How Does a Family Prepare to Travel the World? Top 8 Tips
Traveling the world sounds glamorous doesn’t it? Easy breezy, relaxing life, right?! Well, it is a lot of work and takes a lot of preparation and organization! We have spent hours and hours getting ready for our big adventure. There is so much to think about and so so much to do! Not so glamorous after all, eh? How does a family prepare to travel the world? Here are our top 8 tips on what has helped us be a little more prepared to conquer our trip!
Since we will be traveling to some third world countries, it was crucial for our family to get specific vaccinations to ensure our health & safety. We decided to visit a Travel Doctor to get the best advice and care. Our kids each got the Typhoid and flu vaccinations. Cody got the Typhoid, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Flu vaccinations. And I got the most of all! I got the Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, and Flu vaccinations. Our grand total of all of our vaccinations came to $1,060. It was a steep price and we all had sore arms (especially me!) but it was so worth it! You want to make sure that you are safe when you’re traveling.
We also feel that once you've done your homework and been vaccinated, don't stress about it. You've taken good precautions and aren't going to go and do anything unwise, so let that worry go and get excited about your trip!
Before traveling, make sure to check which countries require visas to enter or stay for a period of time. We discovered that for us Americans, Australia requires a visa if you are visiting. We were able to purchase them for each family member easily online for $15 eac. But if we had waited to purchase upon arrival, we would pay a steeper price.
We also learned that some countries won’t allow you to stay for longer than a certain time without charging a fee. Dominican Republic only allows you stay for 30 days before you start paying more. So, we had to make our plans around that time frame. It’s best to do your research beforehand so you don’t get blindsided by an extra cost.
Scan Important Paperwork
I don’t know about you, but we sure have a big collection of important paperwork! Instead of toting it all around the world, we made sure to scan all of the crucial documents that we need. It includes medical records, school records, birth certificates, passports, marriage license, etc. You never know when you’ll need proof of paperwork or if you end up losing something along the way. By scanning it all, you can have it at your fingertips from any electronic device in case of an emergency.
Purchase Plane Tickets
If you are a solo traveler, then this isn’t as necessary. But since we are a family of 6, it was best for us to purchase our plane tickets well in advance. We made a list of places that we definitely wanted to visit and then researched to see what was the cheapest way to get there. We found that it was cheaper to stop in one or more places along the way. For instance, to fly from New Zealand to Thailand, it was more cost effective to also visit Bali and Kuala Lumpur along the way. We got cheaper airfare and will get to see more places…win win!
We found the most success using google.com/flights. We always searched with one person and increase the number of tickets afterwards. You can include up to 5 departure and arrival destinations to broaden your options.
With 4 kids we aren’t as keen on flying by the seat of our pants, so we also secured our accommodations well in advance for peace of mind and to ensure availability. It can add up really quick when traveling with a large family! We have found that the most cost-effective way to stay in a country is to find homes through Airbnb.com. It allows us to have room for our family, save money on having a kitchen where we can make most of our meals, and do our own laundry.
If you can stay a week or even a month you can often get some bigger discounts.
It is so important to have insurance when traveling. So many things can go wrong and you want to make sure that you will be well taken care of. We have the amazing, and we mean amazing, Chase Sapphire credit card that provides many aspects of travel insurance when you purchase your travel using it. It has a $95 annual fee after your first year. But after a week's car rental insurance, you've already made that up. Chase Sapphire provides a lot of the benefits of a travel insurance. For instance:
It covers car insurance when we rent cars.
It covers trip cancellation or interruption.
It covers lost or stolen luggage.
It has no foreign transaction fees.
It provides travel & emergency assistance for legal & medical referrals.
(We love our Chase Sapphire so much that we'll dedicate a blogpost just for it soon.)
We’ve also purchased global health insurance with IMG. It has some really great benefits that make sense for us traveling for a longer period of time. For example, if we have an emergency that would be better treated in the US or other country, they’ll pay for that medical transfer. Or if we just need to go to the doctor for illness they’ll cover that as well. Our plan is $1500 for 6 months and includes adventure sport coverage. They have a number of different plans to fit a variety of needs.
Don’t Over Plan
As nice as it is to have order and everything planned out, it’s also a good idea to not over plan. We have planned the main puzzle pieces (flights, transportation, and accommodations) but we have left most of the details unplanned. This is mainly because we want to wait until we get to a country to see what the locals recommend doing. Sure, we’ve done our research and know the gist of what we want to see. But we’re open to seeing and doing and trying things as we go. Health, weather, environment, and other factors are bound to change so we want to keep an open mind.
*This post contains affiliate links. We may receive a small bit of compensation, but we truly believe in the companies that we have featured.