When you travel, a sense of safety is as just as important as a thirst for adventure. And when you are going to be on the road with your family, their well-being and security is even more important.
Safety doesn’t have to be a tedious issue that stops everyone having fun, in fact it can be a part of it, but it is important to prepare for your next trip in a way that every member of your family can join in and understand.
It’s not that going on holiday is inherently dangerous, more that when you leave your comfort zone for a new place, certain incidents can occur that are out of your control. To give you an idea about what we mean, read on to discover our top tips for staying safe on holiday.
Even the world’s most intrepid travellers need to stay safe, after all!
Explain to your kids before you go
Before you go away, start to tell your children how important safety is when you are on holiday. You can use examples from home – looking both ways when crossing the street, not talking to strangers, etc. – to help them understand what you mean.
One thing to make a point of is that wandering off is a terrible idea. Small children sometimes have a tendency to do this, and other than keeping a close eye on them, there’s not much you can do. But if your kids are a little older, you can make a point of staying together.
Give your older children a sense of duty by getting them to help look after younger kids as well.
Leave smart phones and personal computers at home
Wrestling a lamb chop away from a Bengal tiger is probably easier than getting your teenager to part with their smartphone, but in the interests of safety you might want to be brave and give it a go.
The reasons for this are two fold: firstly, excessive use of an expensive phone in public may leave you susceptible to theft, and secondly, most public Wi-Fi connections are far from secure, leaving a phone vulnerable to outside interference.
As a compromise, try and get your kids to leave the phone at the hotel where they can use the internet there. Not only is it safer, but it can spoil a family holiday when one member is constantly looking at their phone every two minutes.
In today’s world, we are so used to using plastic for everything that cash is all but irrelevant at home. However, when you are abroad, you don’t want to risk losing your debit card and being left in the lurch without a source of money.
The best way to handle money abroad is to get yourself a prepaid travel card that you can upload with currency and use in a foreign country.
Caxton FX is a great example of this. You simply upload the card with your home currency and you are good to go. When you use it abroad, it will pay out in that country’s currency, charging you at a reasonable transaction rate behind the scenes. It’s safe, easy, and if you lose it, you don’t have to worry about calling the bank as there is only a limited amount of money on there.
Learn a little lingo
In the event you need some assistance or help, it’s very helpful to know a few phrases or words in the language of the place you are visiting.
You don’t need to be fluent, but perhaps terms like “I feel unwell”, “where is the nearest pharmacy”, or “please call an ambulance”, would be very useful in an emergency.
There’s nothing worse than needing help and not being able to ask for it, so even if you just carry a small phrase book with you, it’s worth it to feel prepared.
Be aware of your surroundings
Always keep an eye on your surroundings and what’s going on. If you have a bad feeling about a particular place then just leave. Sometimes your gut is the best indicator of a problem – always trust your intuition.
If you feel you are in danger or unsafe, look for a place to seek assistance. Perhaps the nearest shop or, if you are in luck, a police officer or security guard. The main thing to bear in mind is that you must remain calm, especially if you are travelling with children.
Take one bag
When you are out on day trips, there’s no need for everyone to have a bag; one backpack will do fine. Ensure you don’t keep all your valuables in one place, in fact just use the bag for things you need on your day trip. You can leave all your other belongings back at your London budget hotel.