There was a time when pregnant women would avoid traveling altogether, but these days women don’t let pregnancy stop them from going abroad and having fun. Only you can decide whether the pros outweigh the cons when traveling while pregnant or with small children.
As a general rule, travel insurance policies will not cover a woman who is expecting delivery of a baby within 14 weeks of the expiration date of a single trip policy, or within 14 weeks of the return date of a trip for a multiple trip policy. As with most types of insurance, there will be an excess to pay in the event you have to make a claim.
Some travel insurance policies will cover children for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult who has paid for their insurance and they are all listed on the same policy. If a multi trip policy is purchased on an annual basis then children may be able to travel independently of the adults.
Medical disclosure is of great importance when purchasing travel insurance. You should be asked a set of question which might include:
Are you traveling against the advice of a doctor or medical specialist? Are you traveling abroad to obtain medical treatment?
Are you on a waiting list for a procedure?
Awaiting results of tests?
Do you have ongoing treatment for a condition?
Have you received a terminal prognosis?
They also need to know if you have ever been diagnosed with diseases such as cancer, heart or lung disease or high blood pressure. Note that disclosure also includes depression, anxiety and psychiatric illnesses. It is vital that you are totally honest otherwise any claims you may have to make could be invalidated. That’s the last thing you’ll need!
It’s a good idea to apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) well in advance of your travel to destinations in Europe. The application forms are available at your Post Office (if you still have one) or apply online or by phone. However, please be aware that the EHIC is not a substitute for purchasing travel insurance – it should be in addition!
If you think it’s a good idea to leave the pushchair at home, think again. A lightweight pushchair can be a life saver if there should be delays or problems. Most airlines will carry them for free and allow them to be used all the way through to boarding. Carry cots are not always allowed so it’s best to check ahead with the airline. Most airlines provide a sky cot if you book in advance. The bulkhead seats on the plane are the best choice if you have a baby or small children as there’s more space and you’ll have less impact on your neighboring passengers!
The need for travel items and accessories for babies and children has created a whole industry of specialist companies. You can pick up some useful tips from them and purchase items which will make traveling easier for everyone. A few good ideas are insect nets and sunshades for push chairs; extra absorbent nappies which are designed for night time and last longer on journeys (don’t forget nappy sacks). Sunburn and sun damage are very real dangers, especially so for children. Avoid this by keeping children out of the sun if possible, use high SPF sunscreens, SPF protective clothing and sun hats. Pick up some child-safe insect repellents too – many nasty diseases are contracted through insect stings and bites.
Once you get to your destination have you thought about how you’ll handle babysitting problems or find a way to get away on your own without the children? Many resorts have babysitting services, but after the awful experience of the McCann’s in Portugal and the still-unsolved mystery of their missing Madeleine, many parents will think twice about letting the children out of their sight at all.
You might consider purchasing a monitoring device to keep an eye on your sleeping kids via your mobile phone while you go down to the hotel restaurant to eat or have a drink.
One way to avoid losing toddlers is to fit them with a wrist band with your mobile phone number written on it. This could save a lot of time and heartache and reunite you with lost children quickly. How many times have you lost track of young children at the beach? It can be hard to locate them amongst the crowds. A small child is not going to be much help to a stranger or the authorities who are trying to identify the child by providing an address or phone number, so a wristband could be a huge help.
An internet search of related websites and forums for traveling with children will be helpful and provide you with useful information and tips from other parents. There are even companies that will ship baby supplies to your destination for you. If it seems an unnecessary expense, consider what you might have to pay to purchase those items once you reach your holiday destination.
There are a million things that can go wrong while traveling, but with a little forethought, research and preparation before you leave home you can avoid many problems. For instance, read up on your destination country and know ahead of time whether you need vaccinations, whether the water will be safe to drink, and which foods to avoid. If in doubt, don’t forget the basic rule: Peel it, Cook, it, Boil it, or Forget it!
Your priority is to keep yourselves and your children safe and enjoy your holiday – and avoid any need to have to make a claim on your travel insurance. So, is travel insurance necessary? It’s not a choice your children have to make so it’s up to you. If you purchase it you probably won’t need it – but would you want to take that chance?