Have a Great Trip – Stay Safe.

Whether it’s a road trip, train trip or plane trip, it is wise to establish your own family travel rules to keep everyone safe and happy. Because we are out the door in the morning, I have just reviewed the trip rules with our-year-old grandson. After some thought his only question was can my mom be my buddy? I replied, “Why, yes she can.”

Naturally rules evolve as families mature and I have learned from experience when children know the rules ahead of time and the backstory for each rule, trips become more predictable, less stressful and safer.

Santa Claus City Limits


Five rules govern the bridge time which begins with our departure from home and concludes when we arrive safely at our vacation destination. Even though our family mix includes strong willed, independent, sometimes stubborn individuals, we choose to travel together and all abide by the same family travel rules.

Leave on time. Safe travel begins with a timely departure from home remains in place until you reach your destination

Make trip leader in charge. To lessen stress caused by situations out of your control, move and act as a group. While traveling one adult needs to be the point person and all travelers need to know who it is.

Use the buddy system. Just like swimming at the lake or in the sea, the buddy system is an invaluable tool to sustain safe, stress-free travels.

Listen and observe. While on the move everyone needs to practice situational awareness. Insist that your children use active listening. Listen to the adult in charge; listen to security staff; listen to the stewardess. Encourage them to keep track of their own possessions and actively observe their surroundings.

Remain flexible. Sometimes travel expectations fall short of the mark. A positive flexible attitude, even if you have to fake it, will keep your family safer.

If this sounds like micro managing, think again. The idea is to travel safely together not just for one trip but for all the subsequent trips and to enjoy the journey and time with each other.

Have a Great Trip – Stay Safe.

Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files.