Whether your teen or college student is traveling without supervision, or you’re ready to give them some independent time during your family vacation, it’s important to discuss Spring Break safety before leaving home.
Get familiar with the destination
Research online and read guidebooks about your destination. It is important to understand the culture, food, and business practices. For example, if you are going to Argentina, traditionally, businesses are open from 8am to noon. They take a siesta for three to four hours before opening their doors again.
So if you are unfamiliar and happen to be in a town where all doors are closed for lunch, you will be disappointed. What if you need local currency and all the banks and money exchange bureaus are closed, and your bus is leaving for the next town?
Learn the language
Although most service providers in the world speak English, knowing the local language can give a teen a slight edge when it comes to safety. Imagine if your son or daughter could understand the conversation between two locals and their intentions.
I’ve always reminded my teen daughter the importance of modest swimwear and casual clothing at the pool or beach. It is safer to dress modestly while on vacation.
Don’t go to deserted areas
Walking in a quiet alley or swimming in the ocean alone are not wise choices even if you want to get away from it all. We always believed in the ‘buddy system’ for our teens, even when they go to a mall.
Keep all expensive belongings at home
Travel light and keep it simple. Leave all your expensive designer bags, shoes and clothes at home. Wear simple but stylish without attracting attention. You have fewer things to take care of when you travel light.
Make copies of your passport and important documents
Always bring a copy of your passport, important documents and passport-sized photos for the just in case you lose it or misplace your documents.
In-room safe deposit and money belt
Do not leave valuables unattended or place all your money and passport in your bag. Keep your belongings in a safe deposit at the hotel and wear a money belt. It is safer to place important documents, credit cards and cash in the money belt.
Don’t get drunk
In Germany, legal drinking age is 16. For countries like Spain, Belgium and Austria, 16 year olds are allowed to purchase alcohol. Most countries’ legal drinking age is 18. If your teen is 18, they are at a legal age to drink in almost all the countries in Europe, Caribbean Islands, Central and South America.
Traveling gives young people the mental break they need to rest, study, and work more efficiently. A family trip abroad can help re-energize your children while you make sure they’re safe.
Teens need to take care of their health even when they travel. Pack an emergency kit with multivitamins, essential oils for nausea, motion sickness, diarrhea, headache, sores, aches, insect bites and more. We bring fever reducing over-the-counter medication too.
Claudia Looi is a mother of two teens, an online copywriter, and travel & web content writer. She and her family have sold almost everything they own and are traveling around the world for 18 months.