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Traveling with Children

Chileans simply adore children, whose well-received popularity makes Chile a very safe and family-friendly country to explore.  Many accommodations have playgrounds, swimming pools and organized kids’ activities.  Staying in suites is often cheaper than booking multiple rooms, since most places charge by the number of beds, not people.  Suites normally have a pull-out couch, and additional cots can often be requested at little or no charge.

Chile poses few health and food risks for children.  However, if traveling to the south, load up on sun-block; the lack of ozone can be dangerous on delicate skin.  When walking down the street, children are often curiously attracted to stray dogs; hold their hands or keep an eye on them in order to avoid illness or injury from interaction.  Toilet paper, hand sanitizer and wet wipes are hard to find in certain areas, making them an invaluable investment to stock up on before arrival.


Food tends to be more bland here than in other Latin American countries; cooking and dining out should be safe.  And although children’s menus are virtually nonexistent, restaurant meal portions are very generous, making it easy, and economical, to split a main course between two people.  Most restaurants are understanding and will happily give you extra utensils.


Chile’s sprawling geography requires a lot of travel time between excursions, so be sure to bring lots of games and books to occupy children’s fleeting attention spans.  Trains have space for moving around, but long-distance buses can be cramped and rarely offer discounts for children.  Local buses do not charge for children, but paying customers get first priority with seating.  However, Chileans often offer their seat to children anyway – another testament to the country’s warm attitude toward families.  Domestic flights offer extensive discounts for children under 12, so be sure to ask when buying tickets.  Also,  remember to ask for family or child discounts on sightseeing excursions, as many companies offer, but don’t openly advertise, these options.  



Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Chile: Border Crossing to Bolivia, Getting around, Getting to and away, Border Crossing to Argentina, Getting to and away, Getting To and Away from Navarino Island, Getting to and away from Mamiña, Getting to and away, Getting to and away and Getting To and Away From Reserva Natural Pampa Del Tamarugal.

By Rachel Anderson
I'm a twentysomething dandelion floating across the field of youth. I have an unquenchable thirst for writing, exploring and cheap wine. A cross...
13 Mar 2009

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