The holidays are here, which for many people means it’s time to travel to visit distant family members, or simply enjoy a much-needed family vacation. Preparing to travel together as a family can be extremely stress-inducing – packing up the car, making snacks, and planning activities are just some of the things on your trip to-do list.
Traveling is full of fun and excitement, but it’s important to be aware of safety issues while on the road. Whether you’re a family of two or ten, there are a number of ways you can work together to stay safe while you travel together.
- Always have your itinerary planned in advance and give a copy to a friend or neighbor who is staying home. The itinerary should include your hotel information, travel schedule, and the contact information for each person in your family. If something should happen back home, your friend or neighbor will know how to reach you.
- Make sure your family stays hydrated. It’s easy to choose sodas and juices over water when you’re eating fast food, so bring plenty of water bottles along on the journey. Whether you choose to ride in a car or take another form of transportation, water is essential, so don’t forget to pack it.
- Bring a first aid kit that includes the essentials – bandages, antibiotic ointment, and an ice pack. Don’t forget to throw in items such as feminine products and a painkiller/fever reducer. Also bring a copy of any prescriptions you take on a regular basis. Should you need to get an extra inhaler, for example, you’ll want that information on hand.
- Discuss personal safety with each family member. Never tell strangers where you’re staying, how long you’re staying there, or what you’re doing on vacation. While someone may ask well-meaning questions, not everyone has your best interests at heart.
- Never let family members wander off alone. Use the buddy system when you’re not engaged in family activates. Plan when and where you’ll meet up even if each person has a cell phone. It’s not a bad idea to make sure that each person has a watch and a map so they are always aware of what time it is and where they’re going.
Family vacations are a wonderful time to bond with one another. With the right safety precautions, each person is sure to have a great time building memories that will last a lifetime.