Safety is probably one of the top concerns that comes to mind when considering international travel with kids as a single mom. But it shouldn’t stop your family from enjoying the benefits of travel. We’ve rounded up five must-have safety items that’ll ease the stress and anxiety of traveling solo with kids and keep your family focused on the travel experience. If you’re not quite ready to venture out with kids on your own, join our community for access to our travel moms group chat for advice or to join a group trip!

First Aid Kit

This might seem cliché, but it tops the list because in our humble opinion, you should never travel with kids without it! A well-stocked first aid kit is a lifesaver for family travel, whether you’re going on a short weekend getaway or an international adventure. It’s important that your kit is small enough to be carried in your bag as you and the kids move about during travel. When traveling solo, being prepared to handle minor injuries and illnesses will give you peace of mind and help you manage unexpected situations with ease. At a minimum, make sure your first aid kit includes:

  • Band-aids of various sizes
  • Antiseptic wipes and ointment
  • Pain relievers for both adults and children
  • Allergy medication
  • Tweezers and scissors
  • A digital thermometer
  • Gauze pads and adhesive tape
  • Nausea and upset stomach medication 

Portable Car Seat and Umbrella Stroller

If you’re planning to rent a car or use public transportation during your travels with young kids, a portable car seat and/or an umbrella stroller are must-haves. Look for lightweight, foldable gear that meets safety standards and is easy to carry or install. Portable gear not only ensures your child’s safety while on the move, but it also provides opportunities for younger kids to rest during long stints of travel to avoid meltdowns. Additionally, many airlines allow you to bring your car seat on board, which can be a great way to create familiarity as you introduce air travel to your kids without having to buy additional gear. Check with your airline in advance to confirm their car seat policies. Additionally, have a clear idea of your use of public transportation and walking for your trip to assess if car seats and strollers make sense for your international itinerary.

Safety Door Stop Alarm and Emergency Whistle

Whether you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb, traveling with a safety door stop alarm and emergency whistle provides an additional layer of security for traveling solo with kids. The door stop wedges under the door and emits a loud alarm if someone tries to force their way in, alerting you and deterring intruders. An emergency whistle is a simple yet effective tool for attracting attention and signaling for help in case of emergencies. Teach your kids how to use it, and keep it easily accessible on backpacks or clothing during your travels.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a crucial safety item that many overlook but is an absolute must for traveling solo with kids. It provides coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and other unforeseen events. Travel insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you and your kids are protected against unexpected incidents that could disrupt your trip. When selecting travel insurance, look for plans that offer comprehensive coverage, including medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and coverage for pre-existing conditions if necessary. Where age-appropriate, talk to your kids in advance about how to access travel insurance information in the event of an emergency.

Emergency Contact Information

Before traveling solo with your kids, prepare a list of emergency contact information for each destination you’ll visit. This list should include information like:

  • Local emergency numbers (police, fire, ambulance)
  • Contact information for your accommodation
  • Nearest hospital or medical facility
  • Contact details for your country’s embassy or consulate
  • Names and phone numbers of family or friends who can be contacted in an emergency

Make copies of this information and keep one in your purse, one in your luggage, and one with your child. This helps safeguard your family. In case of an emergency, you’ll have all the necessary information readily available on the ground internationally.

Although single motherhood can add additional challenges and safety concerns to traveling with kids, it can be a priceless experience for you and your children. It provides an opportunity to create lasting memories, expose your kids to new cultures and environments, and build a stronger bond as a family. By incorporating these must-have safety items, you can confidently travel internationally with your kids, knowing you are well-prepared to handle the unexpected that may, but hopefully not, happen during your travels. 

Most importantly, embrace the adventure, stay flexible, and be present in the moment with your kids while exploring the world together. Happy travels!

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