It is always wonderful to travel with the family and experience wonderful things together. Of course even in strange places you want to protect them from any sort of harmful threat. At the same time it is possible to have fun and remain safe at the same time. The way to accomplish this is your family should discuss a safety plan and also chat about “what if” scenarios as a great way of thinking about what you may or may not encounter in unfamiliar surrounding. This way you can be prepared and respond to a situation more appropriately if and when it arises.
As much as you all want to tell everybody about the trip you are planning, it is best that you only tell the people that really need to know that you will be leaving. You never know who else may be over hearing your conversations. When you get back you will be able to tell everyone then about all the details of your great family trip…along with photos too!
Always use a travel agent that you trust and has a strong reputation along with the agency they work for. Check for local and state travel advisories ahead of time, and government agencies if traveling abroad. A lot of luggage can make you a target so do not over pack. Keep your luggage locked and with you at all times during transit; and make sure the luggage tags do not have any of your personal information on them. Wear appropriate cloths for where you are going to avoid looking too out of place or “touristy”. Give a copy of your itinerary, schedule, and contact information to a trusted family member or friend.
You will want to stay away from having your house look unoccupied while you are gone. So contact your post office and newspaper provider to make arrangements to hold deliveries during that time frame. You will also want to contract someone to take care of yard work or snow removal, depending upon the season. Place timers on various lamps, TVs and radios through out the house to go off at random times during the day to make your home seem like someone is there. A great safety investment in a home security system not only will provide your family with year round assurance but also may qualify you for a reduction in your home insurance cost. Check with your police department to see if they have a vacation watch list that you can be added to, along with the information of the person that would be checking in on your house while you are gone. Take a pre-trip to your bank’s safe deposit box to put all of your expensive jewelry, important documents (that you won’t need to bring with you), along with any computer backups. Any other of your large valuables should be locked away or placed out of view.
When planning a road trip, you will want to do a maintenance inspection on your vehicle several days to a week before leaving. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced along with checking the condition of the wipers, tires and fluids. You should have an emergency kit that contains a tire repair kit, flares, maps, flashlight, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, battery powered radio, first aid kit, non-perishable food, bottled water, and blanket. Plan your route out ahead of time finding out the safest routes to travel, and places that you would like to stop at for food, sight seeing or a rest. Watch the weather and be aware of changes in climate from the beginning of your trip to your destination along with how it will affect the driving conditions. Figure in plenty of time for stops, fun and traffic delays. Always stop if you do not feel good, are tired or upset – sometimes we just need a break. Make it a rule that everyone buckles their seat belts, there is never a good time to slack on protection especially vacation time. Safety requires patience and dedication so use common sense.
It can be great fun to stay in a hotel or motel in a different place you have never been. That hotel room becomes your home away from home. So if you are not staying at the home of family or friends, there are some safety rules to consider in choosing to stay in a hotel or motel room.
Plan ahead of time what kind of a hotel you are going to pick, what is acceptable to you and does it meet your safety standards. Keep in mind that the price of your stay is not always a good judge of the safety of the room. Always choose to stay as close to or above the 5th floor and away from stairwells. If there is a fire or other emergency, find out beforehand how to exit quickly and safely. The room’s door should be a solid wood or metal with a good deadbolt lock, electronic keycard access, night latch and a wide-angle peephole. Always use your Do-Not-Disturb sign, especially when you are not there, leaving one light on and play the radio or TV so it can be heard softly from outside of the room. When you return, always inspect the door, any hiding spots in the room and any other locks. Do not be afraid to ask the bellman to accompany you to the doorway of your room, and if it is offered, take advantage of valet parking.
So do your appropriate planning before hand, it will get your family trip off to a great start and will guide it along the way to becoming as wonderfully memorable as you hope.