When traveling with your family, regardless of where you are going, safety should always be your number one priority. There is no greater concern that you should have when you’re traveling to another country, or even when you’re staying at home for that matter.
If you agree that family safety needs to be your biggest concern when embarking on your next family vacation, but aren’t aware of some basic safety travel tips, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are the top five international family travel safety tips:
1 – Don’t Split Up
This is the simplest travel tip of all, but it bears repeating. No matter how safe the country or city you’re visiting is based on your research, don’t automatically take safety for granted.
Therefore, make it a rule that you as a family will never split up. This is especially true for when you’re traveling with smaller children.
For example, it will be unwise to stay in your hotel room with your spouse or partner while you send your children to go pick up food at the nearby shopping mart or convenience store. And even when all of you are out exploring the city or surrounding area, sticking together will be to your advantage.
2 – Have Emergency Cash On Hand
You should always carry some cash in the currency of the country you’re staying in for emergencies. Even if you have a credit card with you that allows you to make foreign transactions, carrying cash on you may prove to be advantageous in certain situations.
In order to obtain cash in another currency, you’ll need to set up an account with a money transfer service, either online or in person. You’ll hand over the amount of money that you want to be converted, and then you’ll pay a small fee and a margin of the current exchange rate (be sure to get a guaranteed exchange rate quote to pay as little as possible).
As far as how much cash you need to have on hand, it’s really up to you, but a minimum of the equivalent of one hundred U.S. dollars is a good golden rule for you to follow.
3- Be Ready For Medical Emergencies
Medical emergencies can and do happen while traveling. Maybe one member in your family gets sick, or maybe somebody sustains a serious physical injury.
Regardless, if you need to get treatment in a foreign hospital, you need to be prepared to pay. Some foreign hospitals will never help you until after you have paid them. The bill can be quite large like it is in the United States, and while your healthcare plan almost certainly will not cover the costs, you can still obtain travel insurance that will before you leave.
4 – Don’t Display Anything That’s Valuable
This is another basic safety rule while traveling: anything you have valuable on your persons needs to stay hidden. This includes jewelry (traveling isn’t the time to have on your nicest pieces), electronic devices, and money.
In addition, reconsider carrying backpacks on your persons while out in public. Carrying a backpack is a clear signal to potential thieves that you are carrying items of value. The exception to this rule is if you’re going to go backpacking away from an urban area, but even then, you’ll want to be on your guard.
5 – Scan Copies Of Your Passports
Before leaving, be sure to scan a copy of each family member’s passports, along with other forms of ID such as birth certificates and drivers licenses.
Proceed to e-mail these scanned copies to yourself and to at least one or two emergency contacts. This way, if you need to use your passport while you are in the foreign country but are unable to locate it, you’ll still be able to quickly access your detailed information.
Furthermore, if your passport truly is lost or otherwise stolen, it will be much easier to acquire replacements by having copies on your phone. You’ll need to pay a visit to the closest United States embassy or consulate.
Traveling Safely With Your Family Internationally
While having fun may be what you’re looking forward to with your family trip the most, the simple fact remains that safety needs to be a bigger priority.
With that in mind, the safety travel tips and strategies that we have covered will be ones that you cannot afford to ignore.