Research Your Destination
Before you book those flights, check the U.S. State Department's Safety and Security page to find out of there are frequent kidnappings, daily terrorist bombings, and the like. Remember that no place, even the U.S., is 100 percent safe, so it's a good idea to head to a travel forum for the area you're considering to find out what ex-pats and other travelers who've been there have to say. For example, while Juarez, Mexico may not be the best place to visit, the country is huge, with many safe and wonderful destinations filled with friendly people who love kids and will go out of their way to ensure you have a great experience.
Know the Local Laws and Customs
It's important to read up on the local laws and customs before you go to keep you and your family safe. Cars may stop for you at crossings at home, but that's not the case in India, Thailand, and other places. If you go to Singapore, don't bring chewing gum. Importing it into the country is banned and comes with a prison sentence and a fine of up to $100,000 SGD.
Be Cautious With Food Choices
Depending on the country you're visiting, if health regulations aren't as prevalent as they are at home, you'll want to be cautious with the foods you eat and that your children eat. Make sure you dine somewhere that's frequented by locals and that the food looks fresh. You can find out more by researching your destination and asking others who've been. In many countries, you can't drink the water from the tap as it can make you sick. That means sticking to the bottled version and making sure that fruits and vegetables are washed with filtered water too.
Have a Plan
Even if you're extra careful, families can sometimes get separated when they're in a big crowd. That makes it essential to have a plan so your children know what to do if they get separated from the family, such as knowing who to turn to for help if necessary. Practice the steps until it's second nature so that they can act calmly without panicking.
Get Familiar with the Layout Of Your Destination
One great way to keep you and your children safe while in a foreign destination is to get familiar with its layout before you go. Assuming they're old enough, get a map and go over it with them. You can even make copies so that everyone in the family has one - it can be used to plan your trip and get the kids excited about where they're going too.
Article written by Eric
(Photo by robwallace via Flickr)