3 Tips for International Travel with Families

After bouncing around three Central and South American countries in her first year, the Backpack Baby has remained surprisingly Stateside in Year 2. This stability has allowed us all to get in some patterns and to sleep a bit more. 

Sometimes, though, these roots start to itch, so we are excited to be planning our visit to Guatemala next month!

What makes this trip even better? Our friends are traveling with us! After mass (and only mildly chaotic) coordination, the seven of us are booked on six different flights going to and fro. Wait… didn’t I just say we coordinated? How did this happen?

Collectively, we’ve starting discussing ways we need to prepare for transporting four adults and three kids under the age of five outside of the country. There’s lots of things that remain the same… we’ll need socks and shoes, swimsuits, and children’s Benadry (oh, wait… I mean lollipops) for the plane. But a few topics require discussion.  

Car Seats

How do you ask good and conscientious American parents, "So… exactly how strongly do you feel about car seats? I mean, sure, if you want to use them, we’ll bring them… but… um… just so you know… we may or may not “forget to pack” one.” After all, we just tend to let our baby drive anyway.


I may have an obsession (read: deep-seeded fear) about electric showers. I guess asking my host family to “help me shower” for the month I lived with them really made an impression. Therefore, I feel a fair warning is in order.

“So... the shower heads are electrified. Don’t touch them. And don’t worry… Billy will just help you.”


When asked what a four-year old might need a little preparation for, I wondered. “Well, there are a lot of security guards with really huge guns… like, opening the door to greet you at McDonald’s… that might be startling.”

Billy assured them we won’t be eating at McDonald’s on our international adventure. But then our friend asked, “Do they have an indoor PlayPlace?” And we all mumbled to ourselves. Yeah, we may end up at a McDonald’s. Maybe if we're lucky, they'll give us a traditional "Coke para llavar."

I am super stoked about this trip and so excited to share it with friends. I expect many a good blog post will develop from our time together. Maybe I should ask them to sign a media release or something…

What are your tips and tricks for travel with families?


  1. love this. Ok, my advice from someone who lives here and has N. American friends with kids-- strollers are a hassle, easier to bring a baby carrier or backpack thing. Some friends have the car-seats for infants, but my friends who had three kids and a small car said as soon as the can sit and walk on their own they just sit on the seat or someone's lap with a seat-belt. I know, SO un-safe for US standards. Also, Hotel Antigua has a free kids play area. And a pool (but that costs 60Q). Another option if McDonald's gets old : )

    1. That's great to know about Hotel Antigua! Thank you! We are planning to be there!


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