Getting Sick On Vacation With Little Ones (What I Pack + Tips)

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If you’re a parent planning a vacation with your little ones in tow, you’re probably imagining great weather, delicious food, and plenty of family fun. But, let’s be real for a minute – traveling with babies and toddlers can sometimes throw unexpected curveballs, like getting sick. 🤒

Don’t worry; I’ve been there, and I’ve got your back! In this blog post, I’ll share some tips on how to handle those unexpected sick days during your vacation and what essential items you should bring with you to make things a little easier.

I’m not a doctor. Always talk to your doctor when choosing medications for your little ones.

Packing List Ideas:

What you end up packing will depend greatly on where you are going! I also like to store a couple of common medications with me in my carry-on bags in case something happens while we are traveling (or worst case scenario our bags get lost) and then I’ll pack the rest of them in my checked bags. If we are going to a place that is within my country and close to shopping facilities, I’ll pack lighter. However, if I’m going somewhere more remote (like a houseboat on Lake Powell) or international, I’ll pack more depending on the age of my kiddos and what I’m expecting to encounter there.

I polled my Instagram audience and here were the most common answers to what parents are packing for their little ones when they travel! (Note- Do look at the labels to check on age recommendations).

1. Be Prepared, But Stay Flexible

Before diving into the essential items you should pack, let’s talk mindset. When traveling with little ones, flexibility is key. Your itinerary might need a little reshuffling if someone starts feeling under the weather. It’s all part of the adventure!

2. Stay Hydrated

Whether it’s the change in climate or an upset tummy, dehydration can sneak up on little ones fast. Pack reusable water bottles and make sure you’re encouraging your kids to drink regularly. I also bring hydration packets from home with me! These ones are easy to travel with and this company (Discount code- JESS10) provides very clean electrolytes. I’ve used both and have had great results!

3. Comfort Items from Home

Familiar comfort items can do wonders when your little one is feeling out of sorts. Don’t forget their favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or pacifier. These small touches from home can provide immense comfort during an unfamiliar situation, especially if they get sick.

4. Adjust Expectations

Remember that it’s okay to slow down and take things easy. Maybe skip that ambitious hiking trail or cultural tour and opt for some downtime at your accommodation instead. Sick days on vacation can sometimes lead to unexpected moments of bonding and relaxation.

5. Seek Local Help

If your child’s symptoms worsen or if you’re genuinely concerned, don’t hesitate to seek medical help at your destination. Many tourist destinations have English-speaking doctors who can provide excellent care.

6. Understand Your Insurance Coverage

Before you even step foot on that plane, take some time to review your health insurance policy. Familiarize yourself with what it covers when you’re out of network or traveling internationally. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Out-of-Network Coverage: Find out what medical expenses your insurance will cover if you need to visit a doctor or hospital that’s not in your network. Knowing your potential out-of-pocket costs can help you plan accordingly.
  • International Coverage: If you’re heading to another country, check if your health insurance provides international coverage. Many policies offer limited or no coverage outside your home country, so you might need to purchase additional travel insurance.
  • Emergency Services: Understand what your insurance considers an emergency. This is particularly important if you’re in a foreign country where healthcare practices may differ. In some cases, you may need to pay upfront and then seek reimbursement later, so keep all receipts and documentation.
  • Contact Information: Save the contact information for your insurance company’s customer service and the international assistance hotline, if applicable. Having this information readily available can be a lifesaver in a medical emergency.

Taking the time to grasp your insurance coverage can provide peace of mind, knowing that you’re prepared for any unexpected health-related surprises during your family vacation. Plus, it’ll save you from any financial shocks down the road.

With these tips in mind, you’re well-equipped to handle those unexpected sick days while traveling with babies and toddlers. Remember to stay flexible, prioritize your child’s comfort and well-being, and make the most of the moments when everyone is feeling their best. Safe travels and happy adventures!

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