This post is sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and I have received financial compensation.
We’re about to leave for Camp Mom South America. I hear from a lot of folks about their worries about safe travel with kids. You certainly can’t prevent calamity on the road. In the past two years we’ve faced kidneystones in Gran Canaria, tonsillitis in Vietnam followed up by bronchitis in Hong Kong and a broken elbow at…Disney World.
The main thing I’ve learned is that you can’t control what happens on the trip, but the decisions you make before the trip can make or break it once calamity strikes. I have a checklist I use before choosing a destination. When deciding where to go the following things are important to me.
Checklist for Safe Travel with Kids
1. Access to Western Medicine
This goes hand in hand with travel insurance. I’ve talked at length about why I’m so loyal to Allianz so won’t bore you here. I will just say with over $6K in paid claims since 2015 I’ve learned my way around finding doctors overseas. Allianz has a handy doctor finder app and website. I supplement their info with some research of my own. By doing so, I learned that Santiago has a Johns Hopkins hospital. I hope we don’t need it but it’s nice to know.
2. Decent Roads
Many years ago my parents lived in Monterrey, Mexico. To get from the US border to Monterrey you had two choices. The main road- which you shared with all manner of vehicles, many un-motorized, was best described as harrowing. The toll road was expensive, but empty and brand-spanking new.
The Mexican government put up billboards on the main road advertising the toll road. The ad featured a Mom and kids and the tagline: “Tu familia te está esperando”. I’ll never forget that phrase because of the use of the verb esperar. Esperar means “to wait” but can also mean “to hope” or even “to wish”. The sign seemed to say that your family wasn’t sure you would make it home alive unless you took the toll road!
So from now on I examine the road situation before I choose destinations- and especially before I decide to rent a car. I’m more concerned about accidents than disease when we travel.
3. Decent Vehicles and Drivers
I can’t control the drivers of every car but one- the one I let my kids get into. To keep the odds high I’ll get a driver who doesn’t have a death wish I bump up the luxury level when I hire tours and private drivers. More money means better cars and buses and drivers who have had their license more than a day. On a related note I’ll do Uber Black over Uber X anywhere I’m not 100% comfortable with the traffic situation.
4. Signs I can read, especially if I don’t speak the language
I only speak English and passable Spanish, but feel a lot more comfortable traveling places where signs are in the Roman Alphabet when I’m with the Deal Kids. My thought is that if we get lost I want to at least be able to attempt to name a street sign to find it on a map. Fortunately this has gotten a lot easier in the 25 years I’ve been traveling. In the 90s I didn’t see signs in pinyin outside of large cities in Asia. Two years ago in Vietnam and Japan they were much more common.
Share your tips on Instagram and win!
Allianz is working with Traveling Mom on a project to help us all travel better. What better way to encourage you to share than by coughing up come prizes? We’re giving away two $250 Visa/Mastercard gift cards on Instagram.
To enter, just follow @travelingmom and share a travel tip along with your best photo and the hashtag #TMOMAllianz. Winners chosen at random. The tip DOES NOT have to be about kids and safety- it can be anything that makes travel better.
The contest runs for 9 days: July 5-14 and you can enter as often as you would like. This sweeps is tailor made for you guys as I know most of you are on vacation anyway. Just throw the hashtag and a tip (I know you have tons of those) on your Instagram post and you’re entered. I fully expect at least one, if not both, winners to be TDM readers. I’ll be posting from Argentina and Uruguay- follow along @thedealmommyblog to see what we’re up to. Good luck!
The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network.