I have a few great passions in life and one of them has always been travel. Whether it’s a quick weekend trip to see family or a month-long vacation overseas, being out in the world exploring is something that I live to experience. And while I might occasionally wish for a vacation on my own just to recharge a bit, for the most part I absolutely love having my boys with me on my adventures.
But travelling with kids can be hard, especially when they sometimes don’t understand the simple safety tips that adults follow automatically. Benjamin is notorious for leaving his luggage unattended while he looks at some interesting thing he’s found in an airport. And Zackary often tries to rush ahead in crowded places simply not understanding that there are so many people that he might not be able to find me. Still, travelling with kids can be a great experience with a little preparation! That why this month as part of the Master Lock Live Secure Safety Squad, I’m sharing my top tips for travelling safely with your family:
In the Car
- Make sure to check all car seats and ensure that the sizing is correct and that they are installed properly before heading out on a long trip. Car seats do have expiry dates so a road trip is the perfect time to make sure that the ones you’re using are still safe and valid.
- Give your car a quick tune-up before leaving by checking the oil, antifreeze, washer fluid and tire pressure. Consider purchasing auto travel insurance for additional peace of mind while on a long road trip.
In the Air
- Most older children are fascinated by the emergency instructions and will listen carefully as the flight attendants explain proper procedures. Help out by answering any questions your child has and showing your child the nearest emergency exit.
- Explain basic airport security to your children before arriving at the security gates. The process will go much faster when children already know to remove their coats, check their pockets and put their bags up on the conveyer. Plus, making the process clear for your children ensures that you have less to manage!
At the Hotel
- Check the hotel room for any dangerous items, such as matches, alcohol or toiletries, and ensure that they are out of your child’s reach. Find the closest fire escape and fire extinguisher in your room to ensure that you’re prepared in case of an emergency.
- Secure valuables in a portable travel safe such as the Master Lock 5900D SafeSpace Portable Safe to ensure that your important documents are secure. Make sure to include passports, travel insurance information and a current picture of your family.
- Ensure each child has your phone number and the name and address of the hotel. Older children can be taught to use a pay phone so that they can call if you become separated. Put a business card from the hotel in the pocket of your child’s clothing, and consider writing your number on their arm with a permanent marker so that it can’t be accidentally lost.
- Dress your children in bright clothing or give them a distinctive accessory to wear to ensure that you can spot them in a crowd. My boys have matching bright red Mario ball caps that work well for this. If you’re going to be out at dusk, consider buying a tube of glow sticks for your kids to wear!
Travelling safely with children takes a little more time and effort than travelling alone, but by teaching your children some basic safety procedures and making sure that they know what to do in an emergency, the experience of travelling as a family can be incredibly enjoyable with minimal stress. How do you ensure your family stays safe when travelling?