We have already talked about the first criteria to select your travel destination with your baby: safety. Let’s now move on to the second one: health conditions.
When you travel with a baby, certain health conditions need to be met. Of course, in most cases, you will not need to seek medical attention or go to the hospital. Nonetheless if this has to happen, you will be glad not to spend your vacations in a complete remote area. Therefore when your kid is very young (less than 12 months), you have to be cautious.
- Healthcare equipment and doctors
Make sure there are good health care equipment (public and private hospitals) wherever your destination is. While traveling, try to avoid being too far away from a hospital. If you happen to have a problem, you will regret it. Besides the main purpose is that you are all enjoying yourselves stress-free.
Go check your country embassy’s website in that country or city in order to have names of any recommended pediatricians or general doctors. If your embassy does not mention any, check out expat forums before leaving. Now that you have a name, address and telephone number, you will know where to go in case of emergency.
- Malaria and other epidemics
Malaria may have serious consequences on young kids or infants, which may even cause death. Don’t take any risks and avoid malarious areas, especially the most affected ones. You can check the list of countries and areas at risk of malaria on the World Health Organization website.
If you really have to go to an affected zone:
- Ask your pediatrician to provide an adequate medical treatment
- Make sure you have mosquito repellent
- Pack light clothes but with long sleeves to avoid bites
- Bring a mosquito net along
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s website offers a complete country by country set of information regarding risks of epidemics and necessary vaccines before taking a trip. Do always check that your vaccines and those of your family’s to make sure they’re up to date.
To summarize, before deciding which country you want to visit, take a moment to check out health conditions (hospitals, doctors) depending on the risks and the age of your child. In any case, always pack your first-aid kit and try to have a doctor’s contact information at hand (one who is recommended by expats living in the country for instance).
Three other criteria: Climate & Altitude, Quality of accommodations and transportation, Type of vacations [will be published soon].