Enjoying a Winter Vacation

Preparing For Your First International Vacation To An Island Destination With Your Young Child

Island destinations tend to be relatively tourist-friendly places. Still, as a parent, you have a lot to consider as you plan for an international vacation to an island destination. Knowing how to pick your destination, where to stay and what to pack can help you be ready for fun in the sun with your young child this summer.

Pick a Destination Where You Can Understand the Language

Since this is your first island vacation with your little one, it's best to keep it simple. Being unable to speak the language at your destination adds a level of complication that you may not be ready for at this time. Pick an island where the local people speak a language that you can understand and speak. This way, if you have an emergency or if your little one gets ill, you'll be able to have productive conversations with the people you encounter.

Remember to Pack Medicines and Safety-Related Items

Kids need a lot more stuff than adults, and you can't count on being able to find what you need when you arrive at your destination. You'll probably remember to bring the basics, but don't forget some of these specialized health-related items that might be expensive or difficult to find when you arrive at your destination:

  • Child-safe acetaminophen, ibuprofen, anti-histamines and other over-the-counter medications
  • Band-aids and a first aid kit
  • Child-safe sunblock and aloe
  • Thermometer

Also, if your child relies on any water safety devices, like a life jacket, be sure to bring one along. They may have life vests where you're going, but you may not be able to find one in your child's size.

Stay in a Family-Friendly Resort

As you research your destination, look for a reputable family-friendly resort. These facilities will have a lot of amenities that you'll be able to make use of when you arrive, like kiddie pools, water slides, family-friendly restaurants, kid-centered activities and daycare facilities. This can take some of the pressure off of you as a parent, so you'll be able to fully enjoy your time while you're there.

Brush Up on Swimming Technique

The ocean can be dangerous for children who aren't yet strong swimmers. If your child has never had a swim lesson, sign him or her up to take classes before you schedule your beach vacation. This will give your child a basic understanding of how to behave and stay safe in the water.

Research Kid-Friendly Beaches

Different beaches are often known for different swimming conditions. The best places to take a young child to swim are sheltered beaches with calm waters and lifeguards on duty. You should be able to find information about each beach in the travel books you read before you leave on your trip, or through companies like The Baker House 1650. Make a list or note the best beaches for your child, and if possible, stay at a resort near those beaches. Going to kid-friendly beaches will help ensure that your child is as safe as possible when you go swimming.