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We may add to this list, but here are some super quick thoughts we had from our recent trip. Some items are more specific to an international trip to the city like Hong Kong and less specific to…say our time in the Australian rainforest or weekend trip to Lake Tahoe.
Decide if the trip/destination(s) is best for your travel companions. Are you traveling with any elderly people who may not keep up in certain terrain, children who need more travel gear than you want to bring, or others who have dietary or health restriction to consider? Not all destinations are right for everyone. While it’s not perfect, we’ve got it pretty good here stateside in terms of having wheelchair accessibility and food accommodations. But this is not true of all parts of the world. If you’ve got picky eaters (or are a picky eater yourself), you’d be surprised that not all restaurants have kids’ menus. And depending on where you go, not all areas have tourist-friendly foods, so think about how exotic you’d like your meals to be when you travel. (Also see Hong Kong-specific tips below.)
BEFORE YOU GO
We’ve mentioned some of these tips in another post but it’s worth mentioning again!
+ Check your destination’s forecast.
+ Talk to people who have traveled to your destination(s) or talk to locals.
+ Assess whether or not you really need to bring along an item.
+ Confirm transportation to and from airports and/or lodging.
+ Decide what to do with mail during your trip.
+ Add travel package to your phone plan.
+ See if you can rent a portable wifi device to avoid roaming fees.
+ Have a flexible itinerary with indoor and outdoor activities.
+ Check for nearby restaurants, convenience stores, and laundromat.
+ Double-check travel documents.
+ Create a budget.
Check out more TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH KIDS.
+ Find out if you need (updated) vaccines.
+ Figure out if you need to exchange your currency. Credit cards are not accepted everywhere.
Work out…traveling involves a lot more physical stamina than one would think.
BONUS BONUS TIP
Clean the house before you leave. Your future self will thank you for it.
Some Hong Kong-specific tips and notes:
– OCTOPUS CARD – Get one of these cards when you arrive at the airport. You use for pay for public transportation and in some cases toll and parking. You can return it when you get back to the airport for your departing flight to get your deposit back along with the remaining balance on the card.
– CULTURE/PERSONALITIES – It may seem like people are being rude when they offer help. That’s not always the case. They really are trying to be helpful but they are also very straightforward. I have never seen so many people offering “help” as I have during our trip. Not all these were directed toward us but some heard comments: “Tie your shoelaces so you don’t trip.” “Watch your phone or it’ll drop.” “You put it here.” (…or they may usually just grab the item and put it there for you.) “Watch your stuff.” “Just go through.” “Use this one.”
– SMELLS – Okay, I have to address this. Not all countries have the same smells. We all eat different foods. There are plants that are native to only certain areas. We all have different levels and expectations of hygiene. If you are sensitive to strong smells, HK may not be the place for you to visit, especially during the hot and humid seasons. Walking down one street you may encounter stores selling fish products next to another one that is selling perfumes or skincare products. Growing up being in Chinatown most weekends, fish water washed on the sidewalk, random poultry/other meats hanging at the windows, and are familiar to me, but it’s not for everyone…especially those with gag reflex or a weak stomach. It’s one thing to experience new places and another thing to put yourself through misery and end up despising a place because of how it made you physically feel. Just you can do some good and detailed planning to figure out the best places for you to visit during your time there.
Well, that’s it for now! Again, we’ll probably expand on some of these things during the daily recaps, but there you go! It’s possible to travel with kiddos, but it does take some planning (and saving $$$). I’m sure we would be able to do lots more without the kiddos, but we have found the trips to be great times of learning about people and places, as well as learning about each other.
Here are some tips from our last trip from our friends –> joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/traveling-with-kids
What are your best pre-trip tips? Do you have any Hong Kong-specific tips?
*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a tiny percentage if you make a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. Read my disclosure policy here.