Some families do best when their vacations are a bit adventurous. Theme parks or lying on the beach are attractive to them only in small doses. These families bond best when their trips include some physical and/or mental challenges such as biking, white water rafting, zip lining through the jungle, or seeing animals up close in the wild.
Choosing Safe Adventure Travel Destinations
When booking an adventure trip abroad, it is easy for parents to assume they will enjoy the same service and safety standards that they are used to in their home country. This is a mistake that can have dire consequences. Parents need to carefully research the destination intended and the activities planned as well as the adventure travel companies and providers. As a general rule, countries diligent about protecting their tourist industries and countries where lawsuits are common are most likely to have stringent safety regulations.
Our agency can assist you in choosing a safe destinations for your vacation.
Choosing Safe Adventure Travel Tour Operators
Never simply choose the cheapest option. It is important to choose tour operators that have years of experience and that will meet your particular travel needs. Our travel agency will help find the right tour operator for you and your family.
Before putting down a deposit for a tour, parents should query the prospective providers and operators by asking the following:
• What is their suggested age minimum for the tour? (Unless the activity is rather mild or you have particularly adept children, assume that the phrase “adventure trips open to all ages” means ages 13 and up.)
• Does the activity require prior experience? Are beginners welcome?
• What is the company’s safety record? What is the worst accident they have had?
• Which safety equipment does the company provide? Do they have equipment in children’s sizes?
• Do they provide food and potable water? (This is a crucial question as dehydration is a common risk in adventure travel.)
• Can the company provide referrals from families who have taken their trips?
Safe Trip Preparation
Families should schedule a pre-trip medical visit at a clinic specializing in Travel Medicine 6 to 8 weeks prior to the trip, leaving enough time to complete any necessary vaccinations. Parents need to consult their insurance companies about coverage abroad and get a list of approved doctors and hospitals at their intended destination. Parents should also consider purchasing supplemental medical coverage for all family members and possibly evacuation coverage, depending on their intended destination and activities.
In addition to the list of doctors at home and abroad, parents should pack a first aid kit as well as sunscreen, insect repellant, and oral rehydration solutions (ORS) if applicable.
Knowing the possible risks, taking precautions, and using common sense are crucial to keeping kids safe during a family’s adventurous outdoor activities.
For more information on Family Adventure Travel feel free to give us a call at 1-800-800-7252.