Things to keep in mind while travelling with kids
Travelling with kids throws up different kind of challenge and requires different kind of preparation.
Travelling with kids can be exciting or nightmare for both you and the young ones. Advance planning and preparation go a long way in ensuring the trip is remembered for the right reasons. We share tips to enjoy your journey.
Book early: First and foremost book your tickets well in advance. A confirmed ticket will give you peace of mind and you can start preparing your kid for the journey.
Irrespective of the mode, kids also look forward to the trip. If the kids are old enough involve them from the planning stage and half your job is done. If you are travelling by train booking early will ensure you get a berth of your choice. Overnight journey saves you lot of trouble as major part of journey is spent sleeping. But if its early morning train or flight make it a point to put the child to bed early or else your half asleep – half awake child is sure to throw tantrums. An irritated child can test your patience when you are boarding the train or plane.
An irritated child can test your patience; avoid that by keeping your child engaged
Road trips throw up different kind of challenge and require different kind of preparation. Travelling in your vehicle automatically comforts your kid. But if it’s a different vehicle keep some of your child’s favourite toys to keep him occupied. Early morning start will ensure everybody is fresh for the trip.
What to pack: If you are heading to the mountains, then pack some woolens. Change in climate is known to be a big spoiler on such trips so carrying some extra woolens is a small price to pay. Let him have his favourite toy/bottle anything that you think will make him comfortable. If you have bought something specially for the trip make sure your child uses it before the actual trip.
Games: While travelling, avoid the usual video games or computer games. Try to introduce your child to board games or books on long journeys. For road trips both video and board games are bit difficult to manage. But you can play games like memory test or identify the vehicle contest. You can also tell them about the place you are visiting or people they will be meeting. If you too are visiting the place for the first time, find out more about it from the travel agent or internet. Don’t forget to reward the winner whenever you stop for a break. The tried, tested and never out of fashion “Antakshari” can be enjoyed on such trips.
Food: It is one thing that you will require to be extra prepared. Prepare all the special food your child needs including their comfort food. Also check with the hotel if your special requirements will be taken care of. Though packaged snacks are easily available everywhere the kids will demand extra food. Keep homemade snacks for emergency needs. Even if kids don’t finish it off you can enjoy it with a hot cup of tea.
Medicine: Whether the trip is long or short you must carry all the medicines with you. This includes both the essential and non-essential ones. Also inform your family doctor about the visit and that you may call him in case the child falls sick.
World Tourism – some facts n figures
? Why is tourism and travel important for any economy?
The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP in 2013 was USD 2,155.4bn (2.9% of GDP). This is forecast to rise by 4.3% to USD 2,248.2bn in 2014. This primarily reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services). But it also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists.
The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP is expected to grow by 4.2% pa to USD 3,379.3bn (3.1% of GDP) by 2024.
The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP (including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts) was USD 6,990.3bn in 2013 (9.5% of GDP) and is expected to grow by 4.3% to USD 7,289.1bn (9.6% of GDP) in 2014.
It is forecast to rise by 4.2% p.a. to USD 10,965.1bn by 2024 (10.3% of GDP).
? What’s the component of leisure and business travel out of the total contribution to GDP?
Leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 75.6% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2013 (USD3,412.8bn), compared with 24.4% for business travel spending (USD 1,103.7bn).
Leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 4.3% in 2014 to USD 3,558.1bn, and rise by 4.4% p.a. to USD 5,451.2bn in 2024.
Business travel spending is expected to grow by 4.7% in 2014 to USD 1,155.5bn, and rise by 3.7% pa to USD 1,661.1bn in 2024.
? What’s the %age of domestic traveller vis-à-vis foreign traveller?
Domestic travel spending generated 71.3% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2013 compared with 28.7% for visitor exports (ie foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts).
Domestic travel spending is expected to grow by 4.2% in 2014 to USD3,354.5bn, and rise by 4.2% pa to USD5,057.1bn in 2024.
Visitor exports are expected to grow by 4.8% in 2014 to USD1,358.6bn, and rise by 4.2% pa to USD2,052.4bn in 2024.
These are massive numbers and suggest effortlessly that travel is growing, and growing consistently, regardless of world facing several challenges on account of recession and terrorism.
These numbers also indicate that increasingly more number of people are looking to travel within their country, and overseas as well.
? How does Travel & Tourism help in generating employment, and how many jobs it might help create?
Travel & Tourism generated 100,894,000 jobs directly in 2013 (3.4% of total employment) and this is forecast to grow by 2.2% in 2014 to 103,069,000 (3.4% of total employment).
This includes employment by hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services
(excluding commuter services). It also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure
industries directly supported by tourists.
By 2024, Travel & Tourism will account for 126,257,000 jobs directly, an increase of 2.0% p.a. over the next ten years.
The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment (including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts, see page 2) was 265,855,000 jobs in 2013 (8.9% of total employment). This is forecast to rise by 2.5% in 2014 to 272,417,000 jobs (9.0% of total employment).
By 2024, Travel & Tourism is forecast to support 346,901,000 jobs (10.2% of total employment), an increase of 2.4% p.a. over the period.
Safety Precautions when travelling aborad
When you travel abroad, the odds are you will have a safe and incident-free trip. Travelers can, however, become victims of crime and violence, or experience unexpected difficulties.
We have prepared the following travel tips to help you avoid serious difficulties during your time abroad.
Before you go
What to take
Safety begins when you pack. To help avoid becoming a target, do not dress in a way that could mark you as an affluent tourist. Expensive-looking jewelry, for instance, can draw the wrong attention.
Always try to travel light. You can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. You will also be less tired and less likely to set your luggage down, leaving it unattended.
Carry the minimum number of valuables, and plan places to conceal them. Your passport, cash and credit cards are most secure when locked in a hotel safe. When you have to carry them on your person, you may wish to put them each in a different place rather than all in one wallet or pouch. Avoid handbags, fanny packs and outside pockets that are easy targets for thieves. Inside pockets and a sturdy shoulder bag with the strap worn across your chest are somewhat safer. One of the safest places to carry valuables is in a pouch or money belt worn under your clothing.
If you wear glasses, pack an extra pair. Pack them and any medicines you need in your carry-on luggage.
To avoid problems when passing through customs, keep medicines in their original, labeled containers. Bring copies of your prescriptions and the generic names for the drugs. If a medication is unusual or contains narcotics, carry a letter from your doctor attesting to your need to take the drug. If you have any doubt about the legality of carrying a certain drug into a country, consult the embassy or consulate of that country before you travel.
Bring travelers’ checks and one or two major credit cards instead of cash.
Pack an extra set of passport photos along with a photocopy of your passport’s information page to make replacement of your passport easier in the event it is lost or stolen.
Put your name, address and telephone numbers inside and outside of each piece of luggage. Use covered luggage tags to avoid casual observation of your identity or nationality. If possible, lock your luggage.
What to leave behind
Don’t bring anything you would hate to lose. Leave at home:
• Valuable or expensive-looking jewelry
• Irreplaceable family objects
• All unnecessary credit cards
• Your Social Security card, library card and similar items you may routinely carry in your wallet.
Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home in case they need to contact you in an emergency.
Make two photocopies of your passport identification page, airline tickets, driver’s license and the credit cards that you plan to bring with you. Leave one photocopy of this data with family or friends at home; pack the other in a place separate from where you carry the originals.
Leave a copy of the serial numbers of your travelers’ checks with a friend or relative at home. Carry your copy with you in a separate place and, as you cash the checks, cross them off the list.
What to learn about before you go
Local laws and customs
You are subjected to the laws of the country you are visiting. Therefore, before you go, learn as much as you can about the local laws and customs of the places you plan to visit. Good resources are your library, your travel agent, and the embassies, consulates or tourist bureaus of the countries you will visit. In addition, keep track of what is being reported in the media about recent developments in those countries.
Things to arrange before you go
As much as possible, plan to stay in larger hotels that have more elaborate security. Safety experts recommend booking a room from the second to seventh floors above ground level — high enough to deter easy entry from outside, but low enough for fire equipment to reach.
When there is a choice of airport or airline, ask your travel agent about comparative safety records.
Have your affairs in order at home. If you leave a current will, insurance documents and power of attorney with your family or a friend, you can feel secure about traveling and will be prepared for any emergency that may arise while you are away. If you have minor children, consider making guardianship arrangements for them.
Register your travel
For US nationals – It is a good idea to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program — think of it as checking in — so that you may be contacted if need be, whether because of a family emergency in the United States, or because of a crisis in the area in which you are traveling. It is a free service provided by the State Department, and is easily accomplished online at travelregistration.state.gov. (In accordance with the Privacy Act, the State Department may not release information on your welfare or whereabouts to inquirers without your express written authorization.)
Make a note of the credit limit on each credit card that you bring, and avoid charging over that limit while traveling. Ask your credit card company how to report the loss of your card from abroad. Toll-free 1-800 numbers do not work from abroad, but your company should have a number that you can call while you are overseas.
Find out if your personal property insurance covers you for loss or theft abroad. Also, check on whether your health insurance covers you abroad. Even if your health insurance will reimburse you for medical care that you pay for abroad, health insurance usually does not pay for medical evacuation from a remote area or from a country where medical facilities are inadequate. Consider purchasing a policy designed for travelers, and covering short-term health and emergency assistance, as well as medical evacuation in the event of an accident or serious illness.
Precautions to take while traveling
Safety on the street
Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home. Be especially cautious in (or avoid) areas where you may be more easily victimized. These include crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, market places, festivals and crime-ridden neighborhoods.
• Don’t use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets.
• Try not to travel alone at night.
• Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
• Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments.
• Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.
• Avoid scam artists by being wary of strangers who approach you and offer to be your guide or sell you something at bargain prices.
• Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will jostle you; ask you for directions or the time; point to something spilled on your clothing or distract you by creating a disturbance.
• Beware of groups of vagrant children who could create a distraction to pick your pocket.
• Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse-snatchers.
• Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. Try to ask for directions only from individuals in authority.
• Know how to use a pay telephone and have the proper change or token on hand.
• Learn a few phrases in the local language or have them handy in written form so that you can signal your need for police or medical help.
• Make a note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your hotel, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
• If you are confronted, don’t fight back — give up your valuables.
Safety in your hotel
• Keep your hotel door locked at all times. Meet visitors in the lobby.
• Do not leave money and other valuables in your hotel room while you are out. Use the hotel safe.
• If you are out late at night, let someone know when you expect to return.
• If you are alone, do not get on an elevator if there is a suspicious-looking person inside.
• Read the fire safety instructions in your hotel room. Know how to report a fire, and be sure you know where the nearest fire exits and alternate exits are located. (Count the doors between your room and the nearest exit; this could be a lifesaver if you have to crawl through a smoke-filled corridor.)
Safety on public transportation
If a country has a pattern of tourists being targeted by criminals on public transport, that information is mentioned in each country’s Country Specific Information in the section about crime.
Only take taxis clearly identified with official markings. Beware of unmarked cabs.
Well-organized, systematic robbery of passengers on trains along popular tourist routes is a problem. It is more common at night and especially on overnight trains.
• If you see your way being blocked by a stranger and another person is very close to you from behind, move away. This can happen in the corridor of the train or on the platform or station.
• Do not accept food or drink from strangers. Criminals have been known to drug food or drink offered to passengers. Criminals may also spray sleeping gas in train compartments. Where possible, lock your compartment. If it cannot be locked securely, take turns sleeping in shifts with your traveling companions. If that is not possible, stay awake. If you must sleep unprotected, tie down your luggage and secure your valuables to the extent possible.
• Do not be afraid to alert authorities if you feel threatened in any way. Extra police are often assigned to ride trains on routes where crime is a serious problem.
The same type of criminal activity found on trains can be found on public buses on popular tourist routes. For example, tourists have been drugged and robbed while sleeping on buses or in bus stations. In some countries, whole busloads of passengers have been held up and robbed by gangs of bandits.
Safety when you drive
When you rent a car, choose a type that is commonly available locally. Where possible, ask that markings that identify it as a rental car be removed. Make certain it is in good repair. If available, choose a car with universal door locks and power windows, features that give the driver better control of access. An air conditioner, when available, is also a safety feature, allowing you to drive with windows closed. Thieves can and do snatch purses through open windows of moving cars.
• Keep car doors locked at all times. Wear seat belts.
• As much as possible, avoid driving at night.
• Don’t leave valuables in the car. If you must carry things with you, keep them out of sight locked in the trunk, and then take them with you when you leave the car.
• Don’t park your car on the street overnight. If the hotel or municipality does not have a parking garage or other secure area, select a well-lit area.
• Never pick up hitchhikers.
• Don’t get out of the car if there are suspicious looking individuals nearby. Drive away.
Patterns of crime against motorists
In many places frequented by tourists, victimization of motorists has been refined to an art. In some locations, the efforts at public awareness have paid off, reducing the frequency of incidents. You may also wish to ask your rental car agency for advice on avoiding robbery while visiting tourist destinations.
Carjackers and thieves operate at gas stations, parking lots, in city traffic and along the highway. Be suspicious of anyone who hails you or tries to get your attention when you are in or near your car.
Criminals use ingenious ploys. They may pose as good Samaritans, offering help for tires that they claim are flat or that they have made flat. Or they may flag down a motorist, ask for assistance then steal the rescuer’s luggage or car. Usually they work in groups, one person carrying on the pretense while the others rob you.
Other criminals get your attention with abuse, either trying to drive you off the road, or causing an “accident” by rear-ending you.
In some urban areas, thieves don’t waste time on ploys, they simply smash car windows at traffic lights, grab your valuables or your car and get away. In cities around the world, “defensive driving” has come to mean more than avoiding auto accidents; it means keeping an eye out for potentially criminal pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders.
How to handle money safely
• To avoid carrying large amounts of cash, change your travelers’ checks only as you need currency. Countersign travelers’ checks only in front of the person who will cash them.
• Do not flash large amounts of money when paying a bill. Make sure your credit card is returned to you after each transaction.
• Deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money, buy airline tickets or purchase souvenirs. Do not change money on the black market.
If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police. Keep a copy of the police report for insurance claims and as an explanation of what happened.
After reporting missing items to the police, report the loss or theft of:
• Travelers’ checks to the nearest agent of the issuing company
• Credit cards to the issuing company
• Airline tickets to the airline or travel agent
• Passport to the nearest embassy or consulate
How to avoid legal difficulties
When you are in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws and are under its jurisdiction. You can be arrested overseas for actions that may be either legal or considered minor infractions in your home country. Familiarize yourself with legal expectations in the countries you will visit. The Country Specific Information pages include information on unusual patterns of arrests in particular countries, as appropriate.
Some countries do not distinguish between possession and trafficking, and many have mandatory sentences – even for possession of a small amount of marijuana or cocaine. A number of people have been arrested for possessing prescription drugs, particularly tranquilizers and amphetamines, that they purchased legally elsewhere. Sometime they have been arrested for purchasing prescription drugs abroad in quantities that local authorities suspected were for commercial use. If in doubt about foreign drug laws, ask local authorities or the nearest embassy or consulate of the country you are traveling to.
Possession of firearms
Sentences for possession of firearms in Mexico can be up to 30 years. In general, firearms, even those legally registered in your country, cannot be brought into a country unless a permit is obtained in advance from the embassy or a consulate of that country and the firearm is registered with foreign authorities on arrival.
In many countries you can be detained for photographing security-related institutions, such as police and military installations, government buildings, border areas and transportation facilities. If you are in doubt, ask permission before taking photographs.
People have been arrested for purchasing souvenirs that were, or looked like, antiques and that local customs authorities believed were national treasures. This is especially true in Turkey, Egypt and Mexico. Familiarize yourself with any local regulations of antiques. In countries with strict control of antiques, document your purchases as reproductions if that is the case, or if they are authentic, secure the necessary export permit (often from the national museum). It is a good idea to inquire about exporting these items before you purchase them.
Safety on the Street
Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home. Be especially cautious (or avoid) in areas where you may be more easily victimized. These include crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, market places, festivals and crime-ridden neighborhoods.
Don’t use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets.
Try not to travel alone at night.
Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments.
Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.
Avoid scam artists by being wary of strangers who approach you and offer to be your guide or sell you something at bargain prices.
Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will:
• Jostle you,
• Ask you for directions or the time,
• Point to something spilled on your clothing, or
• Distract you by creating a disturbance.
Beware of groups of vagrant children who create a distraction while picking your pocket.
Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse-snatchers.
Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. Try to ask for directions only from individuals in authority.
Know how to use a pay telephone and have the proper change or token on hand.
Learn a few phrases in the local language or have them handy in written form so that you can signal your need for police or medical help.
Make a note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your hotel, and the nearest embassy or consulate of your country.
If you are confronted, don’t fight back — give up your valuables.
10 things to keep in mind when traveling abroad
? It’s important to learn and understand the general laws of the country you are visiting because you are subjected to its laws for your duration of stay in that country. You may be arrested for spitting in public in Singapore. It is for your own safety, and hence you’re sincerely advised to learn from books or internet or friends.
? Any new culture would seem unnatural to you but you should be respectful of it for the simple fact that you have chosen this place to visit because not only for their beautiful and scenic locales but also to know their beautiful people. So it’s better to be aware of the customs and traditions with respect to appropriate and acceptable clothing or the table manners.
? Today, its very easy to learn and know the frequently used phrases and sentences that could help you getting lost in a new country or place, or to ensure you are successfully able to deal in a marketplace. It is not difficult and a little bit of effort would make you comfortable and acceptable as a member of the community.
? Important documents and information such as passport, flight and hotel booking confirmation, and contact details of the place where you are going, should be left with someone at home. At least 2 copies of these documents should be kept with you during the whole trip and if someone is accompanying you ensure he or she has these copies as well. Keep one copy in the locker in your hotel room. Also its advisable that you keep the address and contact details of your country’s embassy in the country you are visiting.
? Food is one thing that you might not find according to your taste in another country, and an upset stomach would take away all the fun and charm of the few days you have planned to experience in a new place. So it is advisable you keep some appropriate medicines and supplements to get you through any such unpleasant moments. In some countries you are also required to get particular vaccinations before entering, so it is advisable to gather such information from the local embassy or from website. Even if a particular vaccination is not the need, it is important to check through the online newspapers of the country you are visiting if there is an epidemic or specific seasonal disease on the rise, to ensure you exercise appropriate precautions once you land in that country.
? It’s also important to keep yourself abreast of the political happenings in the country you intend to visit, just to ensure you avoid potential dangers. It’s also important to keep track of cross-border relations of that particular country.
? While you are on travel inside a foreign land, make sure your valuable belongings are secured firmly to avoid getting snatched. Also advisable is that you do not wear expensive jewelry or accessories in crowded areas. Expensive cameras that do not fit inside your trouser pocket must also be taken care of with extra caution.
? Be in touch with your friends and family at home at periodic intervals but also not so frequently enough that take your focus away from the adventure and fun at the new place. Instead of contacting over phone, it might be a good idea to write a blog once in 2-3 days to keep your folks aware of your whereabouts and itinerary.
? Try to soak yourself in some local fun and specialty of the country where you are, for instance, an elephant ride in Thailand, sand duning or desert safari in Dubai, fish pedicure in Singapore and Philippines, or drinking snake blood in Vietnam. You do not get to do this every so often or in your native place.
Keep a city guide and roadmap of the country you are visiting. These are easily available at all the international airports and tourist information counters. Also the knowledge of metro train or bus routes come very handy and you shall be able to save good amount of money that you might get to use in shopping things you long for. At the same time, however, this should not deter you from hiring a cab when in need. Please remember you are there in a foreign land for only a few days or weeks and thus managing time is also important, and a few cab rides should not make a hole in your pocket, it’s after all a very small proportion of your overall travel budget.
These common-sense precautions are a must on your next vacation.
By Heather Simmons from readersdigest.com
Over the last several months, I’ve caught bits of Taken, Hostel II and Brokedown Palace on cable. This naturally got me thinking about personal safety on the road. I’m not saying you need to constantly worry about gangs of abductors, wealthy torturers or unjust imprisonment while traveling. But it’s smart to take necessary, common-sense precautions when journeying around the country or globe.
Read on for tips on how to keep you, your belongings and your money safe during travel. After all, it’d be a shame to spend all that time and research finding the best price for your trip, only to lose your cash and credit cards to a thief.
Don’t Be Captain Obvious Pants
You’re a tourist. You know that, but you don’t want everybody else to know that. Don’t unfold your giant map on a busy corner. Don’t ask strangers on the street for directions. Learn your route ahead of time, and step into a business for directions whenever possible. Avoid flashing your Lonely Planet guidebook around, or publicly referring to your language dictionary when traveling abroad.
Keep Your Friends Close and Your Money Closer
A lone traveler equals easy pickings for a seasoned criminal. If you are traveling alone, try to hide that fact. Stick with groups whenever possible and keep information-sharing with chatty cab drivers and the like to a minimum. Pairs or small groups of women may also want to keep their lack of man-escorts hidden.(I hear you. It goes against every feminist bone in my body too. But we’re talking about personal safety in an unfamiliar place. Now is not the time for an “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” type attitude.)
Another thing you don’t want to advertise: where you keep your money. A fanny pack may be handy, but it screams “I’m not from around here!” Unless where you’re from is the early nineties. And the road is not the place for your big fancy designer purse. If you have a purse, keep it close to your body, preferably under an item of clothing like a jacket or sweater so that thieves can’t do the old snip-the-purse-straps-and-run trick. Fellas, be sure your wallet is in a securely fastened pocket. Or go all 007 with a hidden money belt. How cool is that?
Exercise Caution, Even In Your Hotel Room
Never, ever blindly answer a knock at your door. If the knocker identifies himself as a hotel employee, call the front desk to confirm. Always make sure your hotel door completely closes when entering or exiting–sometimes it makes a loud noise but doesn’t actually click shut.
Don’t leave your valuables lying around when you leave for the day. That hotel safe is there for a reason! I have been guilty of not taking advantage of the hotel safe, figuring that it is only for oil sheiks and international men of mystery. But the safe is for anything you don’t want stolen. So don’t be afraid to put your netbook, your passport and the earrings your grandmother gave you in there when you step out.