Going on family holidays is always an exciting time that everyone looks forward to. Although many prefer not to think about, sometimes things can go horribly wrong. When travelling with children there are many ways to keep risks to a minimum and also avoid undue anxiety.
By following these 7 tips, the trip of a lifetime need not turn into a holiday disaster.
- Depending on the destination, health and safety standards may not be the same as in more developed nations. Though many people complain about restrictive regulations, these do actually help minimize risks. Be extra aware of exposed wiring and electrical infrastructure, unmarked open grates and pits, rusty hand railings, cracked pavements and chaotic traffic. Keep children close by and warn them to be more cautious than usual.
- The number one travel risk for children is exposure to disease from contaminated food and water sources. Kids have immune systems that are still learning to cope with the challenges life throws at them and adding a strange environment on top can pose extra risks. Be certain to drink from sealed bottles or cans. Eat hot foods rather than salads that may have been washed with tap water and remember to brush teeth with bottled water. Food poisoning is not just uncomfortable, it can be life threatening. Having more information at hand can reduce the risks significantly.
- Losing children or becoming separated in a strange environment can be a parent’s worst nightmare. Prepare a contingency plan in advance and make sure everyone knows what to do if things go wrong. Grab a bunch of business cards from the resort or hotel that includes the address and phone number and make sure everyone carries their own copy in a pocket. Also be sure that everyone knows exactly what to do if they become lost or separated, i.e. don’t leave the immediate area, find an elderly lady or shop keeper to help and wait for the group to find them.
- Cheap cell phones can be purchased new or used. Buy one for each member of the group and be sure they are programmed with everyone’s name and contact number as well as that of the accommodation. Practice calling each other to be sure each child knows how to make a call and create a simple drill to follow should the need arise.
- Warn children not to pat street dogs and cats as rabies is still a real threat in some destinations and bites and scratches can easily become infected.
- Oral Rehydration Solutions and anti-diarrheal medicines are easy to pack and can help stop dehydration from fluid loss should children get any tummy bugs while traveling.
- When out walking and exploring with two adults present, walk with one adult leading in front and the other following in back with the kids between. If there is only one adult then the children should walk in front so that they can be seen at all times.
The possibility of accidents and illness occurring is a calculated risk inherent in travel, as in any area of life. There is no need to avoid the joys of family holidays when a little planning and common sense can easily help moderate or avoid catastrophe entirely.
Related post: Top Cruise Lines for Family Vacations