Our family was headed to the local mall for a community event when the boy informed us that he likes to travel the world. Yep. He does, and so do his parents. He got his first taste of travel at the wee age of 3 weeks old when he took his first flight. This got me thinking about travel safety.
Safety at Home: We make sure things stay safe at home by making sure the mail and newspapers are either stopped or brought in daily. If it’s winter, we hire someone to shovel snow from the driveway and sidewalks. It it’s summer; we do the same for mowing the lawn. And, we leave some lights on or on a timer.
We have someone come to our house four times a day to take care of our pets. We love that someone is in our house while we are gone and she takes care of the mail, newspapers, even the garbage.
We also make sure that our luggage tags just have our name and cell phone number, not address. Nothing like advertising the address to others while you aren’t at home! Same goes for magazines that we might take with us and read. I don’t leave them in the airplane seat pocket when I’m done if our address is printed on the cover. I have noticed lately that many magazines come with the address on a label attached to plastic wrap around the magazine—no address on the magazine itself. Start looking for my leftover magazines on planes!
Safety While on the Road (or in the air): We make sure our vehicle is in good condition and ready to make the journey. We also travel with a cooler, if by car. Even if flying, we carry on snacks. We make sure we have proper identification, car insurance information, medical insurance information, trip insurance information, airline telephone numbers, and destination numbers. Typically, I program all telephone numbers into my phone.
We leave a detailed itinerary with family and friends that includes arrival and departure dates, flight numbers, and the telephone number and address of our destination(s). It is also a good idea, if traveling internationally, to leave a copy of Passports with a trusted friend, in case your gets lost or stolen. The copy can be faxed to a needed location.
Packing travel guides for your destination can also be helpful. When we cruise, we take a Disney Cruise Line travel guide in case our shore excursion is canceled and we need to pick a new one, or we want to see the layout for another ship when making a reservation. We do the same for Walt Disney World and have done the same when traveling to Universal and SeaWorld. Even though we have studied before we go, it is helpful to have a guide handy for any last minute questions or planning.
If flying, we abide by all TSA regulations for checked bags and carry on allowances. The last thing I want is to be delayed due to luggage weights or security issues. We also keep our luggage secure before checking it for flights.
Safety at our Destination: Traveling with a child means taking extra care for safety and security while traveling, even with one as seasoned as ours. We try to make sure he is as familiar as he can be with the destination. We research, look at pictures, read books, and watch videos before our trips. We are also specific about where to go and who to go to for help or assistance, if we become separated. I also put a label in the back of his shirt, under the tag, that has my name and cell phone. If we were to become separated, he can share that information with someone who can assist him without making it visible to everyone.
I also take a picture of him daily so that if something were to happen, I have a recent photo that includes what he was wearing. When we wear matching shirts, it is even easier to remember!
Both the husband and I carry our cell phones, and keep them charged, in case we become separated from each other.
We also pack necessary medicines, first aid treatments, and a change of clothes for the boy. . . just in case. We also bring copies of all prescriptions including eye glass and contact prescriptions, just in case.
Most destinations have items in case of emergency but it may not be the brand or type you and your family members are used to using. If brand, size, type, and convenience are important to you, then be prepared by packing your own.
While making these safety preparations may seem like a hassle, the peace of mind that comes when we are prepared is, in my opinion, worth it. We have been the ones who have needed assistance because we weren’t prepared, and we have been the ones to offer assistance to others who weren’t prepared. For me, it’s best to be prepared.
Happy and safe travels!