The news of the family that died while on vacation in Mexico has had me thinking about safety precautions to take while on vacation. People usually think of crime prevention and crowd safety while on vacation, but often do not think about their accommodations.
The news is still fresh about this particular incident, but “gas asphyxiation” leads me to think of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Many states in the US have laws about smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in homes and hotels. So this is something that Americans may be accustomed to. Even when traveling within the US, it’s important to be mindful of your safety.
With the popularity of home sharing through Airbnb, VRBO, and similar sites – the safety of your accommodations may be even less strict or regulated than a hotel stay.
Here’s some ways that you can assure your family’s safety while on vacation:
- Inform family or friends of your specific vacation plans and how they can get a hold of you. This information can include flight numbers, reservation numbers at hotels or home-shares, and planned activities.
- Regardless of the accommodation, do a safety inspection upon arrival. Look for and test the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms and familiarize yourself with security settings in the home (some home-shares may use a keypad for access for example).
- If staying at a home-share, make sure you have positive contact with your host or their designee. Ask about emergency procedures related to the home and if there’s any specifics you should know about the immediate area.
- If you’re the “safety lead” for your family, make sure to share information with the rest of your family so you are all on the same page.
- Keep cell phones charged. If you’re traveling to a foreign country, contact your cell phone provider for options for use while you’re away. Plan to use social media, WhatsApp, Google Voice, or other service if you choose not to change your phone plan for your travel.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the ways you could protect your family while on vacation, but it’s a good starting point for discussion. Share your tips in the comments and have a great spring break vacation!!