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100 Best Travel Safety Tips for Kids Vacation Guide

100 Best Travel Safety Tips for Kids Vacation Guide

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Travel safety is more than about kids getting lost in a crowded area. Knowing the top safety rules will help give families peace of mind when traveling to new destinations and offer protection against preventable accidents. These are the best travel tips for keeping kids safe on vacation, no matter where you roam!

Mom Rewritten uses affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through the links in these posts. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the Privacy Policy and Disclosures tab.

I received complimentary product for testing and review. All opinions are my own. This article published on May 21st, 2019 and has been updated and republished with a new date.

Travel Safety Tips for Kids

Keeping kids safe on vacation was top of my mind after we lost my 5 year old son on a spring break trip. One moment he was playing on the lonely beach in the sand with my husband. The next moment he was gone. It was the scariest ten minutes of our lives, not knowing where he was.

Empty beach and ocean in Monterey California
Beach in Monterey when my son got lost.

Looking back there are a few things we should have done to ensure that he’d never gotten lost in the first place. I started trying to think of ways that we could have kept him safe. There are steps and precautions we can all take in the future for keeping kids safe when traveling.

Whether you’re heading out on a road trip, traveling to a theme park, staying in hotels or flying with kids these are some of the ways you can keep kids safe on vacation.

Boy running by himself on the beach
One moment he was there, the next moment he was gone.

Tips to Keeping Kids Safe on Vacation

There’s more to consider than just getting separated when discussing travel safety tips for kids. This complete guide will cover many ways for keeping kids safe on vacation, including car seat safety, minimizing illness while traveling, and pool and beach awareness. I’ve included the top 100 tips and convenient shopping links for products that help keep children safe when traveling. 

Crowded wave pool area at Blizzard Beach water park, Walt Disney World in Florida
Really hard to find a lost kid in a crowd like this.

Safety Travel Tips for Families

Using the precautions and practices shared in this article, it’s possible to safely travel this summer, fall and beyond. The advice isn’t just for little ones; Families that are traveling with teens and older kids will be able to talk about these safe travel tips. There are added safety measures shared in this guide that parents should be taking, especially when traveling with young kids.

I’ll be going into depth on some of the additional tips and products that help keep kids safe on vacation and how to avoid potential dangers. 

Pre-Travel Preparation for Keeping Kids Safe on Vacation

Memorize Contact Information – For children that are too young for their own mobile phone, have them practice memorizing your personal contact info. In emergency situations, kids should be able to recite their full name and family member phone numbers to a police officer.

Don’t Share Locations on Social Media – Especially important for older kids with cell phones and media access, remind them not to share private details describing where they are vacationing. This can alert “followers” (ie: predators) to your child’s live location, including hotel addresses.

Role Play at Home – Are there ways to keep your child safe from predators, even while on vacation? Discuss “stranger danger” including staying within sight of parents. Teach kids what to do if a stranger grabs them and practice through role playing scenarios at home.

Prep Ahead of Time – Before going into an establishment (like the airport, theme park or museum) talk about expectations. Share about potential dangers things that children need to avoid, like perilous cliffsides while hiking, etc.

Talk About What to Do If You’re Separated – Discuss with your kids what to do if lost. Show kids what employee name tags look like in case they need to ask for help. Remind young children to stay put in case they are lost. With older kids, you may be able to determine a meeting place like a prominent location (ie: central hub or guest services booth).

What Can Children Wear for Safer Travel?

Before packing for a trip, consider some of these safe travel tips including what kids should wear during vacations.

Bold Colors – Dress your child (and yourself) in very bright clothing when traveling. It’s so much easier to see family members in a crowd if you can spot bright colors, like a yellow, orange or hot pink shirt.

Daily Snapshot – Take a photo of your child each morning so you have a record of what they are wearing.

No Personalization – Avoid putting your child’s name on their clothing or backpacks to maintain anonymity.

Comfort Above All – Pack shoes that are most appropriate for the activity. Ensure that new shoes are broken in and comfortable for all-day walking.

Travel Baby-Proofing Safety Kit

Taking a vacation with a baby or toddler can mean more preparation when it comes to accommodations. Whether staying in a vacation home, hotel, or even at the grandparents, a certain amount of awareness needs to be ensured.

Babyproofing can be especially important if you are staying with family on your vacation. Other families (like grandma & grandpa’s house) might have dangerous chemicals under sinks or medications where kids can grab them.

Bring a safety kit along with you during your travels to “baby-proof” the room (even if your child is no longer a baby, they might become curious).

Kids in a hotel bunk bed

Vacation Home and Hotel Safety Tips

Before settling in, make sure you check out the rooms for any potentially hazardous items. Conduct a hotel or room inspection for the following issues, then make corrections to the space as needed.

Looped window cords – Some older homes or hotel may have looped curtain pulls, which can be a strangulation hazard. Use a binder clip to lift and secure these out of reach from kids.

Furniture – Check sharp corners or glass tops on coffee tables. Watch out for trip hazards like rugs with a curled edge. Look for furniture that your toddler or child could climb and topple over, including televisions or furniture that isn’t secured to the wall.

Universal Orlando Cabana Bay family suite hotel room

Wires – Inspect the room for loose cables and wires to electrical devices or equipment.

Stairs and doorways – Use an adjustable gate to block access to stairways and doors.

Balcony – Double-check locks for sliding doors that open onto a balcony or patio. Balcony doors often have a secondary lock that is high and out of reach from children. Ensure that furniture, including tables and chairs, aren’t close to the edge where a child could climb on top to look over the balcony.

Exposed electrical outlets – Bring outlet covers.

Under cabinet chemicals – Request that these be moved to a safe location during your visit, or use cabinet locks.

Nearby pools and lakes – Remind children (even older kids) to stay away from swimming pools and lakes when adults are not present. Ensure that doors leading to the outside are locked and inaccessible to children. Keep reading through the article for additional water safety tips.

Baby wearing a Mickey Mouse Ears hat in bed at the Disneyland Hotel

How to Keep Medications Safe While Traveling

When sharing close quarters on a trip, medications and other products are often left out on the bathroom counter. An important travel safety tip to remember is keeping unsafe items out of the reach of children.

Medicine Storage – If you’re taking medications with you on vacation, be sure that pills stay inside their child-proof bottles.

Hotel Safe – Store medicine and other items inside the wall safe in the hotel room. Set a phone calendar reminder on check-out day to remember to empty the safe when packing up.

Lockable Toiletry Bag – Consider using a box with a lock for storage of medicine and other items you wish to keep out of the reach of your children. This lightweight Kaddy Secure Pill Organizer Box has a three digit TSA combo lock to keep items safe.

Ways to Eliminate Illness While Traveling

Every traveler wants to minimize the risk of catching a virus while vacationing! Naturally, this issue has been heightened over the last few years. Getting sick while on a trip is never fun, especially if illness spreads through the entire family. These are a few travel safety tips for kids that can help you avoid getting sick.

Clean Hands

  • Wash hands frequently, especially before eating.
  • Bring hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Use Wet Ones hand wipes to remove dirt.

Wear a Facial Covering

A well-fitting mask is a great idea for crowded spaces or on long flights. Look for kid-sized KN95 masks, which offer the best virus protection.

Disinfect to Help Prevent Stomach Bug

  • Ugh, nothing ruins a vacation like coming down with the stomach bug. Help keep the bug from spreading through the family with frequent hand-washing, the use of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.
  • Wipe surfaces in the airplane before flying, like the arm rests and pull-down table.
  • Disinfect items in the hotel room that are frequently touched, like the door knobs and remote control.
Kids on the bunk bed in the Adventure separate sleeping area at the LEGOLAND Hotel

Ways to Avoid Sunburn While Traveling

Sunburn can be a summer bummer! Wearing sunscreen is a must, but children often balk at the required consistent reapplication. These are a few sun protection safety tips to make avoiding sunburns easier.

Laughing boy at a hotel swimming pool splash pad

Have a Variety of Sunscreen Options

Choose different sunscreen applications that are most appropriate for your child’s age and body part. Aim to purchase “reef safe” brands that are environmentally aware.

  • Sunscreen lotion – Multi-purpose for the entire body. Can easily migrate into eyes, so use caution on the face.
  • Sunscreen stick – Ideal for face, chest, ears, and the back of the neck. Look for “no tear” versions.
  • Sunscreen spray – Best for applying to large body parts, like legs, arms, and back. Try one like Sun Bum Kids SPF 50 Clear Sunscreen Spray that works well on both wet and dry skin.
Concrete and sand at Aquatica water park

How Often Should Sunscreen Be Applied?

Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before getting into the water. Otherwise it doesn’t have enough time to soak in and will rinse off quickly in the pool.

Reapply sunblock every hour. Apply sunscreen each time kids prepare to get back in the water.

Stay Out of the Sun

  • If your kids are extremely prone to sunburn, consider indoor activities during the day and then swim at night.
  • Make hotel reservations with indoor swimming pools or water parks, like Great Wolf Lodge.
  • Pack a pop-up tent to escape from the sun at the beach during the heat of the day.

Best Swimwear for the Sun

Sun hat – Younger children and toddlers should wear a sunhat with a Velcro chin strap. This should be worn while they’re splashing to protect scalps and faces.

Swim suits and rash guards – I’ve found that one of the best ways to avoid sunburn is to cover up as much as possible. My kids have rash guards and swimsuits from Primary. Their swimwear has a UPF 50 rating for extra sun protection! Extra Discount: Enter code AFF20PCT off your first order for a 20% off discount!

Protection from Insects While Traveling

Nobody wants to get bit up by bugs on their vacation! On my last visit to the southern United States, I’d gotten a nasty bug bite on the final day. It took ten full days to clear! I was hoping to avoid such a fate on further travels, especially for my kids.

Look for insect repellents that are DEET-free, non-toxic and has pesticide free ingredients. Purchase products with natural, plant-based ingredients like lemon eucalyptus oil, cedar bark, citronella, peppermint and rosemary help to repel mosquitoes, flies, fleas, gnats and other biting insects.

There are lots of things to families to do in Palm Spring. Find out the top 8 desert adventures including golfing, museums, and water parks. Lots of tips on where to stay and what to do in the California desert with kids of all ages.

Top Bug Repellent Versions for Families:

Balm Stick – Easy to apply on smaller areas, Badger Bug Repellent Stick is convenient for travel and water resistant.

Continuous Spray – Appropriate for ages 6 months and up, Babyganics Kids Continuous Insect Spray offers full body protection.

Pump Mist – Ideal to spritz head to toe and over clothing, OFF! Botanicals Insect Repellent is a plant-based bug spray for ages 3+.

Mosquito Stickers – The easiest and most kid-friendly product of all, BuzzPatch Mosquito Patch Stickers offer protection for an entire day using all natural, plant-based ingredients.

Vacation Pool and Water Safety

Water safety is key to keeping kids safe on vacation, especially when traveling to family destinations like a beach resort, lake or hotel with a pool. Naturally, you’ll want to discuss with children not to go near the water without an adult. But teaching kids how to be safe around water can only go so far.

Elmo's Silly Sand Slides at Sesame Place San Diego with little girl sliding into the water

Stay within reach of kids in the water

Parents will also need to be constantly watching and within arms reach of children, even if you believe them to be “strong swimmers”.

If the hotel pool does not have a lifeguard, be on especially high alert. Ideally parents should join their kids in the water to be within arms reach. This is extremely important at the beach. The hot sun and strong currents or undertow can compromise even able-bodied swimmers into exhaustion.

Keep doors locked

If your hotel room is on the ground floor or has pool-side access, ensure that room doors are locked and dead-bolted so kids cannot leave the room without you. Same for vacation homes with swimming pools or lakes. Check the gate around the pool for reassurance that children cannot access the area without an adult.

Child wearing a life jacket at the Disneyland hotel pool
Poolside at the Disneyland Hotel with complimentary life jackets.

Beach Safety Tips for Families

The beach has its own additional set of concerns that parents should be aware of. These are a few cautions to watch for when taking a beach vacation.

Hot Coals – Point out fire rings at the beach, reminding kids not to step inside. Hot coals may be covered with sand and will burn feet, even if they’ve been sitting overnight. Always have kids wear shoes while walking across the beach sand.

Listen to the lifeguard – Remind older children to be aware of the lifeguard messages and watch signs to know where to swim.

Know what creatures are swimming in the ocean – Depending upon where and when you’re vacationing, visitors to the beach should know what to look for. Remind kids to stay away from jellyfish and to shuffle their feet in the sand in areas where stingray are present.

Pay attention to other swimmers – Be sure to watch for surfboards and boogie boards when swimming in the ocean. There are usually flags or signs on the sand indicating swim locations.

Riptide – Older children and adults may be tempted to swim out far into the ocean. Always be aware of the dangers of riptide, when the current can pull swimmers farther away from shore.

Bring a flag – It can be easy to lose each other on the wide, expanse of sand (especially in the busy summer season). Bring a colorful flag on a pole to stake near your beach site, making it easier to spot in the crowd.

Ideal Packing List for Safe Pool and Beach Travel with Kids

Swim diapers – A must have for swimming with babies and toddlers.

Approved floatation devices – Purchase the appropriate sized floatation device for your child, depending upon the situation (swimming or boating).

One of the things I love about Disney Resort hotel pools is that they offer child-sized flotation devices for kids.

We went on a trip somewhere else with our toddler last summer and had to do a Target run for “floaties” because we didn’t feel safe at the hotel pool without them. Bring them with you for your non-swimmers if the hotel does not provide them.

Two kids on the beach pool at Beach Club Walt Disney World resort hotel
Swimming in Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Sandals – One way you might not think of to keep kids safe on vacation is by packing flip-flop sandals for kids to wear down to the pool.

We saw many barefooted kids on a recent vacation. Unfortunately someone had broken a glass bottle just outside the pool gate. I don’t think anyone stepped in the glass. But in a child’s excitement to go swimming, they might not have seen it.

Water-resistant sandals are also a good idea at the beach. Kid’s feet should be protected against scorching sand and slippery rocks near tide pools.

I personally use pediped brand for my youngest kids, in particular the pediped Flex Canyon. They offer great traction and toe coverage for multiple terrains.

Traveling with Kids? These 3 practical tips will help ease into the changes like missing home or time zone adjustment.

Food and Dining Travel Safety Tips for Kids

Ensure Proper Food Preparation

Look for restaurants with the “A” sign in the window. This Department of Health notice lets diners know that those particular establishments pass code. Avoid street vendors, where sanitary food prep might be less than standard.

Drinking Water

When spending your vacation in another country, make sure that the water is drinkable before allowing your child to sip.

Is water not potable in your hotel? Place a sticky note reminder not to drink tap water from the spigot. Keep bottled water next to the sink for rinsing toothbrushes.

Food Allergies

For families with children that have food allergies, traveling to new destinations can be a major concern. If language is an issue, avoid restaurants and stick to eating foods where you can review ingredients labels. Pack snacks from home for the best assurance.

Pack a Get-Well Bag for Traveling with Kids

Despite all preparations to kids safe on vacation, sometimes your child may get sick. Even something like nausea from motion sickness can mess up your travel plans.

Rather than have to make a run to the 24 hour market at 3 am, have a basic medical kit ready to go with what you might need. Here’s what to pack with you for each trip with children:

  • Stomach pain relief – Tablets are easier than liquid for travel. Choose something like Pepto Child antacids.
  • Fever reducer – Pack one that is age-appropriate for your child’s age and weight.
  • Allergy reliever – You never know when allergies will strike, especially when traveling to different areas of the country or world. Bring Children’s Dye-Free Benadryl, just in case.
  • Sunburn relief – Aloe vera or sunburn relief cream is helpful in case of burn.
  • Anti-itch remedies – Pack a spray or lotion in case of rash or bug bite.
  • Injury care – Always bring a travel First Aid Kit with antiseptic and bandages.
Father and son on a beach in Carlsbad California collecting water for a sand castle

Are Safety Tattoos for Kids a Good Idea?

A safety tattoo can be an excellent back up for kids that might get separated during vacation. If my son had been wearing a SafetyTat when he was lost during our beach trip, it would have saved us 10 minutes of worry. The hotel lobby would have been able to call me immediately!

Boy wearing a Safety Tat, waterproof personalized tattoo on his arm
The SafetyTat temporary tattoo is water resistant.

SafetyTat is a water-resistant temporary tattoo that is easy to apply (peel and stick) and lasts up to two weeks.

Simply write your name and phone number on the surface with the included water resistant pen. There are a variety of styles including beach, dinosaurs, monsters, and princess SafetyTat.

In addition to returning lost kids, consider writing special needs on the SafetyTat. Along with a phone number, write down a note like “I have Autism”, “Nut Allergy”, “Non-Verbal” and “Diabetic” help other adults know immediately about your child’s special needs.

Travelers appreciate the idea of using the SafetyTat when traveling to busy locations like at the zoo, children’s museum or amusement park when kids can easily become lost.

The SafetyTat is also great for children to wear when in large groups where they might be separated from their parents, like at day camp, church or at a party.

Up close image of a Safety Tat, waterproof personalized tattoo on his arm
Write your number to personalize the SafetyTat and keep kids safe on vacation

Keeping Kids Safe on Vacation with Car Seat Safety

For road trip travel, you’ll likely be using your child’s every day car safety seat or booster seat. However if you’re flying to a destination and using ride share or rental cars, you may face these issues of not having the proper child safety seat.

Wear a seat belt – This should go without saying but everyone who doesn’t need a car seat should wear seat belts with shoulder belts when traveling in a moving vehicle. This includes all adults. Be a good example and buckle up!

Know the car seat policy for each state – Research ahead of your travels to know the accurate car seat safety laws for each destination you visit.

Bring your child’s car seat – To be sure kids have proper vehicle safety while traveling, consider bringing your own car seat when possible. This is the easiest way to ensure you’ll have what you need.

What’s a Travel Booster Seat? – For pre-K and up, travel booster seats are compact and lightweight. They are convenient when using Uber, Lyft, shuttles, or a taxi.

BubbleBum Inflatable Booster SeatWeighing under a pound, the BubbleBum is a travel booster seat designed for ages 4 to 11. This belt-positioning booster seat deflates for compact travel.

Rent a car seat – Some rental car companies will offer drivers the option to rent a safety seat with the car. However, you can’t assume that they’ll have the car seat you need when you arrive.

Cloud of Goods offers child car seat rentals, as well as rentals on strollers, pack ‘n play, and other travel essentials across the US. Book through the link for a 5% discount!

What about ride share car seats? – Some ride share companies may provide car seats for some children. However they won’t have a rear-facing car seat that children under two must use. For infants and toddlers, it’s best to bring your own.

Airline Travel Safety With Children

Take to the skies safely using the following travel safety tips for kids! Need more information about air travel? Check out this article by my friend Leslie at Trips With Tykes about the best airlines to fly with kids in the USA

Bring a car seat onto an airplane

If you’ve purchased a seat for your child (whatever their age), you may bring their personal car seat aboard the plane. Just make sure the car seat you bring on board is labeled as FAA approved.

For air travel, bringing a car seat isn’t necessary, but you may prefer if for certain ages. In my preschooler’s case, she was able to take a nap during the flight and stayed safely in her seat, even during some rough turbulence.

The Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat is very inexpensive, lightweight and perfect for air travel. I also appreciated that I was easily able to remove the fabric cover and machine wash it after our trip.

toddler sitting in a car seat on an airplane

Sanitize airplane surfaces

Before your child sits down, wipe down all touchable surfaces with a cleansing wipe. This could include the arm rests, windowsill, and pull down tray. Keep hand sanitizer close at hand for use before eating.

Wear a mask

Consider having older children and adults wear a facial mask during the flight. KN95 masks offer the highest level of protection for airborne virus.

Use a safety harness

Ensure a safer ride for toddlers, especially during takeoff and landing, by using a simple-to-install safety harness. The Cares Airplane Safety Travel Harness is easy to travel with on a plane, as it is more lightweight than a car seat.

Stroller Safety on Vacation with Young Children

Similar to car seat safety, it’s often best to bring your own stroller from home for vacation. In some instances, you may prefer to travel light and rent a stroller when you reach your destination.

READ MORE about taking a walk outside with a baby, which includes stroller suggestions for travel. These are some additional stroller safety tips to remember:

  • If renting a stroller at your vacation location, be sure to inspect for any spots that might pinch little fingers.
  • Choose the appropriate stroller or wagon for your trip. When hiking, choose an all-terrain version.
  • Always use the buckles to secure your child in tightly.
  • Get in the habit of putting the stroller brake on each and every time you let go of the handle. You never know when the stroller might roll away from you.
  • Never leave your child in a stroller unsupervised.
  • Personalize your stroller with a balloon or flag to make it easier to spot in a crowd. Glow stick bracelets and battery-operated lights make strollers more visible at night.
Read these 6 tips for walking with your baby including what to bring with you, where to go and choosing the perfect stroller. #Exercise #NewMom #Ergobaby #LoveCarriesOn

Florida Theme Park Stroller Rental

If traveling to Disney World or the Orlando area theme parks, consider renting your stroller from my partner Kingdom Stroller.

Keeping kids safe on vacation is important to them. Their rental strollers are well-cleaned, sanitized and in proper working order! Kingdom Stroller will also deliver and pick-up at the airport.

Baby sleeping in a stroller at Disney World

Theme Park Height Restrictions

Height requirements are created for kids’ safety, so it’s important to follow the rules for each theme park. Disney parks in particular are adamant about checking and rechecking children’s heights against ride markers. Knowing these requirements ahead of time can help guide your day at the theme park.

Check height at home before visiting. Compare the measurement to height restrictions posted on the theme park website. From here, you’ll know in advance which attractions your child is approved to ride.

READ MORE: Grab the free printable Disneyland ride height requirements checklist.

Is a Harness a Good Idea for Toddler Travel Safety?

All of the general safety tips shared in this article can be applied to travel with toddlers. One of the most important things about traveling with very young children is keeping them within sight.

If you have a “runner”, keeping your toddler safely within arms reach is key. Personally, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve chased my toddler through hotel hallways and in the airport because she decided to bolt! If you have a child that won’t stay close to you on their own, this harness backpack is a lifesaver.

There are lots of things to families to do in Palm Spring. Find out the top 8 desert adventures including golfing, museums, and water parks. Lots of tips on where to stay and what to do in the California desert with kids of all ages.

On a trip to Disney World I decided to get her a Skip Hop Toddler Leash and Harness Backpack. This turned out to be invaluable during our trip, especially when I was carrying luggage or needed my hands free. I was able to loop the strap around my wrist and know that my daughter was going to stay next to my side. 

The harness backpack can hold several diapers, wipes and a few small travel toys (ideal for the airplane and in restaurants!). We practiced at home with it before our trip so my daughter liked wearing it.

The harness also worked perfectly when standing in lines during our family vacation to Disney World. My toddler was able to stand by herself and the tether prevented her from climbing or running away.

Toddler wearing a Skip Hop butterfly backpack with harness

Outdoor Travel Safety Tips for Kids

For year-round outdoor vacations, this is must-know family travel safety advice.

  • Remind kids not to approach or touch wild animals, including squirrels and pigeons.
  • If visiting a National Park, follow all instructed guidelines, in particular bear safety tips like securing food at campsites.
  • Research hiking areas beforehand. Check out the visitor’s center, which often has seasoned guides and details about the area. You’ll want to be aware of any dangerous sections or things to look out for (ie: flash floods, rattlesnakes).
  • Ensure that everyone is wearing the appropriate gear including shoes. Be sure to have a fully charged cell phone, GPS, and paper maps. Stay on trails and away from any precipitous edges. Take enough bottled water (more than usual, if the weather is particularly warm).
  • Stay well hydrated to avoid dehydration. Bring plenty of water bottles and refill often. Use a hydration multiplier like Liquid I.V. during hot weather or when exercising.
  • Insist on safety precautions, like child-appropriate helmets when biking.
Toddler and kid riding in a bike, wearing helmets
Ensure that kids are safe with appropriately sized helmets

Prepare For Seasonal Irritants

Outdoor adventures can often include contact with an unwelcome irritant! These are a few things to be aware of when traveling in the wilds of nature.

Seasonal allergies – Even if you’ve never experienced seasonal allergies before, the introduction of dust, pollen, grass, trees, or weeds in an unfamiliar place can trigger a reaction. Pack children’s Benadryl just in case.

Identify poisonous growth – Poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac can cause intense rash and itching. Remind kids to stay on walking paths and view photos of the leaves to avoid.

Ticks – Avoid getting ticks by using designated insect repellent. Check clothing and bodies after hiking.

Bed and Sleeping Safety on Vacation

Just like at home, you should use common sense practices when putting children to bed. Of course, staying overnight in hotels and vacation homes can change up a child’s entire sleeping arrangement.

Baby and toddler travel sleep safety

If your infant or baby is using a hotel or hand-me-down crib or pack n’ play, be sure to carefully inspect before laying your child down for the night.

Take a peek at the sturdiness, look for any loose screws, check the mattress pad and inspect for pinch-points. Older model cribs may have peeling paint, exposing metal beneath.

And as always, no blankets near infants, put baby to sleep on her back and lay little ones in a safe place.

Preschool-age vacation bedtime tips

For preschoolers, you might be wondering if you should have them sleep in a crib, pack & play or just in bed with you? Most kids in the 2-4 year age range are too tall to be sleeping in a crib. But you might not want them sleeping in their own bed or with a sibling for fear of them falling off the bed.

The Shrunks Inflatable Kids Bed Rails are a great solution to this problem, allowing kids to sleep in a regular bed without fear of falling out. Shrunks are inflatable tubes that slip under the fitted sheet and act as a bumper.

Inflation and assembly into the bed took less than 5 minutes. I was able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing my preschooler would be comfortable and safe on the trip, even when sleeping in her own bed!

Inflated Shrunks inflatable bed tubes

Travel Safety After Dark

If you’re worried about losing your kids, it can be even more challenging once night falls. It can also be more difficult to walk on unfamiliar paths when it’s dark and tripping hazards are an issue. Read more for nighttime travel safety tips.

  • Remind kids to stay close to you, holding hands if necessary, especially when city walking at night.
  • Carry a flashlight.
  • Use glow necklaces and bracelets for kids to wear when walking about after dark. They’ll be easier to spot if you become separated.
  • If walking in a dark area where there are vehicles, dress your children in light colored clothing. Consider adding a reflective strip of tape to their back and down each pant leg for better visibility.
  • Wrap glow bands around the sides of a stroller to improve visibility at night.

Seeking Medical Care During Vacation

Families never know when illness can happen, even during a planned vacation. From ear infections to food poisoning, there are a variety of reasons parents may want to seek medical advice on a trip.

Pre-Vacation Check-Up – Before hitting the road for an extended vacation, be sure to schedule a pre-trip check up with your child’s pediatrician. The doctor will be able to check for any developing illnesses.

Pack the Shot Record – Bring your child’s immunization records on the trip. My son’s shot record recently came in handy when he stepped on a rusty nail that required a tetanus booster.

Kids sitting on benches next to statues of cowboys at Knott's Berry Farm

Bring Medical Cards – When packing your purse or backpack for the day trip, ensure that insurance cards come with you.

Know Locations – Research the location of urgent care facilities and emergency rooms that are within your insurance network.

International Travel – Taking an family vacation to a foreign country? Reach out to your insurance company and find out where you can visit an English speaking doctor in case of illness or emergency.

Use Teledoc or On-site Nurse Assistance – Ideal for when a visit to the emergency room or urgent care isn’t practical. A virtual visit or phone call can reassure parents.

During a vacation, my daughter developed a sudden high fever, accompanied by lethargy and vomiting on a stay at the Disneyland Hotel. Fortunately the hotel had access to a nurse, who spoke to us over the phone with advice on how to ease my daughter’s discomfort. The service was at no charge to us, a convenient bonus for hotel guests.

Sick girl laying in a hotel bed with a cool washcloth

Is Travel Insurance Important When Vacationing with Kids?

If there’s anything the pandemic taught us is that plans can change very quickly, causing a ripple effect across the world. Having travel insurance plans may ease some of the worry families have about making big vacation plans.

There are many reasons that families never vacation without travel insurance. Coverage can vary depending upon the company. Be sure to read the fine print and verify what each particular travel insurance covers and what it doesn’t, depending upon your circumstances.

Boy wearing a sun hat sits between two rocks in the desert

Medical Emergency Coverage – Travel insurance can help reimburse for covered medical costs. This is important to note for overseas travel, as vacationers will often need to pay costs out of pocket.

Travel Delay Coverage – Some travel insurance companies will cover the cost of eligible expenses as the result of a travel delay. This would have come in handy when I had to spend an overnight in Las Vegas with my children, forcing me to pay for extra meals and a hotel.

Trip Cancelation Coverage – Kids are unpredictable and sometimes vacation plans need to be put on hold. If you have to cancel a trip, travel insurance may reimburse you for prepaid, non-refundable trip costs.


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