If you’re looking forward to a holiday where you can really let yourself go, thinking about health and safety may be a bit off-putting, but it’s well worth doing. The better prepared you are, the less likely it is that you will run into problems, and that means you can relax and enjoy yourself properly. It’s a great feeling to know that your kids are as safe as they can be, even as you watch them hurtle down their first ski slope or start climbing up their first rock face.
Getting into the action
Adventure holidays have never been more popular and they’re increasingly finding ways to cater to children. Naturally this is something you should look at carefully before you book, making sure they’re properly certified and know what they’re doing, but most such holidays are very safe. In fact, taking your kids on trips like this can add years to their lives by showing them, at a young age, that active play is fun and something they never have to give up. It can encourage them to engage with exciting sports like diving, abseiling or mountain biking that will give them the fitness bug and ensure they’ll always stay in shape. If you choose your destination well, they’ll also have a fantastic time, and it’s a great opportunity for family bonding.
For some destinations, it’s important to start planning months in advance. You’ll need to find out what vaccinations you need (something that no longer applies just to hot countries) and in some cases you may need a series of them. You should also check with the Department of State to see if there are any current travel warnings related to the country you are going to. If anyone in the family takes medication, talk to your doctor to find out if it’s legal in that country and, if it’s not, if there’s an alternative that can be prescribed. Make sure you’ll have enough for the duration of the trip and take it in its original packaging in case of checks. Starting your planning early will also give you the chance to shop around for a good insurance deal.
Wherever you go, there are certain things you should make sure you know beforehand, and you should carry the information with you. This includes a set of simple phrases to ask for a doctor, ambulance or hospital in the local language, and the terms you need to explain any pre-existing conditions (talk to your doctor if you need help with this). You’ll need to know the local emergency services number and the location of clinics near where you’re staying. It’s also a good idea to have the number of the US embassy, just in case.
On the spot
Being well prepared includes taking a first aid kit with you and knowing how to use it, especially if you’re going to a place where there might not be other people around to help. If you’re staying in a hotel or an adventure resort, find out what emergency support options it has to offer. If anybody is going to be training or supervising your family, talk to him or her first and make sure they know what they’re doing.
Coping with accidents
Even when the best safety precautions have been taken, accidents can still happen. In this event, you should be able to rely on trainers, supervisors and the company you booked your vacation with to step in and give you the appropriate support. If this doesn’t happen, or if you feel the accident was caused by someone else’s carelessness, you may need to take legal action. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, it can help you cope with the consequences of the accident, recover more quickly and pay for any lasting support that may be needed. Secondly, it sends a strong message that holiday companies can’t get away with putting their clients at risk, so it can help to make other people safer in the future.
Although this may sound like a lot to remember, when you work through it methodically it doesn’t really take very long, and you’ll feel good knowing that you’ve done all you can to protect your family. Then you can set your worries aside and get ready to push your boundaries in a different way. Adventure vacations are all about taking on challenges – it’s time to test your mettle, or your kids will delight in being more daring than you are, and you’ll never hear the end of it!
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