Keeping kids safe while travelling requires preparation and a lot of common sense. You will find it also that it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself that there are plenty of kids thriving in the countries you plan to visit. The fear of the unknown, and current media updates doesn’t help. When you travel a lot you will meet intelligent people who fear to visit the U.S, because they are genuinely afraid that they might die in a shooting. It’s true that many U.S cities have gun violence that is worse than countries you plan to visit.
There is a remedy to this types of fears, get to know the unknown, learn about the place you plan to visit, the truth about your fears, and know what to do in case something really does go wrong. You also need to consider the cost of travel you’re embarking upon, for example a flight to Bali may be expensive but if you can plan your visit you won’t feel the cost. Here are some of the steps you will take while traveling to keep your kids healthy and safe.
Get the right accommodation
Your choice of accommodation can make you enjoy your trip with the kids. If you’ll be staying at a hotel, make sure that they have the option for a crib if you need it. Many hotel sites allow parents to filter hotels on kid-friendly features. Either way, take advantage of the in-room refrigerator and keep plenty of snacks. If you’ll be staying somewhere for more than a night or two, you’ll save money by renting a home or apartment instead.
Accident can also easily happen in your accommodation. Check the height of balconies and windows and keep them locked. Move anything that can fall or looks dangerous. Check for exposed electrical cords around protruding bits of metal or sharp objects. Remove chairs from balconies as children love to climb on them. Keep the door locked so they can’t escape.
Get travel Insurance
Many travel insurance plan offer free coverage for kids, so this is one area where you’ll save a little money. It’s important to recognized that even if you have no concerns about cancelling your trip, kids are a big reason for trip cancellations in general. Travel insurance plan also includes coverage specifically designed to help parents traveling with kids too. Last but not the least make sure that you have fun on your trip. This is your time together and it should be a great memory.
Anything can and will happen. Make sure you’re adequately covered in case of an unfortunate accident or emergency. Be sure to read the fine print. Some activities may not be covered by travel insurance, you may want to purchase extra coverage to ensure adequate protection. Don’t forget domestic travel insurance. It’s easy to think you don’t need it, but accidents can happen within your own country too. There is a story of a lady past week that was feeding a fish from her boat and a shark bit off the top of her finger. Plus, delay can still happen and luggage can still get lost.
Take a stroller for your little kid
Those who are not parents may not like them, but a stroller can be a single parent’s best friend. Kids can be a big headache when you’ve only one set of eyes on the kid.
A stroller can keep your kid safely corralled in busy places. It allows your child to sleep comfortably when and wherever they crash, and it doubles as a pack-mule, allowing you to pack suitcase behind. Strollers can car-seat too. The monster stroller may not be the best, however . side walks are narrow in many streets of Paris for example, and a sturdy umbrella stroller is lighter and easier to maneuver. Get one with bigger wheels so it can more easily manage uneven sidewalks.
Know the nearest Hospital
Get the address and phone number of the nearest hospital wherever you will be staying. If need, have the address available and close to you.
Carry medical supplies, especially mosquito repellent, you must always take with you a first aid kid, as well as strong mosquito repellent when visiting a tropical country where mosquitoes are know to carry dengue fever or malaria.
Risk taking should be avoided
This too is just common sense, make smart, informed choices, based in you risk tolerance, but with kids in mind. You can hike a dense jungle to reach an isolated village, but would put you and your kids the risk of running into a Cobra, not to mention that our kids can’t hike long distances.
This is a personal choice, also bring life vests for younger kids when you travel to ocean beach destinations. Yes, they are bulky and add to our very limited luggage, but they can be useful too. Around deep water, the rules change if the kids have their life vests on. They enjoy more freedom, while we enjoy less worry. Also when entering or existing taxi’s and other vehicle, be sure that one of the parents (not a child) is the last out of the vehicle same with getting into a vehicle, also make sure one parent goes in first, and one goes last.
Take Measures to Not Lose Your Kids
This is probably everyone’s number one fear, including mine. When we travel, we have rules to minimize the chance our kids get lost, and we have a strategy in place in case, god forbid, they do. Preparation is key. When you’re out and about, assign one parent to one kid, so you have only that kid to think about. If you don’t have a one-to-one ratio of parents to kids, then do the next best thing, such as: you take Jane, I’ll take Kate and Tom. If it’s busy, we hold our kids’ hands (sometimes, for dear life, as we pull them away from scooters driving haphazardly on sidewalks). For those under three, pick them up and pop them into a carrier.
For our son, who is old enough, we attach contact information and instruct him on what to do with it. The information includes the address of where we’re staying in the local language, along with a map if needed, the hotel’s phone number, and/or our phone numbers. In Chiang Mai, when our son was seven, we had him carry such information along with enough money to catch a tuk-tuk back to the hotel if he got separated from us. Our son has an adventurous spirit, however, and loved waving down tuk-tuks and negotiating prices with drivers. It would work for him, but may not for your child, in which case see.
Also read our blog on Tips to make travel with Women and children less stressful to make your travel more joyful and enjoyable.