Traveling is fun, exciting, tiring and depending on your destination, generally safe. But bad things can happen. The best thing you can do before you go, is prepare.
- Blend in on your vacation. Before you leave for your trip, plan out your arrival. Dress like the locals. Preparing to blend into the ambience before you leave ensures you won’t be accosted the second you get off the plane. Don’t stick out like a sore thumb dressed in Western attire while you roam around a city where most women are wearing robes or the men are wearing turbans. If wearing a kimono means reducing your odds of being mugged (tourists are known for carrying a lot of cash) or abducted, then do just that.
- Try not to “play it by ear.” Have a plan in action for every day—and develop it either the night before or early in the morning.
- Plan. figure out where you’re going to have breakfast; figure out how much time you need in the morning to do anything related to the day’s events (e.g., get tickets, arrange transportation, bring enough diapers for the toddler).
- Have your young kids wear those sneakers that light up with each step; this will help you know where they are.
- Before you departed for the trip, you created something to put on your children’s person that contains vital information about them, in case they got lost, right? There are numerous GPS devices that can help you locate them is something happens.
- And your kids already know how to swim, right? An infant can learn to swim.
- And you’ve already taught your kids about stranger danger, right? Don’t wait till you’re on vacation to do this.
- And speaking of young kids…forbid them from dashing ahead of you, especially in crowded areas, especially in a foreign land. You just never know what could happen (e.g., someone swiping your child; your child accidentally ramming into someone and getting injured or inadvertently knocking over a frail elder). Really, I’ve seen kids bolting ahead of their parents like a freight train, including when the parents are not paying attention.
- Every morning, review instructions for emergencies. This includes instructing your kids to yell, “This man’s not my dad!” if they’re being abducted, rather than just wildly screaming.
- Before you left for the trip, you packed/uploaded/took headshots of every family member, right? In case someone goes missing?
- Every morning, make sure everyone has a headshot of everyone on their person. This way, if your young child approaches a woman (because they were taught to approach only a woman if lost), they can show that woman a photo of you and say, “I need your help. I can’t find my patrents.”
- You’re outside, eager to sightsee. But not before you get key landmarks squared away with everyone in your party.