Keeping Your Family Safe While on Vacation
So you’re planning your family vacation? You probably have a dream where the vacation goes perfectly. In these fantasies your family creates beautiful, stress free memories that will be remembered fondly. Unfortunately life does not always turn out the way we want. A child wanders off or a family member becomes injured or arrested. At that point instead of enjoying your vacation, you are spending hours franticly trying to locate the family member. By planning ahead your family will be able to deal with any major problems that can turn your vacation into a nightmare.
Know the Laws
We’ve all heard this story—repeatedly. Upstanding American citizen travels to an exotic location; he or she unknowingly or knowingly breaks a law, and suddenly the individual is facing jail time or major fines. The nightmarish result? Family separation, major fines that can sap the money needed to survive the rest of your vacation, and potentially harsh prison sentences. This is especially a concern when traveling outside the country to regions that are not as forgiving as the American courts.
What can you do to prevent an unfortunate arrest? When traveling to different locations in and out of the United States it is the traveler’s responsibility to research the laws of the region. The supreme court of the United States has ruled that ignorance of common laws is not an accepted defense in criminal trials. You cannot expect countries and states to bend laws for travelers when your own country or state would hold you accountable if you unknowingly broke a common law.
Before leaving the country fit every family member with a name card or tag. They can store it in their wallet, purse, or in their backpack. The older members of your family may scoff at this idea, but an accident may occur that leaves the individual unable to communicate with authorities. A name card with all the vital information will give authorities all the information needed to contact family members.
Name cards can also be used by family members that lack the communication skills or maturity to find their way back to family when lost. The cards should be written in both your own language and the language predominately spoken in the region you are visiting. There is no point of having a name tag if no one in the region can decipher it. The name tag is a very simple and cheap way of assuring that family will be able to be located.
Phones can go a long way in ensuring that your vacation does not become a nightmare. If you lose sight of one of your children, a phoneless child will have to locate a phone before he can call for help. Each family member having cell phones will allow family and parents to call the child as soon as they realize he has wandered off. It’s as simple as pulling out a phone and punching a few buttons.
If your children do not already have cell phones, temporary track phones can be purchased for around $10-$20 dollars. You can pre-purchase minutes for the family to use. Purchasing 60 minutes of call time will cost around $20. Forty dollars is a low price to pay to ensure family safety.
Smartphone GPS Tracking Apps
Phones and name cards while important still leave your family vulnerable. Children may be too young to properly provide visual cues to their location or they may not be able to locate a responsible, trustworthy adult to help them locate you. Installing GPS trackers like LifeCam 360 Family Locator and Traceper onto your smartphone will allow you to locate the exact location of family members. Many GPS tracker Apps are free to use. It is as simple as downloading the software and setting up the software to keep track of all the phones in your family. Smartphones can even be set to track non-smart phones for a small fee.
When planning a vacation, you can do a lot to ensure family safety by spending some time researching the laws of the region. The safety and wellbeing of family can also be increased with the proper technology. Name cards, phones, and smart phone tracking technology will make it a breeze to figure out where missing family members before stress and fear turn your dream vacation into a nightmare.
Naomi Broderick is a professional writer who’s secure in her abilities and even more confident in her parenting. When she’s not juggling her three children in the front yard she writes for ProtectYourHome.com, a leader in security alarms.