Travel Tips Travel with kids in Latin America can be a great learning experience — and a lot of fun.

Published on October 19th, 2012 | by Mark Chesnut

Travel with kids in Latin America can be a great learning experience — and a lot of fun.

5 Travel Tips for Taking the Kids to Latin America for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again — families will increasingly be taking to the skies to reunite with loved ones for the holidays. To make that next family trip go more smoothly, Millie Uriarte, director of Latin America Onshore & Caribbean Sales at United Airlines, offers these five tips for travel with kids in Latin America:

1. Destination decision: Latin America offers tons of destinations with fun activities for the whole family. Some of my favorites are Puerto Rico, with its rain forest and a rare phosphorous bay; and archeological sites in Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, where your children can play “explorer” while they learn about their culture and ancestry. Show your children a map of your destination and have them trace the route. Read children’s books or watch a DVD about the destination before you go.

2. Bundle of joy: So, you’re from Latin America and this is your first trip back to show off the new baby … just remember, passengers with newborns and infants may be required to show the baby’s proof of age; newborns up to seven days old require a doctor’s authorization to travel. And, when you are flying internationally with children, you must purchase a ticket for each child, no matter his or her age.

3. Airport arrival time: Standard airport arrival time for international travel is two hours before your flight. But traveling with children (or family members with special needs) during the crowded holiday season makes an early arrival at the airport even more important. Make sure you allow extra time for passport checks, checking bags and long security lines (perhaps with stressed-out kids in tow), so you can arrive at the departure gate without rushing.

4. Family seating: We [at United Airlines] don’t have one particular recommended seating area for parents traveling with babies or toddlers. Some parents prefer to sit in aisle seats so they can easily take their children to the bathroom or for a walk down the aisle. Older children might prefer window seats because they can watch the aircraft take off and land. Really, the best seat depends on the family, the child and their preferences. Don’t forget to have them practice their Spanish (or Portuguese!) by naming the objects around them on the plane.

5. Learning without knowing it: If you are visiting a country with customs or language distinct from your own, use the experience to spark a family conversation about cultural differences (don’t forget the food) and regional history. Arm your children with a few standard phrases in Spanish (“Where is the bathroom?”). Download some canciones infantiles to your iPod. You’ll all enjoy the experience more and you’ll come back with some great family memories.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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