As you all know, we are leaving for more than 6 weeks this winter. As a travel junkie, a mother and a crazy planner (that’s me!), I started to plan for some security and safety measures for our trip.
We never had a very bad experience while traveling. We always have been very cautious, and lucky. But traveling with our 3-year old, it takes the travel experience to another level. In fact, we are a lot more worried than before that something bad might happen, especially to her. We are worried she might get hurt, get lost or get kidnapped. Seriously, it’s worrying not only us, but friends and relatives too.
We know, since we have a lot of experience traveling, that we can travel safely with children. We’ve already been backpacking with her in Central America, and in Puerto Rico too. But, a crawling baby is different than an exploring toddler. We definitely need more planning and precautions this time.
If you are just like me, a worrisome parent, you will definitely like to hear about the measures I took to guarantee our safety while traveling. Things can still go wrong, but I don’t want to take more chances that I absolutely have to.
There are a lot of child locator on the market, and a lot of GPS to track your kids too. But they don’t always work abroad (because of the GPS feature), or you need an activation and get monthly fees. Or they are big, or come with a phone (I don’t want my 3-year old to have her phone yet!).
After a lot of research, I found the best child locator for travelers like us, or for people who wants a simple solution for keeping their child safe. It is the Mommy I’m Here Teddy Tag. It comes with a free downloadable app for iPhone and Android. Free… that’s a sweet word in my ear!
I have to say I haven’t tried it yet. I ordered the pink one directly from the owner who is, by the way, a friendly father who has his children’s safety at heart! I can’t wait to test it, but wish to never have to use it!!
What’s different than all other child locator? It is easily fully rechargeable, perfect for people on the road. It is very small (two inches long, under two inches wide and only three quarter of an inch thin), so it won’t bother my little girl.
The Teddy Tag will do 3 very important things for me.
First, it will automatically alert me when my toddler wanders out of my predefined zone, zone that I will establish in the app, by ringing my smartphone via the ring tone I’ll choose. It works with the latest Bluetooth 4.0. This would come very handy if we ever lose sight of her. By the way, we usually always know which parent is responsible to watch our girl. Problems arise when we both assume the other parent is taking care of our precious little one. That mistake can be very costly. For those miscommunication mistakes, the Teddy Tag will be priceless!
Second, I will also be able to set off the 90 decibel alarm tone on my child’s bear at any time right through my iPhone (or an Android phone) from over 100 feet away. So if we lose sight of Emma-Kate, we will be able to locate her very easily! By the way, a train whistle at 500 ft or a motorcycle at 25 ft makes that much noise! If it ever gets too noisy around us to hear the alarm, my little girl will without a doubt hear it and stop to cover her ears!
Third, if Emma-Kate feels lost or scared, she can simply press the little red button on the Teddy Tag’s tummy to alert my phone and let me know! Lately, we started to talk to her about the bad people that can hurt her. So we will prep her before we leave: if someone takes her from us, she pushes the little red button very fast, before the bad people will strip her clothes from her (because that’s what kidnappers do, to be sure we won’t recognize her easily).
Oh, and yes, it is water resistant! And the child cannot turn it off! And it comes in pink and brown.
Hotel room safety
Here’s another worst case scenario that I will do everything to avoid: a break-in in our hotel room while we sleep! Scary!! I shopped on the internet, and found 2 devices that can help me with that.
At first, I looked into the Travel Door Alarm. It’s not expensive and I will only have to hang the travel door alarm on the inside handle of my hotel door. That’s very simple, so even if it’s late at night it won’t be hard to install, especially since it comes with a flashlight. If someone tries to open the door, a very loud 120 decibel alarm will sound (that’s as loud as a chain saw!). We will definitely hear that even with earplugs!! With this device, we will all sleep like babies.
I also looked into the Portable Door Lock, since maybe my little girl sleep walk and she might be the one playing with the door and set off the alarm! This portable lock can be used on almost all doors that open towards ourselves. It makes the lock inaccessible from outside the room, even if someone has a key to the room. And it can even lock a door without a lock, such as the bathroom.
I should receive those two locks soon. We will probably use them both, because we want to avoid break-ins in our hotel room, but we also want to avoid Emma-Kate to get out of our room! By bringing both, we will be safe in about all hotel rooms possible.
And by the way, both are tiny and light, so they will even fit with all my luggage in my carry-on.
As soon as I test them, I will tell you which one I prefer and if they deliver.
Visiting a travel clinic
One of the most important thing is health. And I know there has been a lot of controversy around immunizations given to children, but I think that when we are traveling, the best decision is to get our child all the shots she needs so she doesn’t get the typhoid fever or hepatitis A.
Children play with other children, so they get in contact with almost everybody. Children abroad don’t necessarily have the same immunization program as we do in North America. I don’t want to worry every time Emma-Kate will play with another kid. Her trip would be boring, and mine would be stressful. And that would be nothing compare to getting sick abroad.
Become a member of IAMAT
When we become a member of IAMAT, we instantly have access to trusted English-speaking doctors around the world. There is no fee to join. Membership is valid for one year and renewable with a donation.
As it is stated on their website, the ‘IAMAT membership grants you access our international network of qualified doctors and mental health practitioners committed to providing travellers the highest standards of medical care. As a member you pay our affiliated healthcare provider directly at the time of service based on the IAMAT set fee. Our practitioners are able to refer you to a specialist and report back to your own doctor if needed. They are vetted by us, an organization with over 50 years of experience in travel medicine.‘
You can even find on their website a list of all the immunizations you need when you travel to a specified country and much more.
So if we have a health problem abroad, we can get quality care provided by people that understand and speak our language. What I usually do, I list all the doctors of the places I will be visiting and bring their contact information with me. So I’m always prepared if we get sick or have a health emergency.
Registration of Travelers Abroad
This one should be a no-brainer for everyone. It takes 5 minutes to fill the form, and it keeps us connected to our country in case of an emergency abroad, such as an earthquake or civil unrest, or an emergency at home.
Who wants to be left in a foreign country when a tsunami hits or an earthquake?
If you take those 5 precautions, you will keep your family safe, if you are traveling abroad, and even if you are traveling in your own country. Because break-ins, loosing your child, child kidnapped, health problems and accidents can happen anywhere.