Traveling with kids is wonderful!
It’s so satisfying to see them experience new places, foods, cultures and languages. It can really draw a family closer.
But traveling with kids means being extra careful because you have to watch out for their health and safety, which is harder than just caring for yourself.
There is a need to think about things you might not think about if you were just traveling on your own.
What We Watch For in Ecuador
Like when we moved to Ecuador, we had to teach our daughter to be much more careful around traffic because drivers are more aggressive than we were used to.
We needed to help her learn how to protected herself from drinking contaminated water, and to wash her hands more often because of lower sanitation levels.
Also just walking down the sidewalk felt like an obstacle course (pedestrian safety is not as big of an issue here) because of missing drainage grates, or pieces of rebar sticking out into the sidewalk space.
Even sun protection became more important because of the altitude and lower atmosphere that comes with living in the Andes. It’s much easier to burn. So we had to constantly remind her about putting on sunblock and her hat before heading out of the house.
We had to prepare her for unfamiliar things she would see. For example, it’s common to see a man walking down the road with a 2 foot long machete. This was new for us (and a little startling). We had to explain what they use them for and that it isn’t anything to be concerned about.
Being prepared for things like these can make your travels, or life abroad, much easier.
For more information about traveling with kids, please check out our book, The Happy Expat Family. In the Happy Expat Family we talk about the 8 challenges faced by all expats and how to overcome them.
If you have something that you have noticed that you feel would be helpful to parents traveling or moving abroad, please mention it by commenting on this post.