When you take your kids on trips with you, are you worried about their safety? Are you concerned they might get lost or injured? Every parent does that, and there are some things you can do to minimize the risk to your kids as you travel. Here are a few of the best tips for parents traveling with kids.
1. Provide Clear Instructions for Meeting before Every Stop
Depending on the age of your kids, you may want some of them to stay by your side at all times, and then some of them you may allow to go off on their own from time to time. Whenever you are stopping somewhere to visit a museum, shopping center, historical site, or some other spot on your vacation, you may let older kids go look around by themselves. Even if you do, you should establish clear rules about when to meet back together and where the meeting place will be. That way, even if their phones don’t work, they know where to find you and when to expect you.
2. Give Directions for Behavior for the Trip
Your kids should know before you start traveling what you expect from them while you are on vacation. You will want to establish rules for calling everyone back to you, so that when you give the word, the kids come running to you as fast as possible. You may want to pick a special word like “assemble”, so that they know which command means you are serious and you need them now.
You should also let them know to ask for certain things rather than to just do them on their own. For instance, you may tell them ahead of time to ask permission before they touch anything, talk to anyone, or pet any animals.
You should also tell your kids what to do if they get separated from you, like finding a police officer or calling a number for help.
These are just a few ideas for ground rules you can lay down before you travel, and doing that in advance will save you a lot of trouble during your trip. It will also help you to keep your kids safe and ensure you don’t have to worry about them as much.
3. Assign Partners
When you have kids that are old enough to do some things on their own or you have kids who may be prone to wandering off, it is a good idea to assign each of them a partner. Let them know who is responsible for who, and that will save you some work and get your kids to help in keeping each other safe and together. Kids can get distracted and start wandering off or not keep up with the group very well, but if you assign the responsibility of watching them to each other, you will have some of your work done for you. Of course, you want to keep an eye out for your kids as well, but this little tip will definitely make things easier on you.
4. Tell Your Kids Who They Can Go to For Help
In every country you visit, the police, military, and other authority figures can look a bit different. As you visit a new country, point out to your kids who they should go to if they get lost and need help getting back in contact with you. Depending on the age of your kids, you may even want to make it a game, occasionally asking, “Who can find the policeman?”
You can also tell your kids to look for employees in stores to help them or find another family with kids if they can’t do that. Also tell them what kind of people to avoid, not talk to, and not ask for help. That kind of information is very helpful so that your kids don’t make unwise choices when they are lost and in need of help.
5. Write Down Important Phone Numbers for the Kids
You packed the toothbrushes and deodorant, you turned off the lights at home, and you hired a cleaning service (such as this Maid Cleaning Agency In New York NY) to take care of the tidying up when you get back home, but what did you forget that will keep your kids safe when you travel? Your phone number may not be a number they have memorized, or they could forget it if they get separated and need help and suddenly get nervous and scared. So, you may want to write the number down for them and then place it in their wallet, purse, backpack, or in something else that they take with them everywhere. Let them know it is there and what it is for so they can make good use of it if they get separated from you.
You can also write on that same sheet your full name and the name of the hotel you are staying at or any other information that will help authorities locate you if your children get lost.
6. Run Drills before the Trip
When you tell your kids about an upcoming trip, they will be really excited, and that’s a perfect opportunity to teach them what to do when you travel. You can take opportunities when you go out ahead of your trip to train them on how to behave. When you go to the mall in your local area, or you go to other locations that aren’t your home, you can drill the kids on what they are supposed to be doing in large crowds, in stores, and in places where they get to go off by themselves.
If you can do all of these things to protect your kids, you won’t have as much to worry about. Your kids will be ready to handle the strange, new environments they will be entering, and they will know what to do even when something unfortunate happens. You can then spend your time enjoying your trip rather than stressing about how your kids will behave.