How To Stay Safe While Traveling

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There has been a lot of talk in the travel community lately about travel to the Dominican Republic. From suspicious deaths after ingesting alcohol, an athlete being targeted at a bar and killed, a woman being kidnapped, tortured, and raped. The thought of staying safe while traveling is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
 
Here are a few things you can do before traveling to make sure you will be safe.

Check With The CDC

The CDC offers travel health notices similar to that of the State Department. All you have to do is visit the CDC’s travel website and look up the country you are planning to visit to see if it is safe to visit. There are 3 levels of warnings. The most serious is to avoid nonessential travel. If you do have to travel there, take special precautions to keep yourself safe while traveling. The CDC will make recommendations on what you can do while traveling or before leaving to stay safe.
Travel notices are designed to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues related to specific international destinations. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, and natural disasters that may affect travelers’ health. 
They also have a page dedicated to different topics to help you while traveling. For example, if you’re traveling with children, they offer special tips to keep your kids safe. Pregnant and going on a babymoon? There are tips for you as well. Be sure to visit their site for tips to make sure you stay healthy when traveling and when you come home.

Staying safe from Travel Violence

The other site you need to check is the State Department’s website. You want to make sure that the area you are visiting is not in the middle of political turmoil or known for violence. No matter where you visit, you should always remain vigilant, but if you can avoid a disaster by knowing ahead of time that travel to a certain part of the world is not recommended, then you should use this resource and follow their advice.
 
Of course, things can happen unexpectedly. That’s why the State Department started the STEP program.  This is a “free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.” This way, while you’re traveling, you can remain informed about the safety conditions of the country you are visiting and make informed choices about whether you will remain there or come home. They will also contact you in an emergency, whether that’s a natural disaster or a family emergency. Likewise, they can also get in touch with your family and keep them informed on how you are should a disaster occur.
Stay Safe While Traveling
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Should Something Happen

The final thing you should do is buy travel insurance. I know it seems like it’s an extra expense for nothing, but when traveling abroad I can’t recommend it enough!
 
First, your medical insurance will not cover you abroad. If you or your children get sick while traveling, what is your plan? I know I’ve been guilty of not thinking this far ahead. When thinking about a family trip, it’s all about the fun we’re going to have; not about staying safe or the possibility of something happening. It didn’t even occur to me that my health insurance wouldn’t cover us if any one of us were to be hospitalized.
 
I’ve gone on a lot of cruises with my kids without even considering the what-ifs. It wasn’t until an article about someone that was airlifted from the Bahamas because they became ill and the expenses they faced that I even considered the fact that my medical insurance was no good in the Bahamas, or anywhere else in the world. This is one of the biggest reasons travel insurance is so important. It also covers a lot of other things like flight delays, lost baggage, cancellations, etc. But for me, the medical part and repatriation of remains are the most important. Because the last thing I want is to burden my family with unexpected costs because of my death.
 
So if you decide to forego travel insurance, make sure you have a plan in place to remain safe while you are traveling.
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Lissette Fernandez is a Miami native and mom of 2 silly babies ages 2 & 5. She is a crafty stay at home mom who spends her days running around to various kids activities or traveling to family-friendly spots. With a small stint in Tallahassee in her early 20’s, Lissette returned to her hometown, met the love of her life and started a family with the man of her dreams. A Florida girl through and through, she graduated from Florida International University with degrees in Liberal and Women’s Studies which gave her a desire to always learn new things. Her entrepreneurial spirit, extreme wanderlust, and desire to stay home with the kids led her to start writing and sell her crafts on Etsy and her online Boutique Store. She loves to help others through her own personal experiences and is learning to be a travel agent to be able to help other wanderlusting moms that are looking for great adventures with their kids. Follow along with her adventures at SillyBabiesBlog.com.