At Christmas time, perhaps more than any other time of the year, people are on the move. Individuals, couples and families often travel abroad for some welcome Winter sun, or to the other end of the country where they live, to visit elderly grand parents.
Whatever the reason the idea will be to have some fun and enjoy yourselves.
However, you must bear in mind that, travelling, especially as a family can have its problems. Here are a few common sense reminders about how to stay safe on your travels.
Much as the journey can be part of the fun when travelling we should never forget that it can also be fraught with potential dangers. This is never more true than when you are travelling as a family, especially with small children and, or, babies. Whether your party includes the very young, very old or, perhaps, just a wayward teenager, it is important that you follow travel safety information.
With access to the worldwide web it is easy to find helpful information and there are informative government sites such as http://travel.state.gov/ which will offer sound and sensible advice. Remember though to check out your local reference library also, as libraries still have much to offer.
Here are some common sense travel safety tips for family travel:-
- Make sure that everyone in your party, is fully aware of a practical emergency plan, to use should the need arise. This plan could be basic and purely designed in the event of the group being separated. The choice is yours. It is important, though, that everyone knows what to do should the worst happen.
- Each person should have their name, address and destination written on a label and attached to their clothing. Perhaps a jacket pocket would be a good place as long as the label is fixed securely. It is also a good idea to keep a copy of important travel documents, such as tickets, passports and visas.
- Make sure that you have firm travel plans. If you have small children, or an elderly person, with you it is not safe to gamble on your route and means of travel. Remember to check out the safety of where you will be travelling to also, such as crime rates.
- If you are holidaying in another part of the world or country check out public transport links, facilities and opening times over the Holiday period. Most places will only operate skeleton services over Christmas and the New Year.
- Dress for comfort on your journey and avoid wearing flashy, expensive clothes or jewellery Such items may attract unwelcome attention from thieves. Pickpockets are extra busy at Christmas time when people often relax their guard.
- Keep children close by and do not be afraid to make young children wear reins, or one of those wrist ties. They will soon get used to this and you will know that your children will be safe at your side.
- Always be conscious of your valuables such as handbags and purses. If you sit down, for example at the airport, put your foot through the strap of any bag left on the floor. If the bag is small enough, make sure that you wear it across your body at all times.
- Share out some holiday money between the adults, to be kept safely. This way if the worst happens, and you are robbed, there will be some money left in the kitty.
- Carry a fully charged, operational cell or mobile phone for emergencies.
- Ensure that you have some basic food and drink supplies. This is especially important if there are very young or old people travelling with you. In winter the weather can suddenly change and you could easily end up stuck in snow bound traffic for a little while.
- A basic first aid kit is a must. This should include insect repellent, insect bite and sting relieve if you are travelling to a hot climate. Antiseptic cream, band aids, headache pills, anti nausea or diarrhoea medication and antiseptic wipes may also be necessary. Think about your journey and where you are going and stock your first aid supplies accordingly.
- Make sure that you have at least two active credit and, or, debit cards with you. Have different people carry each card.
- Before you travel draw up your own list of safety tips which are relevant to you and your family. Often just thinking about such a subject will make you more aware of your safety.
- Finally make sure that all of your party understand any peculiarities of the country you are travelling to. It is important, especially in some countries, to abide by their rules and regulations. Failure to do so can jeopardise all of your safety. If the language will not be your normal tongue take a good phrase book with you.
- Once you have put your safe travelling plan into action above all enjoy your travel.
Unfortunately, at Christmas, there may be more intoxicated drivers on the road. Inevitably the risk of accidents is higher. Plan your journey well, so that if you are driving you will not need to rush or take chances. Take plenty of breaks and if possible ensure that the adults take it in turns to drive the vehicle.
If you become tired pull over and take a break and some refreshment.
Christmas is about fun and families however, with that happy spirit of mind, safety often is disregarded. Make sure that is not the case for you and your family.
Merry Christmas and stay safe.