New book offers tips for traveling with children

Sunday, January 27, 2008

NEW YORK -- Fawzia Rasheed de Francisco, who has advised 16 governments and the United Nations on health policy, started traveling with her younger son when he was two weeks old. Her older son celebrated his first birthday on his fifth continent.

Now she's offering the wisdom she accumulated during all those travels with her children to the rest of us in a new book called "The Rough Guide to Travel with Babies & Young Children."

The book includes a variety of tips, including coping with road trips and plane travel; health concerns; entertaining kids on the road; and cultural issues. For example, the writer notes that in India, "get your children to apologize profusely if they inadvertently touch someone with their shoes, as this is considered especially offensive." In Thailand, "kids who make light of inconveniences are thought to be especially well brought up." And remember that "patting children on the head is considered disrespectful in many countries."

If you're traveling somewhere with a risk of encountering mosquitos with malaria, the author recommends using DEET, a powerful insect repellant; and if you're looking to avoid tummy bugs in countries with questionable sanitation standards, steer clear of buffets, eat at busy places where the turnover of food is fast, don't eat sliced fruit from street stalls, check that bottles and cans are unopened before you let kids sip, and use a straw or wipe the rim.

Ideas for souvenirs include buying a postcard at each destination and letting kids note a single memory on the back, along with their date and age; keeping momentos in a "travel box" at home; or even keeping a journal in which kids might ask people they meet to write something in the local language or sign their name if the alphabet is different.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: