Family travel in Asia is a myriad of sights, sounds and smells. Learn about imperial cultures in Bagan, Beijing, Delhi, Hue, Kyoto and Sukhothai. Visit temples and shrines in Agra, Angkor, Lhasa, Luoyang, Nikko and Yangon. Discover the bustling commercial centers of Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai and Tokyo and tropical wildlife on the Malaysian mainland and the island of Borneo. Take a family beach vacation in Vietnam, the Maldives, Thailand, Malaysia and India. Note the distinctive sound of wind chimes in Bali and the smell of cherry blossoms in Japan. Eat noodles throughout Southeast Asia as well as China and Japan. Feast on curry from India to Indonesia. And if you're traveling with older kids, trek the Himalayas be it in India, Nepal or remote Bhutan. Our family travel guides are designed to help you travel wise in Asia with kids.
Not only is Asia enormous, it's the most diverse place on earth. It has a highly varied geography and climates ranging from tundra to equatorial. It boasts the world's tallest mountain, longest coastline, deepest lake, lowest point, largest and highest plateau and fourth largest desert. It's home to the point on land farthest from an ocean. Mountains and plateaus make up three-fourths of the continent's total area. Asia comprises 52 countries and can be divided into six different regions, North Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Asia. In short, Asia's size and diversity ensure it's always perfect somewhere.
Prevention and precaution are the keys to staying healthy and safe while traveling with kids in Asia. With a little forethought, few travelers experience more than a bout of traveler's diarrhea. BEFORE BOOKING: Research the health and safety risks in the country or countries you plan to visit. Check government sources for travel advisories, travel health notices, and recommended vaccinations. Consult your health care provider or travel medicine clinic 2 to 3 months in advance of travel as some immunizations require a series of injections. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that all travelers, independent of their travel destination, be up to date with routine vaccinations against measles, rubella, mumps, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and poliomyelitis. Additional vaccinations, such as rabies, may be recommended by your doctor. There is no vaccine for malaria but prophylactic treatment is recommended for travel to risk areas. PRIOR TO DEPARTURE: Review your medical coverage to ensure it applies abroad and covers emergencies, for example a trip to a foreign hospital or an evacuation. If not, supplemental travel health insurance should be given serious consideration. Pack a first aid kit. Check expiration dates and ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on items to include as well as tips for keeping the contents of your kit effective and safe to use. Organize your family's essential medical history in a single document and keep it with your travel papers. Make two copies of your passport, medical history, travel documents and credit cards. Bring one copy with you but keep it in a separate place from the originals. ON THE ROAD: Take sensible precautions. - Don't wear jewelry and expensive watches. Stow cameras after use. Keep a firm grip on daypacks and handbags. Safeguard valuables including passports and money. Avoid isolated or deserted areas. Keep an eye, if not a hand, on the kids. Beware of hustlers, touts and con men. - Be careful about what you eat and drink. - Wash your hands before eating. Avoid raw foods. Peel uncooked fruits and vegetables. Drink bottled water only. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products, including milk, cheese and ice cream. - Safeguard against the tropical sun. - Wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim. Apply high factor sunscreen to all exposed areas. - Traveling to a malaria area? No drug is 100% effective in preventing malaria thus it's important to avoid mosquito bites. Here are three tips: 1) use insect repellent with DEET. 2) Wear trousers and long-sleeved shirts after dark. 3) Sleep under a treated mosquito net or in a screened or air conditioned room.
Electrical voltage is 220 throughout yet the shape of the plug is different in nearly every country. Check your electronics before you depart to determine whether you need a plug adaptor or a voltage converter. (Most laptop computer, mobile telephone and digital camera chargers are dual voltage, meaning they operate safely at both 110 and 220 volts.)