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Spring Break Travel Safety

Spring break advice 1I hope you are doing well! Students' spring break is here, and so is an opportunity for many of us to step away from work and take a relaxing and much-needed break! 

While creating family memories is enjoyable, holiday travel can pose unique challenges. With that in mind, in case you are planning a trip this spring, I thought I would share a few tips to help ensure everyone's safety:

  1. Do Research on Your Destination - Before traveling, ensure that your destination is secure. Refer to resources like the CDC's travel-health site, the State Department’s safe-travel site, the local tourism board's site, and blogs focusing on travel safety. Consider advice from local residents in community groups on social media or platforms like Nextdoor.

  2. If Traveling Abroad, Enroll in STEP - The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a valuable resource created by the State Department for travelers. By enrolling in STEP, you will receive safety updates from the local embassy, the embassy can contact them in emergencies, and it improves the ability for family and friends to reach you during crises. Enrollment is free but must be renewed for each trip.

  3. Talk Through Plans With Children: Review the itinerary and plans with the entire family beforehand to allow everyone the opportunity to familiarize themselves with airport procedures, in-flight expectations, and the destination's specifics. When traveling with small children, it's beneficial to simulate scenarios they may not be used to, like holding onto their tickets, fastening their seat belts on the airplane, or maintaining silence in museums. Additionally, consider an ID bracelet with vital information in case anyone in the group gets separated.

  4. Prepare Your Older Kids for Solo Spring Breaks: Some high school and college-age kids travel solo for the first time or with other families during spring break. In addition to walking your child through what they should expect travel-wise, make sure you have names and contact information for everyone on the trip as well as lodging/excursion names and contact details. Encourage your kids to use the buddy system, avoid sharing information about their specific location on social media, and remember the dangers that come with the use of controlled substances. Determine the expected frequency of communication – and tell them to take (and share!) lots of pictures. (This is a big step – for you and them!)

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, I hope this helps ahead of any planned travel. Have an amazing spring, and as always, reach out should you need anything.