country. Expat websites are a great source of information because they strive to provide everything an individual needs to know to live and work abroad. InterNations.org offers information for 52 countries and 419 cities respectively. Not Sure How to Choose Safe Accommodations Once You've Picked a Destination? Follow these tips for booking safe accommodations for your family vacation abroad: 1. Check User Reviews Before you book your accommodations, make sure your resort, hotel, or other lodging has positive reviews from previous customers. TripAdvisor is one of the most popular review sites. It allows users to review accommodations, restaurants, and activities. Another site to check out is Oyster, which sends its own “special investigators” to hotels across the world to inspect them in person and review them for vacation goers. The site currently offers ratings for 42,000 hotels in 76 countries. PRO TIP: Visit reviewers’ profiles to make sure they’re legit and have reviewed multiple places. 2. Check Out Street Views You can also type the address of potential accommodations into a site like instantstreetview.com to get a – you guessed it – instant street view of your potential host address! This can help you determine whether the surrounding areas look safe enough to ease your mind for family travel. 2. How to Get the Best Value From a Family Trip Family vacations aren’t cheap. In fact, Resonance Consultancy’s 2018 Future of U.S. Millennial Travel report found that the average vacation costs $4,580 for a family of four – and that’s just in the USA. Luckily, there are strategies you can take to squeeze the most value out of your international family trip. Here are 12 tips for finding the best deals on flights, accommodations, activities, and food as you travel abroad with your youngsters. Tips for Getting the Best Value on Flights 1. Travel in the Off-Season or Shoulder Season Travel tends to peak in spring, summer, and around the holidays. Unfortunately, prices tend to peak at these times as well. Travel in the off-season to secure the best deals on flights, lodging, and activities. However, be prepared for the possibility of inclement weather. Also, consider whether your off-season vacation means pulling your children out of school. Another option is traveling in the shoulder season, which typically means decent weather and still-affordable travel. The shoulder season is the season between peak and off-peak. For example, Italy’s peak season is mid-June through August, and its off-season is November through March. So its shoulder seasons are April through mid-June and September through October. You can also check out this chart highlighting the cheapest and most expensive months to travel to different regions around the world, according to a 2018 study of over 1,000,000 international trips by CheapAir.com. When to Travel the World for the Cheapest Airfare DESTINATION CHEAPEST MONTH TO TRAVEL MOST EXPENSIVE MONTH TO TRAVEL ASIA November June AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST February July CARIBBEAN January December CENTRAL AMERICA & MEXICO September December EUROPE March July SOUTH AMERICA February December SOUTH PACIFIC May December 2. Fly During Less Popular Times Choose a midweek departure (Tuesday – Thursday) or snag super early or late departure and arrival times for the cheapest ticket prices. If you’re worried about making a flight at the crack of dawn with your children, consider booking a room at an affordable nearby Airbnb. You can also use sites and apps like Skyscanner, Momondo, Vayama, and Hopper to find the cheapest rates. 3. Purchase Airline Tickets on a Monday Purchase international airline tickets on Mondays and domestic airline tickets on Thursdays. That’s when flights are cheapest, according to 2017 research from airfare forecasting company Hopper. In fact, Hopper found that booking an international flight on a Monday as opposed to a Tuesday resulted in average savings of $30 a ticket. If you can’t book on a Monday, the next best day to book an international flight is Thursday – followed by Wednesday. Avoid booking on a Sunday, when both domestic and international flights are most expensive. 4. Book Your Flights in Advance A recent study from CheapAir.com reviewed over 1,000,000 international trips taken by U.S. travelers in 2017 to identify the exact number of days prior to a trip when international airfare is cheapest. The site also uncovered the prime window of time when you’re most likely to see the lowest airfares. Here are the results: Best Time to Purchase International Airline Tickets for the Cheapest Rates DESTINATION PRIME WINDOW FOR PURCHASING TICKETS BEST DAY TO PURCHASE TICKETS ASIA 40 days – 7 months before departure 120 days before departure AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST 96 days – 9½ months before departure 199 days before departure CARIBBEAN 30 days – 11 months before departure 207 days before departure CENTRAL AMERICA & MEXICO 14 days – 6 months before departure 70 days before departure EUROPE 45 days – 8 months before departure 160 days before departure SOUTH AMERICA 35 days – 11 months before departure 110 days before departure SOUTH PACIFIC 54 days – 8 months before departure 197 days before departure 5. Get a Credit Card That Rewards Travel Travel credit cards allow you to rack up points you can redeem for free flights and hotel stays. Many travel credit cards also offer huge bonuses to cardholders who meet a minimum spending requirement within the first three months. For example, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card entitles individuals who make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days to receive a bonus plane ticket (for just the cost of taxes and fees) when they purchase an airline ticket. According to Nerd Wallet, these are the best airline credit cards of 2018. 6. Sign Up for Frequent Flyer Programs These are loyalty programs offered by individual airlines that allow you to rack up “miles” based on how far you fly or how much you spend. You can redeem these miles for free flights. Many also offer perks such as priority check-in, flight upgrades, and luggage fee waivers. But you and your spouse don’t have to be the only ones accumulating miles and perks. You can sign your kids up for frequent flyer accounts and let them take advantage of the rewards, too! See a roundup of the best airline elite status programs here. Tips for Getting the Best Value on Accommodations 7. Rent a House Instead of Booking a Hotel With the rise of vacation-rental services like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO, booking an entire house, condo, or cabin for your family trip has never been easier. Not only do home rentals typically provide a lot more bang for your buck than a standard hotel room, but they also provide a lot more space. According to vacation-rental site VRBO, the average vacation rental is 1,850 square feet. This is significantly more space than the average hotel room, which measures only 325 square feet. This extra space can be great for separating bickering siblings or accommodating a loud snorer. Plus, you’ll likely have access to a kitchen where you can save money by cooking some meals yourself. And you can recycle outfits if you have access to a washing machine. This could mean packing fewer items – and saving on checked luggage fees (that’s what we call a “twofer!”). How to Get the Best Value from a Hotel If home rentals aren't your thing, these tips will help you get the best value out of your hotel stay: 1. Use TripAdvisor and Hotels.com to find hotels that offer freebies like Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfasts. 2. Choose a hotel that’s slightly off the beaten path, as hotels in the heart of the city are bound to be more expensive. But be sure to check out your transportation options and make sure the lower price is worth it. 3. Contact the hotel to ask if they offer any discounts or specials for booking directly. And be sure to ask about the cancellation policy! 4. Enroll in hotel loyalty programs to unlock secret prices and take advantage of perks, such as room upgrades and free breakfasts. 5. Sign up for a hotel credit card that accumulates rewards points each time you use it – with extra points when you use it to book hotels or flights. Then, redeem your points for free stays! 8. Check Out Deals Online Groupon.com/getaways offers packaged deals on vacations around the world. You can browse deals by destination or by interest, with categories like “all-inclusive,” “beach,” or “outdoor and adventure.” Check out Groupon’s “Family Fun” deals here. HolidayGuru is another great site offering discounted trips and vacation packages. The team behind HolidayGuru checks websites like LivingSocial, Click&Go, and Hotels.com to provide visitors the very best deals. Check out the site’s “Family Holiday Deals” listing here. Tips for Getting the Best Value on Activities 9. Get Tickets for Attractions Online Child-friendly attractions like zoos, theme parks, and aquariums frequently offer discounted tickets in advance online. And if you purchase ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about your kids getting restless as you wait in line. And let’s be honest, that’s a pretty big win, right? 10. Seek Out City Passes See if your destination offers a city pass, which may provide free or discounted access to local sites, attractions, and public transportation. The Roma Pass, for example, provides tourists to Rome with free admission to a museum of their choice, discounts on events and exhibits, and free use of public transit for 48 hours. It costs just 28 EUR per person (about 33 USD)! 11. Search for Free Entertainment One approach to discover upcoming free entertainment is to contact the local visitors’ bureau and ask! Also visit the websites of local parks and libraries, which likely provide a community calendar of cheap or free events, like an outdoor concert series. If you want to hear live music, look for restaurants that schedule performers with no cover charge. Finally, check local colleges and universities for a list of upcoming guest performers. Still struggling with your budget? Here are the best tips on budgeting for a family vacation! Tips for Getting the Best Value on Food 12. Skip the Tourist Traps Restaurants are bound to be pricier near tourist attractions. You’ll often find restaurants a couple of blocks away that serve more authentic fare at even better prices. But you don’t have to wander around aimlessly searching for hidden restaurants – strike up a conversation with the locals! They’ll be able to give you the inside scoop on the best food at the best prices. Sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are also great for finding restaurants on a budget. 13. Prepare Food Yourself If you have access to a kitchen where you’re staying, eat some of your meals in! Hit up the local grocery stores to find fresh, low-cost food to prepare for your family. Just because you prepare your meals at your accommodations doesn’t mean you have to stay there and eat it. Pack up a picnic and take it to the local square or a nearby park for a fun dining experience both you and the kids will enjoy. See more tips for saving money on food while traveling with your family. 3. How to Build a Personalized Travel Itinerary It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of activities you want to tackle on your family vacation abroad. Use these 5 steps to organize your thoughts and create a travel itinerary personalized to you and your family. Step #1: Gather Your Most Important Trip Information Key trip information may include details of the following: Departing flight – Airport and airport map, airline, gate number, flight number, boarding date and time, departure time, seat number Arrival flight – Airport and airport map, arrival gate number, arrival time, checked bag pickup location, transportation location Accommodations – Hotel name (or the name of another lodging), address, contact information, and directions Car rental – Name, address, contact info, reservation details, and pick up instructions Reservations or purchased activities – Date, time, location, and tickets/confirmation for any activity reservations you’ve made ahead of time Store this information in multiple locations that are easy to access while traveling. Print it out. Store it in a notes app like Evernote or Google Keep. Email a copy to yourself. Store it in a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive. You might even consider packing a USB drive with a copy stored there as well. Basically, store it everywhere you can so it’s accessible regardless of your situation. Step #2: Make a List of All the Experiences You Want to Have Evernote is a great app for creating and storing lists like this one. As you create your list, consider: Types of food you want to eat/specific restaurants you want to try Museums you want to visit Attractions you want to explore (theme parks, zoos, aquariums, etc.) Landmarks you want to see Events you want to attend Be sure to consult your family as you create your list – you don’t want to plan something that will bore your children to tears! PRO TIP: Make a separate list for each city you’ll be visiting. For larger cities, consider further splitting your list into districts. Best Resources for Exploring Activity Options TripAdvisor.com – Discover suggestions and reviews of restaurants and activities in your destination. GetYourGuide.com – Find and book attractions or see prices. RoughGuides.com/destinations – Get help deciding when to go and what to do – or see example itineraries! Shop.LonelyPlanet.com/Pages/Guide-Books – Buy a guidebook for your chosen destination. Around Me (App) – Search for nearby activities by category (movie theatres, restaurants, concerts, etc.). Step #3: Fill in the Details: As you research, make a note beside each activity indicating the following: The estimated amount of time you think it’ll take. While some excursions may take an hour or two, others may be an all-day adventure. The estimated cost of each activity. This way you can factor it into your budget – or swap it out for a more affordable activity later on. How much are tickets per person? Can you eat there? Do you think you’ll want to purchase souvenirs? Opening and closing hours. Seasonality. Make sure your desired experiences will be available during your trip dates. PRO TIP: Mark each of your “must-do” activities with an asterisk to ensure you include them in your itinerary. Step #4: Map Your Activities to Their Location Now you should pinpoint the location of each activity using an up-to-date map. This way you can order itinerary items in a way that makes the most sequential sense. Google My Maps is a great resource for this. It allows you to create a map for your trip and use pins to mark the locations of places you plan to visit. You can also: Create a separate “layer” for each day of your trip or for each city you will visit Edit pins to add important details Measure the distance between two locations Add directions and time estimates for traveling from one point to another via car, bicycle, or foot Because it’s a Google service, Google My Maps also pulls in relevant information for each location, such as its website, phone number, address, and even reviews. PRO TIP: Use one color or icon to distinguish your “must-do” activities. You may also choose to categorize locations with different icons and/or different colored pins (e.g. yellow fork & knife icon = restaurant). Use whatever system works best for you. Not familiar with Google My Maps? Follow the steps in this tutorial from RoamingTheAmericas.com to map your bucket list items to their location! Step #5: Create Your Itinerary Open Word, Excel, Google Docs, or the Evernote app. Then take the following steps to create your personalized travel itinerary: 1. Establish one column for each day of your trip, using the day and date as each column header. 2. Below each header, add the name of the city or district you will be visiting that day. 3. Start filling in the first column by listing your arrival airport and arrival time. 4. Begin adding activities to each column, starting with the sites and attractions you must visit on specific days or at specific times due to open hours or reservations. If you are required to be somewhere at a certain time, list the time first and in bold to make sure you don’t overlook it. 5. Add the relevant details you noted in Step #3 to each item, including time estimates, cost estimates, and opening and closing times. 6. Add the “must do” items (and their relevant details) that you marked with an asterisk in Step #3. 7. Add the rest of the items (and their relevant details) from your master list, placing them in the column that corresponds to their location. 8. In the final column, account for your travel back to the airport, your return flight departure and arrival times, and your travel from the airport to your home. Important! Be sure to reference your map frequently to ensure you list your stops in sequential order. Optional: 9. Factor in breakfast, lunch, and dinner – plus naps or breaks. 10. Include your means of transportation from one place to another and your estimated transportation time. 11. Add an “Alternate Activities” list for each city you will visit in case of transportation issues, inclement weather, or unexpected closings. Leave Room for Spontaneity Aside from activities that require you to be somewhere at a certain time, don’t stress about assigning specific time frames to the items on your itinerary. As long as you prioritize your “must-do” activities and note opening and closing times, you should be able to accomplish everything you want to on your family trip abroad. You may even consider leaving a couple of afternoons wide open in case you get behind schedule or find that you’re exhausted from all the excitement. Or fill this time with something spontaneous later on! Itinerary Tips for the Most Popular Types of Family Travel Activity & Adventure Expedition When planning for adventure travel, be mindful of your kids’ mental and physical limitations. You don’t want to plan a day full of activities that will leave them exhausted by noon. Before booking an excursion, check tour company cancellation policies in case the weather takes a turn for the worse, or you find that you’ve overscheduled your days. Add backup items to your itinerary in case the weather prohibits you from outdoor activities. Research highly-rated tour operators and read reviews of others’ experiences before booking. Beach Getaway If your kids aren’t in school yet, consider traveling in the shoulder season for your destination – the season between peak and off-peak seasons. The shoulder season typically means cheaper rates and more manageable crowds. Stay updated on your destination’s weather conditions by checking sites like Weather.com and the World Weather Information Service. Also, look for tour operators and hotels that offer hurricane policies and weather guarantees. Search the web for the current conditions of any beaches you plan to add to your itinerary. Pay special attention to current hazard ratings and safety alerts regarding potential dangers like strong currents or surges. Note whether the beaches you plan to visit are kid-friendly and whether they offer lifeguards, restrooms, and nearby food options. Camping Excursion Consider your kids’ previous camping experience. First-time campers may be better off visiting a campground in a state or national park that offers toilets and running water. Make sure the remoteness of your campsite and the activities on your itinerary are in line with your kids’ expectations. Some families like to spend all their time inside the campground. Others enjoy exploring nearby towns and attractions by day and sitting around a campfire by night. To avoid sold-out campgrounds, make reservations ahead of time. Many state and national parks begin accepting reservations for their campsites up to a year in advance. Cross-Cultural Exploration Consider purchasing a city pass. These passes often provide free or discounted admission to local sites and museums in addition to free use of public transportation. Purchase tickets for concerts and other attractions online. This will ensure the activities you add to your itinerary don’t sell out – and help you avoid standing in a long line with restless toddlers. Add museums and events to your itinerary that offer free admission to young children. Leave open space in your itinerary to explore hidden treasures that only the locals can suggest. 4. How to Prepare for Safe and Healthy Family Travel Abroad Before you take your family abroad, be sure to check the following items off your to-do list. These 11 steps will ensure your family’s preparedness when you encounter an emergency overseas. 1. Check Travel Advisories for Your Destination Visit travel.state.gov and use the search bar to find the page for your destination country. Then click the link and note the travel advisory level, the reason(s) for the advisory, and the issue date. The safety and security status of a country can change in an instant, so be sure to check back frequently. 2. Join the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) This free service from the U.S. Department of State allows U.S. citizens to “enroll” a trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to receive real-time alerts about the safety conditions of their destination country. STEP also allows the U.S. Embassy or family and friends to easily contact you in case of an emergency. 3. Schedule a Doctor’s Visit and Get the Required Vaccinations Go to the "Travelers' Health" page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to see the required and recommended vaccinations for travel to your destination country. Use the drop-down menu under the “For Travelers” heading to select your destination country. Then, check the “Traveling with Children” box and any other boxes that apply to your trip. Hit “Go” to see a list of required and suggested vaccines for your trip. Beside each vaccine listed, you’ll see green text that says “Traveling with Children.” This information will help you determine which vaccines are safe to administer to children and at what age. According to KidsHealth.org, frequently recommended vaccinations for children traveling internationally include: Meningitis Rabies Typhoid Yellow Fever Children may also have an increased risk of contracting malaria in countries where malaria is prevalent. If you’re traveling to a malaria risk area, ask your pediatrician about antimalarial drugs. Schedule an appointment with your doctor and pediatrician about 4-6 weeks before your departure to get your vaccinations and ensure everyone is healthy enough for international travel. This will allow enough time for most vaccines to become effective. Be aware, some vaccines have a long process involving multiple shots. For example, the full vaccination for Hepatitis A consists of two shots administered over six months. It’s best to look up vaccination information as soon as you determine a destination. Traveling Abroad with Your Baby? "Although all kids get the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months of age, any who will travel outside the United States before that should get the vaccine as early as six months of age.” – KidsHealth.org 4. Prepare Written Copies of Your Child’s Medical History While no one wants to think about the possibility of their child getting sick or injured on a family trip, these things do happen from time to time. In a moment where you’ll likely be under extreme stress, it’s best to be prepared. That’s why KidsHealth.org suggests preparing a written copy of your child’s medical history to carry with you on your trip. It can be as simple as a handwritten note card that you keep in your purse or wallet. Your child’s medical history should include: Your name and your child's name Your address and phone number Your child's blood type Previous immunizations Your pediatrician’s name, address, and office and emergency phone numbers A list of current health problems your child is facing A list of medicines your child takes, dosage, and the pharmacy's name and phone number A list of allergies to medications, food, insects, or animals A prescription for glasses or contact lenses The name, address, and phone number of an emergency contact back home 5. Prepare Prescription Medications Carla Blieden, PharmD, MPH of Travelwise Vaccination Services, recommends only taking the amount of medication needed for the number of days you will be away – plus a few days extra in case you experience a long layover or a change in your itinerary. If you’re taking a trip of a month or longer, or if you or your children will need an early refill of any of your prescription medications, “have your pharmacy call your insurance company for a vacation override for your billing cycle,” Blieden suggests. Carry all medications in the original container. If you can, make copies of your original prescriptions and bring them with you. 6. Get Family Travel Medical Insurance Family travel medical insurance is designed to cover you and your family for the unexpected medical expenses you might incur while traveling abroad. First, check your current health plan to determine whether it provides international coverage – even if your visa does not require health insurance. Many domestic health plans don’t offer this coverage. If your plan doesn’t cover you and your family after you’ve departed the U.S. – or if this coverage is very limited – then consider travel medical insurance for the length of your trip. Travel medical insurance is our business, so we know how important it is. But don’t just take our word for it! Important government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State strongly encourage travelers to purchase travel medical insurance for overseas adventures. These types of plans cover treatment for unexpected injuries and illnesses incurred abroad and provide emergency travel benefits like Emergency Medical Evacuation. According to the CDC, “the cost of evacuation can exceed $100,000.” Could you afford this cost without insurance? Learn how to choose the best travel medical insurance for your family. 7. Look Up the Nearest Hospitals and Know the Emergency Number Before you travel abroad, find the emergency phone number for your destination country in the sidebar of your destination’s “Country Information” page at travel.state.gov. If you’re headed to the Schengen Area, you can also find the information here. Write down the name, address, and phone number of local hospitals near your accommodations. On the “Country Information” page, click to expand the “Health” tab. Here you’ll find links to the websites of the local hospitals, which will provide their addresses and contact information. If you purchase travel medical insurance for your family trip abroad, you may also have access to an international provider search engine that allows you to locate doctors and hospitals in your destination country. Some plans can also refer you to adequate treatment facilities and help with prescription drug replacement via phone. 8. Pack a First Aid Kit It’s always a good idea to bring along a small first aid kit – especially when traveling with children, who are prone to minor bumps and scrapes. Trips with Tykes recommends infant pain relief medications, teething tablets, and diaper cream for babies and toddlers. For young children, you’ll want to pack your go-to children’s pain relief medications and children’s cough and cold medicine. You may also want to have some Pepto-Bismol on hand for cases of travelers’ diarrhea. While diarrhea is unfortunately common during travel, it is especially common for babies and young children, who can become easily dehydrated. As a side note, drink only bottled water and avoid non-cooked foods (especially salads) for a much better shot at avoiding traveler’s diarrhea altogether. 9. Research Local Laws and Customs To keep your family safe abroad, it’s important to make sure you understand and respect the local laws and customs. The “Local Laws and Special Circumstances” tab of your destination’s “Country Information” page is a great place to start researching local laws. A quick Google search of “etiquette and customs in [destination]” will also turn up important information about the local culture and how to effectively communicate with locals. 5. How to Keep Your Children Safe While Traveling Abroad It’s likely that one of your top concerns in traveling abroad with your children is how to keep them safe. The following tips will help you keep your kids safe in transit, while exploring your destination, and in your accommodations. It’s likely that one of your top concerns in traveling abroad with your children is how to keep them safe. The following tips will help you keep your kids safe in transit, while exploring your destination, and in your accommodations. In Transit In the Car Before you start your journey, check for potential hazards. Hazards include approaching storms or natural disasters, heavy traffic, and adverse road conditions. You can do this by utilizing apps that inform you of these types of hazards in real-time. For weather conditions, check out the Weather Channel app. To help you avoid traffic, crashes, and construction, download an international travel app like Waze Navigation & Live Traffic or Inrix. Keep in mind wi-fi and cellular reception may not be as prevalent in your destination country as it is in the United States. Plan ahead and check for these hazards when you have the opportunity. Have a plan in place for traveling with a car seat. While lugging around a bulky car seat is not ideal, it is important. When you rent a car seat abroad, you have no way of knowing whether the seat has been properly cared for or whether an accident has left it compromised. The rental company could also provide you a seat that defies the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics for your child’s age and size. Or the car rental company could run out of car seats entirely. According to USA Today, all U.S. airlines and most international airlines will allow you to bring a car on the plane for free – either as checked luggage or a carry-on item. Travel bloggers The Family Voyage urge you to bring your car seat as a carry-on so you can ensure its safety. They also recommend using your stroller as a trolley to easily transport the car seat through the airport. DID YOU KNOW? In 2015, Consumer Reports sent child passenger safety technicians to two major car rental companies. They found that most rental car seats were missing their owner’s manuals and many had missing parts. On the Plane Use a child restraint system (CRS) to keep your child safe. If you bring your car seat as a carry-on item, it may be able to double as your CRS. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, this is the safest place for a child on an airplane. “Your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence,” the administration notes. Make sure your CRS is both government and airplane approved, as not all car seats are approved for airplane use. Look for text printed on your car seat that reads “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.” Learn how to install a CRS on an airplane. On Public Transportation Establish a plan in case you and your child are separated on the metro system. You may direct your child to get off at the next stop and wait for you on the nearest bench. Or you may encourage him or her to get off at the next stop and find a metro employee at the closest ticket window. No matter your plan, make sure you both know what it is. You can do this by sporadically asking questions like: What will you do if you get on the train first and the doors close? What will you do if we are separated in the crowd? How will you recognize a metro employee? What Does Your Plan Look Like? "We had a plan for the Underground and metro in which we would enter and exit in this order: parent, child, child, parent. That way, if a child didn’t make it on or off, there would always be a parent with him or her.” – Carrick Buss, father and co-creator of family travel blog Along for the Trip As You Explore Your Destination During Activities Dress children in brightly-colored clothing that is easy to spot. Calgary’s Child Magazine recommends lemon yellow and lime green because they attract the eye. Snap a photo of your child before you venture out for the day. That way, if you get separated and seek help finding your child, you’ll have a recent photo of him or her in that day’s outfit. Talk to your kids about what to do if they get lost. At each attraction you visit, establish a “lost area” where you’ll meet in case you get separated. Make sure your kids know who to talk to in an emergency (a police officer, a hotel manager, etc.) – and who not to approach. DID YOU KNOW? A parental survey conducted by the Center to Prevent Lost Children revealed that 90% of families have lost a child in a public place at least once. Arm your children with your contact information. Include your name and phone number, the name of your hotel or lodging, and an alternate contact number. This could be a business card in their pocket or a hospital-style I.D. bracelet. Jessica Hentze, a contributor to The Survival Mom travel blog, suggests a lanyard with an attached I.D. holder. Teach your child to attract attention if grabbed by a stranger. Travel blog IHeartFamilyTravels recommends teaching your child to yell “This is not my parent! Help!” in these types of situations. That way, nearby individuals won’t mistake your child’s screaming for a run-of-the-mill temper tantrum. Take the proper safety precautions. Ensure your children wear the proper protective gear for each of your activities. If you go bike riding or horseback riding, for example, make sure your kids are properly fitted with a helmet. If you go boating, make sure your kids wear life vests. On a tour or excursion, make sure they follow the safety advice of the tour guide. Quiz them on the instructions to make sure they heard and understood the guidelines. Learn how travel medical insurance can be there for you if your child is injured abroad. In Water Take precautions to prevent drowning. Only swim in well-maintained, supervised areas. Keep your eyes on your children and stay within arm’s reach in the water. Use the proper safety devices for smaller children. Important! While the advice above may seem obvious, it’s important to know that drowning is quick and silent. In fact, it only takes two minutes of submersion for a child to lose consciousness and four to six minutes for a child to suffer irreversible brain damage. Martin Eichelberger, MD, of Children's National Medical Center, shares that "young kids rarely make a big splash, thrash around, or scream for help like you see on TV. They usually fall in head first and sink to the bottom like a rock." Beware of dry drowning. “Dry drowning occurs when, after being submerged in water, a person's vocal cords experience a spasm and close, making it difficult to breathe,” shares Dr. Mike Patrick of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. If your child is submerged in water, keep a close eye on him or her in the 24 hours after the submersion, notes Live Science. Watch for symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest pain, or difficulty breathing. If you witness any of these symptoms, don’t wait – get medical attention for your child right away. In Your Accommodations Beware of potential fire hazards. Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor for CBS News, shared the following hotel safety tips in a segment on CBS This Morning: Book a room on a lower floor in case of a fire. You’ll have a better chance of getting your children to safety, and firefighters will have a better chance of fighting the fire on lower levels. Make sure there is a hard-wired smoke detector in each room. If you’re above the third story, make sure there’s an automatic sprinkler system in each room as well. Before you unpack, make sure you have shared at least two fire escape routes with your children. You should find a map on the hotel room door highlighting the nearest exits. Child-proof your accommodations. Scan each room for sharp objects and potential choking hazards. Check the carpet, underneath the beds, and even in drawers and cabinets. Use duct tape to tie up cords, soften sharp corners, and tape off electrical outlets (from IHeartFamilyTravels.com). Use disinfectant wipes to clean bathroom surfaces, furniture, and the remote control. If you’re using a hotel crib, Parents.com recommends replacing the bedding and examining the slats to ensure none of them are missing, loose, or broken. See other safety tips for traveling with children – from the top 20 family travel bloggers themselves! Don’t open the door unless you can verify who’s on the other side – and instruct your children to do the same. If a visitor arrives at your door with an unexpected delivery or claiming to be from maintenance, call the front desk and verify that they are who they say they are. It’s better to be safe than sorry. NEVER leave your kids alone in the hotel room. The 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann is a painful reminder to never leave your young children alone on vacation. Even if you’re just down the street. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. While this is a rare occurrence, it’s still something to watch out for when staying in a vacation rental. If you can meet the rental manager in person, ask how the utilities work and whether the air conditioning and heating systems have been inspected recently. Don’t stay anywhere that doesn’t appear well-maintained or properly managed. You can also pack a portable carbon monoxide detector like this one. 6. How to Keep Your Children Healthy While Traveling Abroad From minor aches and pains to mosquito-borne diseases, there are a number of potential dangers you may encounter when traveling abroad. Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take to mitigate your risk and prepare for healthy travel with your family. In Transit On the Plane Be prepared to fight jet lag. This "temporary sleep disorder” caused when your circadian rhythms – which signal to your body when it’s time to be awake and when it’s time to be asleep – are synced to your original time zone, rather than to the new time zone you’ve entered. The extreme fatigue brought on by jet lag can result in gastrointestinal issues, to which travelers – and especially babies and young children – are already more susceptible. To help your family conquer jet lag, follow these tips: Book an overnight flight, if possible. Alternatively, pack sleep masks, ear plugs, or noise-canceling headphones for each of your children to help them sleep on a daytime flight. Slowly begin shifting your children’s sleeping and eating schedules to coincide with those in your destination. Begin at least four days before departure. Ensure your children drink plenty of bottled water throughout your flight. Dehydration can increase the severity of symptoms. Babies and young children become dehydrated more quickly than adults. Avoid the airport Starbucks and keep your kids away from beverages loaded with caffeine. Caffeine causes a drop in blood sugar which robs your body of its energy reserves. Be prepared to fight ear pain. Ear pain on airplanes is brought on by rapidly changing air pressure. Unfortunately, kids frequently experience this discomfort upon takeoff and descent. That’s why it’s helpful to keep a few coping strategies up your sleeve. KidsHealth recommends providing a child-safe pain reliever to your children 30-60 minutes before takeoff to help ease the pain. Encourage them to swallow, yawn, or chew gum to help their ears adjust. Nursing or sucking on a bottle can help infants. Disinfect everything. MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and E. coli are common in environments like airplanes, where groups of people are crowded together in a tight space. In 2014, Auburn University researchers found that MRSA can live on the seat-back pocket of an airplane for a week, while E. coli can survive on an airplane armrest for four days. Infection with MRSA can cause skin diseases and pneumonia, and E. coli can be especially dangerous to young kids. E. coli can lead to severe diarrhea and hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a disorder which is more frequently fatal in children under five years old. Thankfully, the following hygiene practices can lower your risk: Use disinfecting wipes to wipe down seat-back pockets, tray tables, armrests, seatbelt buckles Ensure your children wash their hands after using the airplane bathroom Don’t allow your kids to eat directly off tray tables As You Explore Your Destination During Mealtime Be careful what you eat. While you want your children to enjoy the culture and have the experience of trying new foods, it’s important to take steps to avoid contamination and food-borne illness. Especially in developing countries without proper health regulations. “I would advise parents who are traveling with young children for the first (or any) time not to let children eat anything they have not approved,” shares Kyle McCarthy of Family Travel Forum. Make sure it looks fresh and healthy, and that meat, poultry, eggs, and fish are thoroughly cooked. If you want to try the street food, only visit places frequented by locals. And in developing countries, FoodSafety.gov cautions you to avoid raw fruits and veggies and foods prepared by street vendors entirely. Want more advice from the top family travel bloggers? Check out this collection of the best tips and tricks for safe and healthy travel with children! Determine whether the water is safe to drink. Check the CDC’s “Health Information for Travelers” page for your destination country. Find the “Eat and Drink Safely” section below the “Stay Healthy and Safe” header. Click the “+” to expand the section and see recommendations for water consumption. If the tap water in your destination country is unsafe to drink, avoid ice and stick to bottled or filtered water only – even when brushing your teeth. “Train your children to practice this before they leave for the holiday,” shares YTravelBlog. Purchase a water bottle with a built-in filter and carry it with you. This will save money and ensure the safety of your water even if you don’t have access to bottled water. Also encourage your children to drink water continuously throughout the day. Children are at greater risk of dehydration, which can lead to stomach issues like diarrhea. Not sure whether the water in your destination is safe to drink? Review this “Traveller’s Guide to Tap Water” infographic from travel blogger Mapping Megan! During Activities Pack snacks that are high in fiber. Snacks can help your child avoid hunger-induced temper tantrums. And healthy snacks will help your child feel full longer – and avoid the hyperactivity and eventual crash that inevitably results from too much sugar. “When planning snacks, think fiber,” shares pediatrician Claire McCarthy, MD, of Boston Children’s Hospital. Raisins, whole grain crackers, and fruits and vegetables can help your child combat constipation, which often occurs as the result of trying new foods. Learn how to prevent the top 5 health risks to children traveling abroad! Take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Unfortunately, bites from parasite-infected mosquitos can cause malaria – the fourth biggest health risk to kids who travel abroad. Malaria typically results in fever, chills, and flu-like illness. It is especially dangerous for children, who are at increased risk of developing severe complications resulting in shock, seizures, coma, or even death. To learn whether your travel destination is a risk area for malaria, visit the CDC’s “Health Information for Travelers” page for your destination before your trip. Take the following precautions to prevent malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses: Take preventative, prescription medication before, during, and after your trip. Your doctor will help you decide which medicine is right for you. Sleep in air-conditioned rooms, screened rooms, or under bed nets. In risk areas, use mosquito netting over infant carriers. Ensure your children wear repellant that includes active ingredients like *DEET, picaridin, *oil of lemon eucalyptus, or PMD. In risk areas, ensure your children wear pants and long sleeves outdoors. *Important Note for Babies and Children Under 3 Years: Do not use repellents including oil of lemon eucalyptus on children under three years old. Only use repellents with a DEET concentration greater than 30% on children two years or older. Do not use DEET of any concentration on infants under two months old. Pay attention to your child’s sun exposure. According to KidsHealth.org, UV light is most intense: From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At high altitudes Near the equator Where light reflects off water and snow Have your children wear hats and sunglasses to combat sun exposure. Apply broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30+ to your child every two hours. Explore this “Food and Water Safety: What to Know Before You Go!” infographic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Carry a written copy of your child’s medical history in case of an emergency. Traveling overseas may mean exposing yourself and your kids to new environments, unfamiliar foods, and foreign bacteria. Since children's immune systems do not fully develop until they are around four or five years old, young children may also be more susceptible to diarrheal illnesses and diseases like malaria. That’s why you should keep a written copy of your child’s medical history in your pocket, wallet, or purse that includes the details found here. Don't know what to expect from healthcare abroad? Discover how healthcare works in 13 of the most popular international destinations for families. Carry your medical insurance ID card. Store a copy of your travel medical insurance ID card in your pocket or wallet (yes, you may need travel medical insurance, but don’t worry – it’s budget-friendly). This card will contain information like your name, the name and phone number of your insurance provider, your ID number, and your effective date of coverage. If you or your child needs emergency medical treatment, you will show this card to prove you have insurance coverage. DID YOU KNOW? Your domestic health plan may not cover you or your children outside your home country. To find out whether you have international coverage, review your plan details or contact your insurance company and ask. For emergency medical coverage, supplemental travel benefits, and travel assistance, consider purchasing travel medical insurance, as recommended by the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Explore More Family Travel Content from WorldTrips How to Choose a Family Travel Health Insurance Plan How to Safely Travel Abroad with Young Children (According to the Top 21 Family Travel Bloggers) Infographic: Stay Safe While Traveling with Young Kids How to Fly with Kids KHE2FFFYH6SP-971744701-700 WorldTrips is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. WorldTrips’ Atlas Travel Series and StudentSecure international travel medical insurance products are underwritten by Lloyd's. WorldTrips has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency, Ltd. WorldTrips' Atlas Journey, Atlas Cruiser, and Atlas On-The-Go trip protection insurance products are underwritten by Tokio Marine HCC's U.S. Specialty Insurance Company (USSIC). USSIC is a Texas-domiciled insurance company operating on an admitted basis throughout the United States. Coverage is available to U.S. residents of the U.S. states and District of Columbia only. This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. Coverage may not be available in all states. In the State of California, operating as WorldTrips Insurance Services. California Non-Resident Producer License Number: 0G39705
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Safe Travel Destinations For Families
Traveling with young children means watching as your kids are exposed to new cultures, new foods, and new activities. These trips early on will no doubt have a positive effect on the rest of their lives. Safety becomes the main concern when considering where to take your traveling tot. What are the safest travel destinations in the world? If a country is considered safe enough that you and your family can take normal travel precautions, are there things to do there with young kids? According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report (2017) and the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP) Global Peace Index (2018), these are the world’s safest countries. These rankings are supplemented by data from the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisories page and the “Crime and Criminal Justice” section of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) website to illustrate their suitability for tourists. To top it off, we’ve added helpful resources to each country listing that will provide you with international travel safety tips and ideas for family-friendly activities to keep your youngsters entertained. 1. FINLAND This Nordic country tops the “Safety and Security” index in the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, and ranks 15th in the IEP Global Peace Index. With bustling cities and vast countryside, you’ll only have to worry about how many experiences you can fit into a single trip! Your kids will definitely want to meet Santa Claus in the winter, but there are plenty of child-friendly activities to do in the summer as well. Crime Rates in Finland Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 - 28.40 Kidnapping: 2015 - 0.02 Theft: 2015 - 1,770.96 Robbery: 2015 - 28.16 Burglary: 2015 - 510.97 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety & Security in Finland 2. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Although most people envision unstable governments when they think of the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates ranks #2 for “Safety and Security” on the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. Heeding the U.S. Department of State’s cautions below, this destination promises a mix of architectural feats and rolling dunes guaranteed to amaze even the smallest of travelers. Resources For Families Traveling to the United Arab Emirates 15 Important Facts to Know Before Visiting the UAE…With Kids UAE With Kids: 2017 Guide Helen Maffini is the director of the blog Family Travel Scoop. She offers these words of wisdom about traveling in the United Arab Emirates: "UAE is a very safe country. Wear modest clothing – although the UAE is a modern country, it is a Muslim country, and you must wear modest clothing (meaning shoulders covered, knee-length skirts, etc.). Book tours and guides from reliable companies. Don’t go off with people on tours if you are not 100% sure they are regulated tour guides.” Crime Rates in the United Arab Emirates Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 - 3.49 Kidnapping: 2015 - 0.90 Theft: 2015 - 67.83 Robbery: 2015 - 9.02 Burglary: 2015 - 17.01 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in the United Arab Emirates In regard to terrorism, U.S. citizens in the United Arab Emirates should exercise a high level of security awareness, even though law enforcement units have effectively demonstrated the capacity to detect, deter, and prevent acts of terrorism. This concern is caused by the global threat of terrorism, including the possibility of terrorist attacks on U.S. citizens and U.S. interests in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula. Historical and current information suggests that ISIS, al-Qaida, and affiliated organizations continue to plan attacks on Western targets. Maintain a low profile, varying routes and times of travel, and treating unfamiliar mail and packages with caution. Know that the Iranian Coast Guard has frequently detained small, expatriate, recreational boaters in past years, due to a long-standing dispute concerning the jurisdiction of Abu Musa between the United Arab Emirates and Iran. Fishing or sailing in these waters may result in the seizure of vessels and detention of passengers and crew in Iran. U.S. citizens, and especially women, should take precautions against the possibility of verbal and physical harassment or sexual assault when walking alone, consuming alcohol, and riding in a taxi cab. 3. ICELAND It’s no surprise that Iceland is at the top of this list. In this country “Icelanders feel safe letting their children roam free,” so you can rest assured that Iceland is one of the safest travel destinations, as well as a great destination for your kids. What’s more, this island (which also ranks 1st on the Global Peace Index) is a nature lover's dream, with natural sights and experiences to go around. Resources for Families Traveling to Iceland A Family Guide to Iceland Tips for Families in Iceland Why Iceland is the Best Starter Destination for Families Crime Rates in Iceland Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 – 25.8 Kidnapping: no data Theft: 2015 – 1,223.95 Robbery: 2015 – 16.09 Burglary: 2015 – 43 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Iceland Eric, the co-founder of Iceland With Kids, knows a thing or two about safety in Iceland: "You’re responsible for your own safety while you’re in the beautiful Icelandic outdoors. Tourists from the United States may be used to any unsafe areas being physically inaccessible—blocked by a fence or other barricade. In Iceland, you may only get a warning sign; take that warning sign seriously! For example, consider the black sand beach Reynisfjara. There is a sign warning you about the "sneaker waves"—occasionally, one wave is dramatically more powerful than any recent wave. Those waves can knock you off your feet, or push you into the rocks behind. Make sure you stay well away from the water—much further than you would think necessary! Bring Lots of Cell Phones. Your kids may or may not have cell phones to use at home. But because Iceland is so safe, you may want to let your kids walk around by themselves. During a walking tour of Reykjavik, our tour guide mentioned how her 8-year-old loves spending time by himself in the city! And our kids loved the freedom to walk to the local hot dog stand and buy food with Icelandic cash. But you’ll want them to have their own cell phones. Bring an unlocked phone and buy an Icelandic SIM card. Or see if your carrier offers reasonable international plans. See more details here. Make Sure You Understand F Roads. F roads are mountain paths, only open in the summer, and only accessible to 4 wheel drive vehicles. Many tourists don’t venture onto F roads—there’s more than enough to see on the regular roads! But, Google Maps and most other mapping programs don’t know about F roads. Ask for a route to, say, Þórsmörk, and Google Maps will happily show you the way. But the roads it takes you on are closed most of the year, and impassible for almost all vehicles. Be sure to check the route before you go!" 4. OMAN Just like UAE, Oman is located on the Arabian Peninsula, which travelers often think of as unsafe given its neighboring countries (Yemen and Saudi Arabia). But, keeping in mind the U.S. Department of State’s notes on safety and security below, Oman is a family-friendly oasis on the Peninsula, with warm waters and sandy deserts that make for an adventure-filled family vacation. Resources for Families Traveling to Oman Why Oman is a Family-Friendly Destination Oman: Perfect for a Unique Family Holiday Oman for Families – Everything You Need to Know Crime Rates in Oman Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2008 – 78.54 Kidnapping: 2008 – 0.34 Theft: 2008 – 207.93 Robbery: 2008 – 9.61 Burglary: no data U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Oman While there have been no terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens in Oman, regionally, terrorists continue to target U.S. and Western interests in the Middle East and North Africa. According to the United States Maritime Administration, U.S. flag vessels in the Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Bab-el-Mandeb regions face an elevated risk of attacks by violent extremists. 5. HONG KONG According to the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, Hong Kong is the fifth safest country in the world. An international city generally popular with business travelers, Hong Kong has many kid-friendly attractions. With multiple amusement parks, including Hong Kong Disneyland, this Asian destination is sure to please both parents and kids. Resources for Families Traveling to Hong Kong 18 Best Things to Do in Hong Kong With Kids The 10 Best Family-Friendly Destinations in Asia The Good, Bad, and Ugly Sides to Hong Kong, for Visitors and Residents Alike Katie Dillon, the author of luxury travel blog La Jolla Mom, offers her advice for staying safe with kids in Hong Kong: "Hong Kong is a fantastic family vacation destination. The advice I have for staying safe in Hong Kong is similar to the advice I'd give families traveling to any big city. The sidewalks and crosswalks can be crowded, so it's especially important to keep kids from wandering too far ahead or behind. It also helps to forward-think transportation in Hong Kong. Car seats aren't required in taxis, so families may want to carry a small travel booster seat or opt for the MTR trains and walking to get around. I do also quite like temporary ID bracelets or tattoos that allow parents to mark contact information on the kids in case of separation. I also would put hotel information on there, too.” Crime Rates in Hong Kong Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2013 – 92.45 Kidnapping: 2013 – 0.01 Theft: 2013 – 441.07 Robbery: 2013 – 6.98 Burglary: 2013 – 49.87 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Hong Kong 6. SINGAPORE Widely recognized as a clean, safe country, Singapore is a great destination for a family vacation. Singapore offers a unique mix of “concrete jungle and real jungle” and plenty of kid-friendly activities, like educational tours, science centers, and zoos. Want an added bit of assurance? It’s ranked 8th on the Global Peace Index. Resources for Families Traveling to Singapore Singapore with Kids 8 Fun Things to Do in Singapore With Kids + Where to Eat and Sleep Visiting Singapore’s Tips on Travelling With Kids Crime Rates in Singapore Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 – 8.44 Kidnapping: no data Theft: 2015 – 265.98 Robbery: 2015 – 2.19 Burglary: 2015 – 4.46 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Singapore 7. NORWAY Another Nordic country at the top for “Safety and Security” in the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report and the Global Peace Index is Norway. Norwegian tourism is centered on the assumption that domestic tourists are traveling as families, making it that much more family-friendly for international visitors. With an abundance of beautiful Fjords and world-class museums, Norway is a perfect destination to expose your child to both nature and culture. Resources for Families Traveling to Norway Visit Norway: Safety First Visit Norway: Family Fun Crime Rates in Norway Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2014 – 46.17 Kidnapping: no data Theft: 2014 – 2,193.66 Robbery: 2014 – 20.65 Burglary: 2014 – 289.24 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Norway 8. SWITZERLAND Filled with gorgeous mountains and enchanting villages, Switzerland is one of the safest countries in Europe. It ranks in the top 10 for “Safety and Security,” according to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, and 12th on the Global Peace Index. Cheap train travel for kids and close proximity to popular European destinations makes Switzerland a perfect stop for families of all ages. Resources for Families Traveling to Switzerland Switzerland With Kids 9 Safety Tips for Travelers to Switzerland Crime Rates in Switzerland Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 – 7.42 Kidnapping: 2015 – 0.05 Theft: 2015 – 1,759.63 Robbery: 2015 – 51 Burglary: 2015 – 633.46 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Switzerland 9. RWANDA Rwanda is often associated with genocide and instability. However, in the 20+ years since the Rwandan genocide, it has become a much safer destination, according to the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. Travel and Leisure magazine highlights that, although Rwanda doesn’t have the lowest terrorism index or rate of homicide, police response is reliable, the business cost of terrorism is low, and so are the business costs of crime and violence. Paying attention to the U.S. Department of State’s notes below, this African destination is a place you shouldn’t feel the need to shy away from, and it provides kids with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like going on safari. Resources for Families Traveling to Rwanda Tips for Family Travel in Rwanda 5 Reasons We Are Visiting Rwanda With Kids Crime Rates in Rwanda Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2013 – 29.78 Kidnapping: 2013 – 0.19 Theft: no data Robbery: 2013 – 25.02 Burglary: 2012 – 21.86 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Rwanda Borders in Rwanda may close without notice. Travelers should beware of the following security conditions: Rwanda - Democratic Republic of Congo Border – Congolese armed forces and UN peacekeepers continue combat operations against rebel and militia groups in North and South Kivu provinces. Violence, rape, kidnapping, and pillaging targeting civilians sporadically occur. The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda operates in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, near the border. Volcanoes National Park/Nyungwe Forest – Armed groups operate on the Democratic Republic of Congo side of the park (Virunga). Exercise extreme caution, as the border may not be clearly marked. Additionally, you should obtain a permit from the Rwanda Office of Tourism and National Parks before entering. Avoid demonstrations and remain vigilant while traveling, especially outside of cities and along border areas. Most reported incidents of crime involve petty theft and residential and hotel room robberies. Avoid walking alone after dark, do not display cash and valuables, drive with the doors locked and windows closed, and always carry a copy of your passport and visa, with original documents in a secure location. 10. QATAR Rounding out the top 10 on the “Safety and Security” index in the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, Qatar is a Gulf nation that illustrates true Arabian hospitality. Acknowledging the U.S. Department of State’s safety suggestions below, this family-oriented country boasts a variety of cuisines, beaches, and adventures, making it an exhilarating destination for families of all ages. Resources for Families Traveling to Qatar 14 Best Things to See and Do in Qatar Ultimate Guide of What To Do With Kids in Qatar During Winter Crime Rates in Qatar Per 100,000 Population Assault: no data Kidnapping: no data Theft: no data Robbery: no data Burglary: no data U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Qatar Terrorist groups are very active in the Middle East and North Africa, and there is concern about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests in the region. Government officials in the region are concerned about the potential return of foreign fighters following ISIS’s territorial losses in Iraq, Syria, and Libya. ISIS, al-Qaida, and affiliated organizations reportedly continue to plan attacks within the region against Westerners. Practice personal security measures at all times. Monitor local media broadcasts and consular messages, vary travel routes and times when possible, and be aware of your surroundings and local events. You should avoid large crowds and demonstrations, labor or work camps, and venues and events frequented by Westerners. 11. PORTUGAL Ranked 11th for “Safety and Security” by the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report and 4th on the Global Peace Index, Portugal is one of the safest destinations, which makes it perfect for your next trip with the kids. Portugal has a range of sights and activities that will keep your kids entertained for days. Visit the Algarve for a bounty of beaches, zoos, and water parks, or Lisbon, which is home to castles that will inspire the imaginations of your traveling toddlers. Resources for Families Traveling to Portugal Portugal: A Safe Country to Travel With Kids 11 Things to Do in Lisbon With Kids Crime Rates in Portugal Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 – 4.53 Kidnapping: 2015 – 3.57 Theft: 2015 – 834.96 Robbery: 2015 – 149.49 Burglary: 2015 – 283.93 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Portugal 12. LUXEMBOURG The tiny country of Luxembourg is considered extremely safe, as well as child friendly (Luxembourg has hundreds of specially conceived play areas just for kids). The Last Grand Duchy in the world, this tiny European country offers close proximity to other top European destinations, as well as a diverse cultural experience. Kids can enjoy castles, museums, and an impressive amount of playgrounds. Resources for Families Traveling to Luxembourg Activities for Children in Luxembourg Crime Rates in Luxembourg Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2014 – 572.61 Kidnapping: 2014 – 9.34 Theft: 2014 – 1,843.24 Robbery: 2014 – 110.50 Burglary: 2014 – 784.80 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Luxembourg 13. NEW ZEALAND Coming in as the 13th safest country, according to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, New Zealand is a dream for families. With a second-place ranking on the Global Peace Index, a moderate climate, and far fewer critters that can bite and sting compared to its neighbor, Australia, New Zealand is perfect for young travelers. This country is ripe with wildlife parks and nature-focused activities that will certainly introduce your kids to the wonders of the natural world. Resources for Families Traveling to New Zealand 10 Reasons Why New Zealand Was The Best Holiday With Toddler in Tow Crime Rates in New Zealand Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2014 – 220.12 Kidnapping: 2014 –5.23 Theft: 2013 – 2,280.13 Robbery: 2014 – 44.85 Burglary: 2013 – 1,170.07 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in New Zealand 14. AUSTRIA This central European country is an ideal destination for safe international travel with kids. With its top-5 ranking on the Global Peace Index, pedestrian-friendly cities, and an abundance of kid-oriented activities, you’ll be singing Austria’s safety praises like the Von Trapp family in no time. Resources for Families Traveling to Austria Our Winter Vacation to Europe, Part 1 Vienna With Kids: 33 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Austria’s Capital Crime Rates in Austria Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 – 40.51 Kidnapping: 2015 – 0.04 Theft: 2015 – 1,630.94 Robbery: 2015 – 39.98 Burglary: 2015 – 748.58 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Austria 15. ESTONIA Far beyond its involvement as a Soviet Socialist Republic, Estonia is now a member of the European Union. The country also ranks 15th for “Safety and Security,” according to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. While this country’s unique history is a draw for older travelers, there are plenty of ways to keep your younger kids entertained on vacation to this Baltic State. Estonia is home to interactive museums, plenty of castles, and toddler-friendly beaches. Resources for Families Traveling to Estonia An Active Holiday With Children in Tallinn Crime Rates in Estonia Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 – 7.47 Kidnapping: 2015 – 0 Theft: 2015 – 865.03 Robbery: 2015 – 25.68 Burglary: no data U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Estonia 16. SWEDEN This Scandinavian country is known for being safe and especially kid-friendly. Just like its neighbor Norway, Sweden’s domestic travel industry is curated around children’s interests. Most museums in Sweden are free for kids under 18, and activities are generally designed with kids in mind, making it particularly easy to explore with young kids. Resources for Families Traveling to Sweden Family Sweden: Traveller’s Guide Crime Rates in Sweden Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 – 47.36 Kidnapping: no data Theft: 2015 – 3,815.46 Robbery: 2015 – 86.52 Burglary: 2015 – 920.90 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Sweden 17. SLOVENIA This Central European country ranks 17th for “Safety and Security” on the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report and 11th on the Global Peace Index. But its friendly locals and breadth of kid-friendly attractions are what make Slovenia a great family destination. The country is home to plenty of outdoor activities, interactive museums, and both beaches and mountains dying to be explored. Resources for Families Traveling to Slovenia Slovenia For Kids: Things to Do With Kids in Slovenia Sarah-Jane Begonja of Chasing the Donkey calls attention to some things to look out for while traveling in Slovenia: "Slovenia is as safe as houses for all kinds of travelers - all year round. That being said, traveling to any new place requires you to be conscious of a few things. One stand out about Slovenia is that it can get hectic in the old town of Ljubljana. Be wary of keeping your bags close by and your children in sight, as it’s a small place with many tourists, and it's easy to be pickpocketed by scrupulous thieves taking advantage of day-trippers. Other than that, enjoy all that Slovenia has to offer.” Crime Rates in Slovenia Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 – 74.49 Kidnapping: 2015 – 0.15 Theft: 2015 – 1,102.67 Robbery: 2015 – 11.22 Burglary: 2015 – 495.81 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Slovenia 18. SPAIN Spain has a high “Safety and Security” ranking and a top 30 placement on the Global Peace Index. This European country has easily-accessible transportation and food that will satisfy all ages. Plus, it is filled with family-friendly activities, like beautiful beaches and museums that regularly offer free admission to children under 5. Be warned – though this destination is generally family-friendly, dinner in Spain often takes place late at night. Make sure to give your little ones a nap during the day, and some snacks to tide them over until it’s time to eat. Resources for Families Traveling to Spain The Best and Worst of Barcelona With Kids Crime Rates in Spain Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 – 63 Kidnapping: 2015 – 0.20 Theft: 2015 – 446.10 Robbery: 2015 – 140.02 Burglary: 2015 – 428.06 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Spain 19. NETHERLANDS With a laidback family feel, the Netherlands is perfect for a family vacation. Ranking 19th for “Safety and Security” in the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report and 23rd on the Global Peace Index, the Netherlands offers kids of all ages a safe way to experience enchanting windmills, renowned museums, and a theme park specifically based on children’s fairytales. Resources for Families Traveling to the Netherlands Amsterdam for Families and Children 14 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Toddler to The Netherlands Crime Rates in the Netherlands Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2015 – 281.80 Kidnapping: 2015 – 2.45 Theft: 2015 – 3,214.78 Robbery: 2015 – 56.81 Burglary: 2015 – 1,347.92 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in the Netherlands 20. MOROCCO Rounding out our list of safe countries (and how to visit them as a family) is Morocco. Respecting the U.S. Department of State’s notes below, this northern African country prides itself on tolerance and openness, and children are always a welcome sight. Due to its combination of climates, Morocco offers unique experiences for families unlike any other country on this list, like walks through lush gardens, exciting camel treks, and relaxing afternoons on the Mediterranean coast. Resources for Families Traveling to Morocco Bring ‘Em or Leave ‘Em: Traveling With Kids in Morocco What You Need to Know Before Traveling to Morocco With Kids Crime Rates in Morocco Per 100,000 Population Assault: 2013 – 202.56 Kidnapping: 2013 – 2.91 Theft: 2013 – 322.32 Robbery: 2013 – 44.41 Burglary: 2013 – 26.49 U.S. Department of State Notes on Safety and Security in Morocco There is potential for terrorist violence against U.S. interests and citizens in Morocco. Moroccan authorities continue to disrupt groups seeking to attack U.S. or Western-affiliated and Moroccan government targets. It is important for U.S. citizens to be aware of their surroundings and adhere to security practices, such as avoiding predictable travel patterns and maintaining a low profile. Establishments identifiable with the United States are potential targets for attacks. All U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments. The issue of legal territory status and sovereignty in the Western Sahara remains unsolved. A cease-fire has been in effect between the Moroccan government and the POLISARIO Front since 1991 in the UN-administered area. However, there are thousands of unexploded mines in Western Sahara and in areas of Mauritania adjacent to the Western Saharan border. ADDITIONAL TIPS & RESOURCES To further enhance your feeling of security while traveling with your kids, consider enrolling in the U.S. Department of State’s S.T.E.P. program. This Safe Traveler Enrollment Program allows U.S. citizens to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in order to get important safety information regarding their destination. It also helps the Embassy or Consulate contact you in case of an emergency involving natural disaster, civil unrest, or your family members back home. For additional warnings on travel conditions for specific countries, you can also check out the U.S. Department of State’s travel advisories. The U.S. Department of State categorizes countries based on levels of precaution that should be taken when traveling to a certain country. Level 1 means you should exercise normal travel precautions, whereas Level 4 indicates you should not travel to that country at this time. The U.S. Department of State also encourages you to check your health insurance to determine whether you’re covered abroad. Explore More Family Travel Content from WorldTrips Travel Destinations for 2022 How to Budget for a Family Trip What to Expect from Healthcare Abroad How to Choose a Family Travel Health Insurance Plan Family Travel Health Insurance KHE2FFFYH6SP-152-1204 WorldTrips is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. WorldTrips’ Atlas Travel Series and StudentSecure international travel medical insurance products are underwritten by Lloyd's. WorldTrips has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency, Ltd. WorldTrips' Atlas Journey, Atlas Cruiser, and Atlas On-The-Go trip protection insurance products are underwritten by Tokio Marine HCC's U.S. Specialty Insurance Company (USSIC). USSIC is a Texas-domiciled insurance company operating on an admitted basis throughout the United States. Coverage is available to U.S. residents of the U.S. states and District of Columbia only. This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. Coverage may not be available in all states. In the State of California, operating as WorldTrips Insurance Services. California Non-Resident Producer License Number: 0G39705
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