10 Travel Tips For A Healthier & Safer Family Holiday

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We all enjoy taking a break from our working routine at home and travelling to beautiful new destinations. However, when traveling abroad, things can happen and they are not all that fun, so here are the top 10 travel tips you should know and apply in order to have a healthy and safe family vacation.

1. Double-check before leaving a location

Make sure you always double-check before leaving a location such as a bench in the park or a café table. The last thing you want is to forget your wallet, jacket or any irreplaceable valuables.

Check those drawers!

2. Don’t put all your money into the same place

While you may be keeping all your credit cards and money in your wallet back at home, when traveling you should split these in to several locations between you and your partner.

3. Get all relevant vaccinations

Check with a doctor or do some reading about the travel destination and potential health hazards and make sure you and your family members get all relevant vaccinations and immunizations.

4. Careful about public displays of affluence

It doesn’t matter where you go, whether it’s Dubai or Vietnam, be careful with public displays of affluence. Try not to wear expensive jewelry and keep your camera and phones tucked away when not using.

5. Avoid learning high-risk activities when abroad

Learning things such as driving a scooter or jet-skiing in a foreign country is not a good idea. Accidents can happen and your travel insurance most likely won’t cover it. If you plan on doing these things make sure you know how to do them before you go. 

Does your travel insurance cover this?

6. Don’t leave any belongings unattended

No matter what you do, make sure you don’t leave any belongings unattended. Especially if you are traveling with your kids they might not be the best to be left supervising your valuables.

7. Don’t pet any stray animals

No matter how cute a stray dog might seem, avoid patting it. You don’t want to have yourself or your kids in hospital with a bitten hand.

8. Boil it, cook it, peel it or leave it

In many countries, it might be unsafe to eat raw foods such as meat, fish, vegetables and fruits. The rule of thumb is that, if you can’t boil it, cook it or peel it, you should think twice about eating it. In saying that some of us have stomachs of steel!

Street food in Bangkok

9. Get enough sleep

It is important that you and your kids get enough sleep when traveling. Without a good night’s sleep, everybody gets cranky and you might not make the best decisions – plus, you won’t enjoy the vacation as much.

10. Get travel insurance

For peace of mind when traveling, one of the best things to do would be to buy a travel insurance policy for you and your family members. You could get insured for accidents, delays, theft and many other things that could otherwise ruin your trip. Within Australia check out Bupa Travel Insurance. Just research the right one for your trip and make sure it includes the benefits you need. 

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What is your very best travel tip for a safer holiday?


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Reader Comments...

"I respond to every comment by direct private email. I look forward to your feedback" -

All very sensible tips. I would add, drink lots of safe water. It helped with jet lag, rehydrates your body and is great for altitudes.

Paula McInerney Jul 6th, 2015

I always research the place we're going to be in beforehand. For example, when we went to Japan, which is almost 100% safe, there were some who erred on the side of caution in Kabukicho, so we were more wary when we explored that area.

Claire Shaw Jul 6th, 2015

Good tips - with or without a family they are valid, and people forget them too easily. Sadly my husband lost his ipad on a flight recently. BA didn't answer their 'left on the flight' lost property line and it vanished - which is hard to understand as we were in first class, in the 747 nosecone and last out of the cabin as he was faffing... hmmm

anna parker Jul 6th, 2015

I agree with Paula about drinking plenty of water and would add that if the tap water is safe, drink it and use a refilable bottle to take some out with you. The entire life cycle of a plastic bottle uses up fossil fuels, contributes to global warming and pollution and tap water is actually often better for you than bottled water. You'll also save money, which is always good too!

Kathryn Burrington Jul 6th, 2015

When flying with young kids, try to fly when they are usually asleep. That way - they'll sleep for most (if not all) of the flight (you should also try to sleep) & you can all make the most of your destination as soon you get there

Sam Jul 6th, 2015

Always email yourself a photo of all your travel documents ( passport, tickets, Accomadation, international license...)
you can loose everything but you can access your email account from anyone's computer

Danielle Jul 6th, 2015

Great tips. My best one is to pack a decent sized first aid kit. Often one of the kids will get sick and it comes on quickly and if you're not sure where to get antihistamine, paracetamol, antibiotic or a steroid cream where you are it can feel quite stressful. We've been travelling for three months now and have used our first aid kit on average once a fortnight - well worth the extra weight!

Rachael Jul 6th, 2015

My child and I both wear a stainless steel emergency bracelet for our world travel. Engraved are passport numbers, ID info, and 3 contact phone numbers: USA, Europe, and Australia. God forbid, if something happened and he got lost or I had an accident, authorities have someone to call. Or if we were both in an accident they can contact next of kin. The bracelets ever come off.

Ruth Johnston Jul 7th, 2015

Always put smallest bills on the outside of your cash wad so it's more difficult to tell how much you're carrying with you.

Emily Jul 7th, 2015

Respect and Common Sense!

Niels Enevoldsen Jul 7th, 2015

Send someone you trust at home your full itinerary including flights and trains and make sure to check in whenever you can.

Toks Weah Jul 7th, 2015

Keep a small travel kit with basic medicine and leave a contact numbers and addresses with a family member.

Bethany Conklin Jul 7th, 2015

Listen to your gut feeling, if you are sensing something isnt right, it probably isn't.

lisa gidley king Jul 7th, 2015

Wear scruffy jeans and a hidden money belt.

Kevin Honey Jul 8th, 2015

A good travel insurance is vital and make sure you read it to see that you are covered for certain health conditions and for dangerous sports should you plan on doing things like paragliding or parachuting, etc. And always be aware of what is going on around you in busy places.

Sabine Bassler Jul 8th, 2015

Take antibacterial hand gel and use it whenever touching things in common areas and eating. It can dramatically reduce your chances of picking up tummy bugs.

Max yorke Jul 8th, 2015

Check reviews!! Especially when staying hostels.

Michelle Phillips Jul 8th, 2015

common sense when travelling

iain maciver Jul 8th, 2015

Have fun, but stay alert

LynneH Jul 8th, 2015

You must have insurance

Carolynn Woodland Jul 8th, 2015

Full Insurance is a must

trevor griffiths Jul 8th, 2015

Always get travelers insurance!

Melissa Mazzur Jul 8th, 2015

scan all tickets, insurance documents and passports pictures to Dropbox and you will always be able to access a copy even if your phone gets lost

Sheila Hodgson Jul 8th, 2015

Good advice. I would add, make a note of passport numbers and important details like telephone numbers for insurance etc on a small card that you cane keep in a safe place, separate from your money and passports. Also keep cash, cards, passports in a money belt or pouch on your body.

Gill Barwood Jul 8th, 2015

Keep a back up copy of important documents in case anything gets lost.

Samantha Keen Jul 8th, 2015

Make sure your have travel insurance,and a fully charged phone

Graham Ross Jul 8th, 2015

Travel insurance and universal adapters are key.

Annette McCormick Jul 8th, 2015

copies of documents, keeping money in hidden wallet, make sure itinerary is known to family or friend.

Sarah Jul 8th, 2015

Put all liquids in bags

megan argyle Jul 8th, 2015

Have a positive attitude but don't expect everything yo be perfect. Read up on the country you are going to and understand their customs and what may be rude to the...learn a little of their language

Natalie U Jul 8th, 2015

Always bring extra booze :)

Ryan Jul 8th, 2015

plan ahead but don't make too strict of plans

dona j LewisPearce Jul 9th, 2015

Always make sure you have full insurance and do some research on the location prior to going.

Jane Barrett Jul 9th, 2015

Never travel without a loo roll..............

Diana Maxwell Jul 9th, 2015

Take any medication with a prescription / Doctors note in your hand luggage.

Zoe Jul 9th, 2015

Being a solo traveller my best tip is to wear a 'fake' wedding ring - it is a great deterrent to avoid unwanted male attention, although it can apply for single men travelling too.

Amanda Gorton Jul 9th, 2015

good advice

MIKE Jul 9th, 2015

Always take copies of travel insurance and a photocopy of your passport in case they get lost.

Rachel Butterworth Jul 10th, 2015

make sure your personal things are secure xx

laura stewart Jul 10th, 2015

wish this could be for us residents

regine Jul 10th, 2015

Carry toilet-seat covers/tissue paper with you wherever you go! They're invaluable- never know when an emergency may arise!

Neha Kaul Jul 10th, 2015

Always pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost or even worse your baby pees on you in the tiny bathroom while you are changing him/her (not that that happened to me or anything!)

Jessica Cassista Jul 10th, 2015

Carry tissues with you. And bottles of water. Also don't dress too fancy!

Sarah Jul 10th, 2015

What is your very best travel tip for a safer holiday?
- Keep your family together. You don't want a "Home Alone" type thing happening or someone kidnapping your kid :P

Jenna Austin Jul 10th, 2015

keep money in an inner zipped pocket

rich bar Jul 10th, 2015

We take a Fill 2 Pure Advanced Travel Safe water filter bottle each (kids too) and have used them all over the developing world with zero problems. So depressing seeing waterways and hillsides clogged with disposable plastic bottles. Also a small rubber door stop to secure dodgy accommodations from the inside :)

Jackie Jul 11th, 2015

I like to use a fanny pack wallet that I can wear under my shirt. This is where I keep my money and passport.

Jenna Y Jul 11th, 2015

Leave jewelry at home and make sure cameras are kept in a bag. Showing these off tend to make you targets to thieves. Sure you have the cash and gadgets, we don't need to know. :)

Kelvin Jul 11th, 2015

i would add drink plenty of water and research the place before you go to avoid scams and any dangers that may be around.

Marina Jul 12th, 2015

We never ware posh outfits and take a door alarm as we have problems in motels in the USA.

Keith Hunt Jul 12th, 2015

Take a photocopy of your passport with you, especially if going somewere with and embassy for your country!

Louise Mckeon Jul 12th, 2015

Make sure you have an EHIC card and adequate travel insurance and don't keep all your money in the same place

Lyla Horley Jul 13th, 2015

My travel tip would be to keep valuables separated! If you store most of your money, credit cards, etc. in one wallet, leave some others in a safe location back in the hotel or on a different person so that if you get robbed you don't lose it all.

Kirstie Jul 14th, 2015

don't travel alone-you're safer with someone else

david cavender Jul 14th, 2015

Try not to take anything too valuable, make use of the resorts/hotels safe. Use travellers cheques as much as possible.

Louise Asekokhai Jul 14th, 2015

Always have an emergency back up plan for when you travel.

Shauntea Crutcher Jul 14th, 2015

have a email copy of documents as well as extra set printed out. where travel pouch and keep money in that under clothes when out and about

Sharon Mclauchlan Jul 15th, 2015

Enjoy yourself and stop worrying you are on holiday, bad things happen rarely

Kevin McGovern Jul 15th, 2015

If you're making a long drive then don't hesitate to get a hotel for the night! Drive safely and be alert!

Ashley Morrissey Jul 15th, 2015

Always make sure you take cards as well as cash, especially a credit card with a decent credit limit. You never know in an emergency situation you may need quick access to extra money, for example for medical bills.

Richard Moore Jul 16th, 2015

I find advice from family and friends is the most valuable.

Stevie Jul 16th, 2015

Do not just go for the cheapest insurance - make sure you get adequate cover without cutting corners

Sheila M Jul 16th, 2015

Keep a copy of all travel documents and contact details (for insurance, travel agent, Australian Commission) in at least 2 bags, incase they go missing.

Susan W Jul 16th, 2015

Best Tip: Learn at least 5 basic phrases in the local language/dialect - Hello, please, thank you, I'm sorry, and goodbye. Even just making an effort to say these can really make a difference on how willing someone will be to help you. NEVER FAILS.

Ann-Marie Jul 17th, 2015

Keep your money in different places in your bags and pockets, with maybe only $20 or so in each pocket/place.

Koko Xu Jul 17th, 2015

Always leave a photocopy of passports, itineraries, credit cards, tickets, etc with a family member back home. If any documents are lost or stolen on holiday, these can easily be reissued when legitimate copies are produced!

Effie B Jul 17th, 2015

Always split your hold luggage between you so if your case is lost (as it can happen!) you will have some clothes available in someone else's case.

Emily Carter-Dunn Jul 17th, 2015

I would LOVE to win this :)

Annabel Murdoch Jul 17th, 2015

Research you holiday .Make sure every thing is in place

Barrie Bangert Jul 19th, 2015

Take a responsible adult (husband maybe ! ) with you to take care of all the safety stuff , you can then get on with enjoying yourself .

hazel murphy Jul 19th, 2015

Tip your cleaner on the first morning then they will keep your room clean.

mark elson Jul 19th, 2015

get insurance

bn100 Jul 19th, 2015

If carrying a shoulder bag of any sort,make sure it is properly over your shoulder and and hanging at the front of you. That way you can keep a hand on it at all times and see it at all times making it more difficult for anyone to steal from your bag.

Chris Harris Jul 21st, 2015

Always use common sense,

Mike Gerrie Jul 21st, 2015

Coca Cola, the travellers friend! - rehydrates after stomach upsets, cleaner & safer than local water, cleans kit, bribes children and always available!

annie tapps Jul 21st, 2015

My best travel tip is to plan ahead! I am the "planner" of the family and it does tend to drive everyone else nuts. However, planning ahead can truly save you from having a bad experience while on vacation. Planning ahead doesn't mean that every moment of the day has to be structured, rather its a matter of being prepared to do anything you may want to do on vacation. Planning will help you get the most out of your time away from home!

Elizabeth B Jul 21st, 2015

Only take with you the items you absolutely need on holiday. The more you take the more you have to store safely and have to protect from damage or theft. Keep things simple!

Kerrie McKay Jul 22nd, 2015

Don't carry around cash or expensive items, these will make you more vulnerable

Lauren Old Jul 22nd, 2015

Don't drink too much alcohol! Sure you're on holiday, and you want to have fun, but it can dehydrate you quickly and you can lose track of what you're doing...

Sarah Eaglesfield Jul 22nd, 2015

If anything was to go wrong it's advisable to have a back-up plan as to finding an alternative way of getting home.

Eileen Tingle Jul 22nd, 2015

fanny pack, map, binoculars, camera, friend, padlocks for suitcase, insurance, and ostrich pillow :)

cecille Jul 22nd, 2015

Prepare a travel first aid kit before leaving

eguiver yol Jul 22nd, 2015

Keep your wallet in your front pocket, and avoid carrying too much cash, many banks allow free withdrawals abroad so there is no excuse to be taking hundreds of euros!

zoe g Jul 23rd, 2015

go on holiday to safe country, and always keep eyes on your children even in the hotel everywhere

elzbieta znyk Jul 23rd, 2015

Never, ever leave your hand luggage unattended and where possible use padlocks to secure all zip compartments in both hold luggage and hand luggage. Keep all cash, documents and valuables on your person, where possible (I have a large bum bag for this very purpose) at all times and be wary of anyone bumping into you or approaching you unnecessarily.

Linda Hill Jul 23rd, 2015

make sure you have insurance

donna large Jul 24th, 2015

My travel tip is to avoid carrying large amounts of money with you and if you do have to, break it up between pockets and wallets. I learnt this the hard way after being pick-pocketed in Barcelona! :)

Jess Wood Jul 24th, 2015

Lleave space for the souvenirs, be happy, fearless and enjoy your trip! :)

Alba Albanil Jul 24th, 2015

Avoid Honeypot Rogue Wi-Fi Networks Not all free Wi-Fi is good Wi-Fi, and even if you're on a good Wi-Fi network you want to make sure you do everything you can to stay safe. When you're out at the airport, however, there are a lot of free ad-hoc networks that people create for the purpose of listening for your usernames and passwords. With Firesheep it can be particularly easy. Be wary of the networks you choose and know the network you're signing on to before you start entering

angelina masih Jul 24th, 2015

Taking immodium,hand gel and loo paper will restrict your movements but not your movements!

Tam P Jul 25th, 2015

Take lots of wet wipes.

Michelle Wild Jul 25th, 2015

Research before you travel and pay attention to the reviews from previous travellers. That way you can avoid scams and find the best places to visit.

Paul_S Jul 25th, 2015

drink actimel two weeks before you travel it boosts your stomachs immunity to anything it may pick causing less stomach problems on holiday

hayley matthews Jul 25th, 2015

Always use authorised means of transport - don't be taken for a ride by rip off merchants

PAUL STANLEY Jul 25th, 2015

If going abroad I always take a photocopy of my passport and insurance documents. Just incase!

Heather Tinkler Jul 25th, 2015

Travelers insurance, keep copies of important documents, and make sure to stay hydrated.

Nessie Jul 25th, 2015

My tip is add time for airport delays

MIKE Jul 25th, 2015

Before leaving home, be sure to secure your house. Lock all doors and windows, and don't forget to set the alarm. Also, give your home the lived-in look to keep away potential burglars by having a friend collect your mail, setting lights on timers and not leaving details of your trip on the answering machine or on Facebook or any other social media!!

Elizabeth Hostetler Jul 25th, 2015

Always be ready for the unexpected, especially when travelling with children.

Elisha Jul 25th, 2015

The B.U.P.A of tips
B - be careful what information you post on social media. Letting people know your house is empty is dangerous.
U - understand that whether at home or abroad things don't always run smoothly and pack a positive outlook.
P - prepare with a visit to the G.P to check health needs and get a general antibiotic.
A - always check that travel insurance will cover pre-existing conditions BEFORE booking.

Julie Jones Jul 26th, 2015

Keep all your important documents on dropbox ( or similar cloud based system which is accessable anywhere there is an internet connection) stuff like photocopies of drivers licences, medical insurance, passports and your itinery with copies of booking emails and confirmations. also have a document with addresses and phone numbers of close family and friends - not only for emergencies - but so you can send postcards etc! HUGE one is to take photos every day before you go out of your kids - what they are wearing etc - because if they get lots or separated, you have an extremely up to date photo of them to show security or police or passerbys - and this can be emailed or sent to a variety of places in seconds if they get lost ( I've used this in a theme park and in seconds of the photo being smsed to all security guards, my child was found)

Annie Mitchell Jul 26th, 2015

When overseas always travel with at least three types of payment options, such as cash, credit card, prepaid currency card, or the good old dinosaur - travellers' cheques. This ensures you'll have access to cash regardless! Also, it's a good idea to let your financial institution know your travel plans. You don't want your credit card cancelled or accounts frozen if they suspect OS transactions may be fraudulent! If this happens you'll be thankful for those dinosaurs ;)

Lauren Jul 26th, 2015

Here's one I didn't see on your list: leave your valuables at home! You can worry less about the public displays of affluence and theft in general if you travel without your nicest jewelry or electronics.

Matt Jul 29th, 2015

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