Travelling with children, be it with lively toddlers or moody teenagers, is never easy. However, surviving two decades without a holiday is not an option. So how can families deal with such challenges and who can they turn to for help?
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Tina and Tony Montgomery always looked forward to family holidays with a joyful and a sceptical eye. On the one hand, they love spending time with their two twin daughters. On the other hand, many past holidays ended in disaster. It turned out again and again that it wasn’t so easy to realize vacation plans with two little girls, especially if they couldn’t speak their language yet.
When her friends and new parents ask for tips on traveling with small children, all Tony can advise is: “Expect the very best, but be prepared for the worst as well”.
Any parent would probably agree that a child is the most beautiful gift on earth. However, it cannot be denied that the life of the parents will change forever. Just like the ability to push through plans, especially travel plans. Family vacations can be planned in as much detail as possible, but in the end every trip is a mess. Baby, toddler, pupil or teenager – as your children grow older, you will grow in experience and realize that life is like a roller coaster ride and that every stage of your child’s life will bring new, exciting ups and downs.
No breaks during pregnancy
After Tina shared the happy news with Tony, the two expectant parents decided to enjoy a last holiday in togetherness before their family would grow by two heads in a few months. Of course it was clear from the start that backpacking and adventure trips were out of the question. Since Tina carries two little people under her heart, certain things became extremely meaningful. Before, safety was important, now it’s essential. So what do they have to do to ensure full safety at all times during their journey? Who do they turn to if something goes wrong?
Tina spent hours leafing through brochures and reading important information. The second trimester was the best time to travel. However, a visit to the gynaecologist was essential to get her fit for her upcoming “babymoon” trip. Some airlines even require a doctor’s certificate in the case of intercontinental flights. Even if the airline in question does not require this, a check-up at the doctor’s never hurts to avoid unpleasant surprises during the journey. The same accuracy is required when selecting insurance policies. It is particularly important that you disclose all details of your pregnancy to your insurance company, which is classified as an “existing medical condition”.
In principle, travel insurance products contain specific definitions and limitations as to their scope. Accordingly, careful reading of the contractual agreement can help you make informed decisions and prepare for uncertainties. What happens if your baby is born prematurely while you are travelling? What happens if your holiday has to be cancelled due to pregnancy complications? Before the trip started, Tina and Tony had secured themselves against all eventualities. In addition, Tina’s handbag always contained the phone number of your gynaecologist as well as the Allianz emergency number – safe is safe!
Lute(s) joy after birth
From the moment the twins first saw the light of the great wide world, they were simply delightful. The joy of the new parents, however, was quickly trumped by a feeling of endless exhaustion. A continuous tiredness overcame them.
One day Tony saw his wife lying exhausted on the sofa and decided it was time for a break. A vacation would be a well-deserved reward.
It was easier said than done First there were lots of things to pack. Travelling with babies for two days or two months means taking the house with you. Unlike Tina and Tony, you don’t have to fight anymore to pack a checklist. Allianz Global Assistance’s printable checklist makes it easier for you. Don’t forget the “baby pass”, even if your baby is still starting to crawl.
As for travel insurance, the good news is that children up to certain age groups are usually covered when traveling with their parents, depending on the country. You still need to choose the right plan to ensure that all your needs are met. “Since travel insurance is often taken out by families, Allianz Global Assistance has put together special travel insurance packages consisting of travel cancellation, travel interruption, travel health and luggage insurance. For families in particular, comprehensive travel cover is recommended, also to insure themselves against high costs. If you are planning a trip with your whole family, it is best to take out an insurance package as a family / couple rate,” says Olaf Nink, Chief Representative of AWP P&C S.A.
What is always curious, impatient and can’t do anything with the word “no”? Exactly, toddlers. The worst thing is that you can’t be mad at them for long, no matter what they do. An innocent look at the dachshund from below is enough – and all sins are forgotten.
Tina has found that this even applies to chewed documents.
As they were about to tooth one of the twins, Maya, wanted to test the taste of the travel insurance papers. But the taste didn’t suit her and she decided to destroy any evidence of her experiment by tearing it to shreds. Tony panicked: “What if something happens and we need these papers?” It came as it had to and his fear became reality. Five days later the twin sister, Rosy, threatened to choke on a plastic piece she had picked up at the pool and put in her mouth.
Mama and Papa Montgomery panicked and raced to the reception where they had problems explaining the situation and finding out where the nearest hospital was. The next moments were painful. The couple was at the end of their nerves as they tried to understand what the local doctor was telling them to keep an eye on Maya and take care of Rosy. Later they received a proud bill. How Tina and Tony longed for their comfortable sofa at home!
At that time, the Montgomerys didn’t have the luxury of having all their travel documents ready on their smartphones at all times. The AllianzMyHealth App allows customers to access all their travel insurance documents while on the move, and also provides important information such as the location of nearest hospitals. The app even has a “symptom checker” that checks symptoms and suggests possible causes. In addition, the medical dictionary of their ‘health assistant’ translates common illnesses into 17 languages and provides the names of equivalents for certain branded medicines locally.