Wednesday 4 January 2023

7 Family Travel Safety Tips To Always Remember

 **Collaborative Post**

AD: Planning a family holiday when you have young children can be stressful, there are so many more things to think about than just grabbing your passport/bags and going. The well-being and physical safety of all family members should always be a top priority, particularly while travelling. This includes ensuring that everyone is properly supervised, especially if young children are present. In addition to physical safety, it is also important to consider the safety of personal belongings and valuables, as well as the safety of any important documents, such as passports and travel visas.

Ensuring safety can help to prevent accidents, injuries, and other unforeseen circumstances that can ruin a family holiday and cause stress and worry for all involved. With that said, here are some important
family travel safety tips to always remember.

1. Keep your family together in crowded areas 

Before you arrive at a crowded location such as a market or tourist attraction, make a plan with your family for what to do if someone gets separated. This could include agreeing on a designated meeting place or assigning a designated "buddy" for each family member. In crowded areas, try to stay close together and hold hands if possible. This can help ensure that everyone stays together and is easier to keep track of. Also, consider wearing bright colours as this can make it easier for family members to spot each other in a crowd. You can each member of the family a different bright colour to wear.

If you're traveling with younger children, consider using identification tags that include your name, phone number, and any other important information. These tags can be worn around the neck or on a wristband and can be helpful in the event that a child gets lost.

2. Research your destination before you go

Researching your destination before you travel can help your family to be better prepared for your trip and ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday. Find out about practical information that can help you plan your trip, such as the best time to visit, local currency, language, and transportation options. By learning about the local laws and customs, you can avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts. For example, you might need to dress modestly in certain areas or follow certain customs when visiting places of worship. 

Research also helps you identify any potential safety concerns. This can include things like crime rates, natural disasters, or areas to avoid. It can also help you prepare for any health considerations. This can include things like vaccinations, preventive medications, or precautions to take against diseases like malaria or dengue fever.

3. Make copies of important family documents

Making copies of important documents before travel is a simple but effective way to prepare for potential emergencies or issues while abroad. Firstly, gather the documents you'll need to copy. This can include your passport, driver's licence, travel insurance policy, and any other important documents. Then make copies of both the front and back of each document. If possible, use a colour copier to produce more accurate copies. Be sure to keep the copies separate from the original documents. You could store them in a separate folder or envelope, or even in a different piece of luggage.

Remember to leave a copy of your documents with a trusted friend or family member at home. This can be especially useful in the event that your original documents are lost or stolen while you're away. You could also consider scanning and emailing copies of your documents to yourself as well. This can provide an extra layer of protection in case you lose physical copies or don't have access to them.

4. Select a safe and practical accommodation option

When choosing an accommodation for your family while travelling, be sure to select a reputable hotel or short-stay rental that meets all your family’s needs. Look for reviews or ratings from other families, and consider booking through a reputable website or travel agent. This can help ensure that you're getting a safe and reliable place to stay. Choose a location that is safe and convenient, with easy access to transportation and amenities like restaurants and supermarkets. Avoid staying in areas that have high crime rates or that are too isolated in case of emergencies.

Look for accommodations that have safety features like child locks, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and deadbolts on the doors. And  if you’re travelling with babies and toddlers, make an enquiry to find out if cots will be provided during your stay. If this can’t be accommodated, then before you travel, search online for newborn travel cribs for example, and choose one that’s right for your baby.

Remember to protect your family’s valuables, such as passports and cash, by using the in-room safe or carrying them with you. Never forget to follow basic safety precautions, such as locking the door and windows when you're out, and keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity inside and outside your accommodation.

5. Be cautious of your family’s food and water intake

It is critical to always remain vigilant of your family's food and water intake while travelling. 

Only eat food that has been cooked and served hot - this can help reduce the risk of food poisoning, as hot food is less likely to be contaminated than food that has been sitting out at room temperature. Avoid drinking tap water, and choose bottled water instead, as many countries have different hygiene standards for tap water.

Raw or undercooked foods, such as sushi or rare meat, can also increase the risk of food poisoning. It's best to avoid these types of foods or make sure they are thoroughly cooked.

Remember to frequently wash younger children’s hands with soap and water to reduce the risk of illness. This should always be the case before eating and after using the bathroom.

It pays to be aware of local health risks, therefore learn about any issues, such as waterborne illnesses or diseases like malaria or dengue fever. This can help you take precautions to protect your family's health.

6. Always use sunscreen

Using sunscreen on your family when travelling is important for protecting their skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. Sunburn is a common and painful condition that is caused by overexposure to the sun's UV rays. Sunburn can be especially painful for children, and can cause redness, blistering, and skin peeling. Exposure to these rays can also increase the risk of skin cancer, which is a very common form of cancer globally. By using sunscreen, you can help reduce the risk of skin cancer for your family.

UV rays can also cause premature ageing of the skin, including wrinkles and age spots. Quality sunscreen will certainly protect your family's skin from these effects. It is also helpful in the prevention of heatstroke, which is a condition caused by the body overheating. This can be especially important if you're travelling to a hot or sunny destination.

7. Remember insect repellent

Using insect repellent while travelling can help protect you from insect-borne diseases and annoying bites. Ensure you choose an insect repellent that is appropriate for the area you will be visiting. Some repellents are more effective against certain types of insects than others. Apply the repellent according to the instructions, and do not use more than the recommended amount. Avoid areas around the eyes, mouth, and cuts or wounds. Don’t forget to reapply the repellent as needed, especially after swimming or sweating.

For children, choose a repellent with a low concentration of active ingredient and apply it to their clothing rather than their skin. Consider using other prevention methods in addition to insect repellent, such as wearing long sleeves and pants, using mosquito nets, and staying in air-conditioned or well-screened areas. If you are using a spray repellent, be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling it.

Most importantly of course is to have fun! Whilst routines and schedules all have their own pro's sometimes it is important to just sit back and take it all in. These memories that you are making together as a family are ones that you will all remember forever!


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