Becoming a parent doesn’t have to mean being stuck at home. Here are seven tips to keep your kids safe while wandering the world.
1. Take baby steps. Travel to a destination you’re comfortable with.
Traveling as a family can be nerve-wracking, so don’t bite off more than you can chew. Begin by choosing a destination you’re comfortable with and work your way to more exotic locations from there. Traveling to a familiar destination with your kids acclimates them to the challenges of travel and lets you focus more of your energies on keeping them safe and happy.
2. Words of wisdom. Do an early briefing with the kids.
Before starting a journey, help your children understand the challenges of being away from home. Give them a short briefing before your travel date. Explain that they can expect large crowds and that mom or dad may need their help to keep track of them. Ask older kids to help you by keeping close and asking permission whenever they need to move farther than usual. Create a safety plan with your kids and teach them to identify and approach authorities in case of emergencies.
3. Tag! You’re it.
Carry a recent photo of each child in your wallet or pocket. It will make describing them to strangers much easier. Also, ask your child to bring an ID card with the name, address and telephone number of your hotel—or better yet, add a tag to their belongings every time you venture out.
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4. Immunization musts
Traveling means getting in contact with new cultures—and perhaps new bacteria. Visit your pediatrician before traveling internationally to make sure they have all the necessary vaccinations they need. Do your own research. Some destinations require specific immunizations, while other are just recommended. A quick search will help you make an informed decision.