Summer is the perfect time for families to take vacations and create lasting memories. It should be a worry-free and enjoyable time, and it can be when you prioritize safety. Below are 10 tips to help you, your kids taking part in vacations with local youth mentoring programs, stay safe during your summer vacation!
Plan ahead and do your research
Before setting off on your summer family vacation, dedicate time to plan and research your destination thoroughly. Familiarize yourself with the local area. If you’re going to be driving to your destination, plan your route and breaks ahead of time. If your trip is abroad, look into local customs, laws and regulations. Research the safety of the area, including any potential health risks, natural disasters or high-crime areas. Making informed decisions will help ensure a smooth and safe trip.
Pack essentials and emergency supplies
Prepare a well-stocked travel kit that includes essential items like first aid supplies, medications, sunscreen, insect repellent and any necessary documents. Additionally, pack emergency supplies such as a flashlight, extra batteries, a portable phone charger, a map and a list of emergency contacts. These things will come in handy in unexpected situations.
Consider travel insurance
You might want to invest in travel insurance for your family vacation. Accidents, illnesses and unexpected circumstances can occur, and having adequate coverage will provide peace of mind. Ensure that your policy covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost belongings and other potential mishaps that could disrupt your plans.
Practice water safety
Many summer vacations include a trip to the water park or beach. Ensure everyone in your family knows how to swim, or enroll in swimming lessons beforehand. Follow all posted signs and regulations at beaches or pools. Be sure to use life jackets when boating or participating in water sports, and always supervise your children near water.
Keep everyone hydrated
Summer vacations often mean spending long hours outdoors in the sun. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Apply and reapply sunscreen regularly, wear hats and sunglasses, seek shade during the hottest hours and dress in lightweight, breathable clothing to protect against heat-related illnesses.
Go over road trip safety
If you're heading out on a road trip, ensure that your vehicle is in good condition before setting off. Buckle up, use child safety seats as appropriate and follow traffic laws at all times. Take regular breaks to stretch, rest and avoid driver fatigue. Keep emergency roadside assistance information handy in case of breakdowns.
Teach your kids about stranger danger
Have a conversation with your children about stranger danger. Teach them how to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Establish clear guidelines for interacting with strangers and emphasize the importance of staying close to trusted adults at all times, especially in crowded places. You could even have a safe word for them to use if they don’t feel safe.
Charge your phone before leaving and establish a communication plan. Agree on meeting points in case anyone gets separated, and teach children how to use their phones, if they have one, to contact emergency services and trusted family members. Regularly check in with each other and those back home to maintain peace of mind.
Be careful with personal belongings
Protect your family's valuables by using lockable bags or small safes in hotels, never leaving bags unattended and being mindful of pickpockets in crowded areas. Make digital copies of important documents and keep them in a secure cloud storage service.
Trust your gut
If a situation feels unsafe or uncomfortable, remove yourself from it. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid secluded areas at night and be cautious when accepting offers or assistance from strangers. Prioritize the safety and well-being of your family above all else.
Be a part of youth mentoring programs
DREAM’s youth mentoring programs take a trip to Worlds of Fun each summer, as well as participate in various activities in the Omaha area. If you’re interested in volunteering with DREAM, contact us today to see how you can get involved!