Warm weather and sunshine mean that it’s time to plan a family vacation. However, as all parents know, chances to travel are also chances for kids to get themselves into trouble. Crime rates are higher than average in the summertime, and, depending on where you’re vacationing, your likelihood of being the victim of a crime could be higher there than at home.
With that in mind, here are some top tips to keep your vacation fun and drama-free for you and your kids.
Keep Information Safe
Impress upon your kids how important it is they don’t tell anyone your room number. Kids don’t have the best critical thinking skills, and could accidentally tell a stranger where your family is staying. You don’t need to be told how bad of an idea this is: a stranger doesn’t need to know what hotel room your children are in.
Likewise, make sure they understand that your room key isn’t something that should be treated as disposable. Losing their room key or misplacing it could be disastrous, especially if a stranger has overheard your room number.
Set up a safe meeting area as a backup plan in case your group gets separated. If you’re visiting a theme park, water park, beach, or similar attraction, you definitely want to have this meeting zone already agreed upon. Tell your kids to meet you at the meet-up point if they get separated from you. That way, you’ll know the odds are good that they can find you if they get lost.
If your kids don’t have cell phones, it might be a good idea to give them some prepaid phones just for the trip. Something simple works for this, as long as it can make calls to you or, in an emergency, to the police.
If you have teenagers in your family that are planning on leaving the hotel to visit the surrounding area, establish check-in guidelines. Teens should be equipped with a cellphone before striking out on their own. Make sure you know where they’re planning on being, and that they’re calling in at regular intervals to let you know they’re safe.
Some teens might resent these guidelines. However, it’s good for them to know that you’re only looking out for their safety. Try to impress upon them that you’re not trying to stifle them or restrict them, but instead that you’re just looking out for their health and well-being. After all, a safe vacation is a fun vacation!