You may be thinking about having a family holiday in Europe as a school break approaches. No matter what sort of trip you’re planning, it can become quite challenging to keep everyone happy and occupied during the journey.
To help you make the most of your European break together, we've rounded up four essential items families should bring along when traveling with kids in Europe.
1. European Health Insurance Card
It's vital to have health insurance when traveling, as you never know when you or a loved one may fall ill or become the victim of an accident. This makes having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) essential for every European family planning a holiday.
Owning a valid EHIC will entitle you access to any public healthcare facility should you need urgent medical attention. As the EHIC is the replacement of the old E111, medical care provided will come at a reduced cost or even free.
The card only covers the applicant, though, so each member of your family will need their own EHIC. You can apply for a European Health Insurance Card or carry out an EHIC Card Renewal by filling in the form provided.
Anyone over the age of 16 can apply for their own cards. However, those below 16 will need a parent or guardian to apply on their behalf.
Please note that an EHIC should not be used as a replacement for private travel insurance.
2. Portable games and offline apps
Whether you're traveling by car, ferry or plane, it can be hard keeping the kids occupied when confined to a small area. This why travel games are another essential.
You can find travel-sized versions of almost every popular board game. Their miniature size makes them easy to pack and handle by the little ones.
Are your kids more into technology? Make sure you download plenty of apps or games that are available in offline mode then, as you don't know how good connectivity will be where you're going.
It’s also a good idea to create your own games. In this case, you won’t even have to worry about needing a board. Bingo cards, for example, are very easy to make–all you need is a couple of cards and some marker pens. Maybe you could make them about things you’ll spot on your travels!
Speaking of games, another way to keep your kids occupied while traveling is to give them cameras. Depending on their age, you could let them use your fancy DSLR or get them cheap disposable ones.
You can get even more creative with camera games. Set some challenges for them, like snapping different landmarks or animals (lens scavenger hunt, anyone?). Doing this can also give them a great project post-trip: create a beautiful family photo album that the whole family will enjoy.
4. Healthy Snacks
Traveling with kids is stressful enough, so don't give them sugary treats before or during the journey. Sugar will increase their hyperactivity or make them feel queasy. In turn, the children will become fuzzier than usual–making the trip uncomfortable for everyone.
Instead, pack some healthy snacks. Fresh fruits and mixed dried fruit and nut mixes, for instance, are perfect for keeping energy levels up while keeping queasy feelings at bay.
This story was brought to you in partnership with EHIC.