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Family vacations are meant to be an opportunity to destress, have fun, and enjoy quality time with your family. They can also be a bit scary for parents with the risk of your child getting hurt, lost, or worse while far away from home and your support system. These vacation safety tips will help you in the event something goes wrong and will be the key to getting the situation under control. Allowing your family vacation to get back on track as quickly as possible, and you can relax.

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A recent photo of your child is beneficial if something should happen to your child while on vacation. A recent photo helps make finding your child easier if they happen to get lost while you’re away.

Keep Updated Full Body Photos of Your Children 

A recent photo of your child is beneficial if something should happen to your child while on vacation. A recent photo helps make finding your child easier if they happen to get lost while you’re away. While you could just describe what your child was wearing you may leave out details, which happens when you’re under duress. Having a photo to show people can help trigger someone’s memory to whether or not they have recently seen your child even if in passing. When it comes to finding a missing child every second and every detail matters.

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Black Family preparing for family vacation children with luggage

Do NOT Personalize Items with your Child’s Name

While it may be cute to give your child a backpack, water bottle, or t-shirt with their name on it, this isn’t safe. You’re probably wondering how something that’s seemingly innocent be harmful. Well, if a stranger is able to identify your child’s name due to the personalized item they’re wearing, they can pretend to know your child. This may lead to your child trusting this stranger who may harm them. After all, even as an adult, I’m guilty of assuming to know someone when they call my name despite not being able to remember them from anywhere. Imagine a child. Try this: instead of labeling your kid’s items with names try color-coding things or having a decal added to make it easy to tell things apart without a name being visible by strangers. This travel safety tip is effective for day-to-day activities.

Instead, you should write your phone number on your child's arm using a permanent marker. This can help keep the number clear longer.

Write your Phone Number on Your Child’s Arm and on a Card Attached to their Clothing

While we should all help our children memorize our phone numbers the fact is in a moment of trauma or fear remembering things like phone numbers can be a struggle for anyone let alone a scared child. Instead, you should write your phone number on your child’s arm using a permanent marker. This can help keep the number clear longer. Also, if you’re child gets sweaty or participates in water activities, you should update the ink once it starts to wear down.

Related: Always be Prepared with this Emergency Information Sheet

In case your number washes off your child’s arm, consider laminating a card or sticker with your contact information and pinning it to the back of a young child’s shirt. For your older children, they can keep this in their pocket or on a lanyard. This will give a backup option. You do not want to rely only on this because a paper or card can be lost so easily throughout a day of play.

Teach your Child to Recognize the Staff at your Vacation Location

Whether you are at a theme park, an all-inclusive resort, or a summer campground teaching your child how to pick employees out of a crowd teaches them how to find help if they get separated from you. Employees at these places are trained to not only keep your child calm but in following the procedures to help get a hold of you to ensure your child(ren) is reunited with their family as quickly as possible.

Instruct your child to look for uniforms, name tags, and other things that are similar among employees where you are. People running cash registers and cleaning up are usually employees that can help your child.

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Teach your child to look for another mother if they cannot find an employee. Other moms will be willing to help your child and protect them while they wait for you to find them. Mothers with children will understand what your child is going through and unlike asking any random stranger for help when your child goes to a mother with kids they are at a much lower risk of being hurt or kidnapped.

Family at Legoland Florida

Team up to Make it Easier to Keep an Eye on the Kids

I always say, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” This applies to keeping kids safe on family vacations, too. If you have more than one child with you on vacation this travel safety tip is even more important. While a solo vacation with your child may sound fun having another adult around makes a vacation less stressful. Trust me, you’ll want to have an extra pair of eyes and help while you are trying to balance things like keeping your kids safe while you run to the bathroom or even in a crowded amusement park. Parenting is not an easy job. Parenting on vacation is a lot harder. It can come with extra stress during a time you are meaning to enjoy yourself and stress less.

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Keep a First Aid Kit Handy

There are more dangers on vacation than simply getting lost or separated and it is always a good idea to be prepared. Keep a small first aid kit in your diaper bag or purse to handle injuries and mild illnesses. If traveling out of the country you should consider purchasing travel insurance that will cover those costs of healthcare on your vacation to prevent having a large unexpected bill due to an accident.

Share your most useful travel safety tips in the comments below to help other parents keep their children safe during family vacations.

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Kim S.
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Kim is a 30-something-year-old wife and do-it-all mom of two beautiful daughters; her rainbow babies. Kim uses Beauty and the Bump NYC, to share her perspective about the things that she loves most and finds beautiful: family, travel, cars, food and more. As a contributor to A Girl’s Guide to Cars, Kim shares her love for cars through providing helpful tips and car reviews from the perspective of a modern working mom.