Worried about traveling around South America with your children? Having kids shouldn’t stop you from exploring this beautiful continent. In fact, there are many wonderful places in South America that are quite kid-friendly. Visiting South America can be an enriching and mesmerizing adventure for your family. Just like you would for a vacation to any place, the right amount of research, planning, and preparation will ensure that your joyous family holiday in South America goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some useful tips you could follow in order to keep your family safe and happy during your vacation in South America.
Tip #1: Do your research
While this is quite obvious, doing your research beforehand can save you a lot of trouble. There are some places in South America that you should avoid visiting with kids like dense forests, remote locations, high altitudes, and areas with higher crime rates.
Never forget to consider the weather – some countries tend to get very hot which could make your kids cranky and uncomfortable. Choose locations that have an accountable police force, kid-friendly establishments, tourist attractions, and a sizable tourist population. This is because if locals are used to seeing tourists, they’re more likely to be warm and welcoming.
Tip #2: Get vaccinated
South America is one of the world’s most biodiverse continent. Since you’ll find a lot of bugs and insects here, you and your kids need to stay protected. While you should consult a doctor before getting your kids vaccinated, visiting tropical regions will require vaccinations for diseases like yellow fever and typhoid. If your child has an allergy or a medical condition, talk to a pediatrician about how to give the best possible care during your vacation.
Tip #3: Check the local news
While tourist guidebooks are useful to read, they don’t give you the entire picture. Tune in to the city’s local news to figure out any recent spike in violence or crime. Do your research by reading through newspapers and online news websites. If you have any questions, contact the country’s embassy for extra information. Don’t visit South America during a strike, riot or any kind of serious political turmoil. Always look out for travel warnings or advisories from your government before leaving for any country.
Tip #4: Buy travel insurance
You never know what could go wrong. Prepare for the worst and protect your family with a good travel insurance that covers everything from accidents to robbery. Look through the fine print to check if it’s the right insurance for your situation. Figure out everything that is not covered and get supplemental insurance, if necessary. Travel insurance keeps you protected from expensive costs in case of emergencies. It’s also important to get yourself familiar with the claim settlement process.
Tip #5: Prepare well and pack smart
Have a fully stocked first-aid kit with you at all times. It should include an all-natural bug spray, bug balm, mosquito repellent, and anti-diarrheal medicines. Despite the hot weather, wear full-sleeved tops and pants to avoid insect bites. Carry packaged water bottles and stay hydrated throughout the day. When you travel with kids, stay and eat in mid-range establishments that prioritize hygienic conditions. It would be wise to avoid street food stalls and other potentially unclean environments at all costs.
Tip #6: Figure out the routes
Before you enter any city, chalk out the transportation routes between your hotel and the places you’d like to visit. Note down the contact information of your close ones and your embassy along with kid-friendly restaurants, police stations, and medical centers that are located nearby. Lock your original documents in your hotel safe and carry physical photocopies with you at all times. Stay prepared for the possibility of getting lost by keeping a physical map of the city with you at all times.
Tip #7: Consider opting for a tour operator
When you’re in an unfamiliar place with your kids, you don’t want to be experimenting on where to go and how to get there. Contact a reputed tour operator and leave the worry of accommodation, transportation, and itinerary to them. Going on a group tour will also enhance your sense of safety and security. There are many wonderful all-inclusive South American tours to choose from, like Amazon tours or Patagonia tours. So, all you need to do is just sit back, relax, and enjoy your vacation with your family.
Tip #8: Keep your kids engaged
Active kids are happy kids. There are loads of activities for kids in South America like zip lining and going on a cruise in the Amazon. Make visits to historical monuments like Macha Picchu interesting by narrating its rich history and having fun at the same time. If you had planned a packed schedule, cut it down to allow a few fun activities inside your hotel and leave some time to get your kids rested. If you have small children, maintain eating and napping schedules that are similar to home.
Tip #9: Leave time for yourself
After all, this is your vacation too! If you don’t have someone to watch over your kids, check into a kid-friendly hotel and leave them in the kid’s club. South America has many beautiful spots and electrifying nightclubs, so enjoy a well-deserved romantic evening date or a fun night out in the town. Places like Lima, with its booming art scene, and Peru, with its glorious historical monuments, are must-visits for yourself and your kids. Discover a different side of Rio de Janeiro with your kids by exploring the museum of tomorrow, botanical gardens, and the zoo.
South America is filled with many wonders and is the perfect place to visit for your next vacation. This continent is bound to impress anyone with its delicious cuisine, bountiful nature, vibrant culture, and breathtaking scenery. It’s a beautiful blend of cityscapes and verdant landscapes, of native customs and colonial history. The captivating experience it offers is sure to leave a lasting impact on any tourist.