Be AlertListen to your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t. Sadly, there are some people out there who will target you as an adult traveling alone with children. Be sure you are always aware of your surroundings and teach your children to stick close to you in airports and rest stops.
Plan Your Route Ahead of TimeBe sure you know where you are going. Double check your directions, especially if you will be driving at night. And it’s always a good idea to maintain a membership with AAA just in case.
Let Someone Know Where You Are
Make sure that a family member or friend has your itinerary, and keep them abreast of any changes you make along the way.
Carry Your Important Phone Numbers
If there were an emergency, who would you need to call? Make sure you have all of these phone numbers with you. Preferably, carry two copies (one in your wallet/purse, and one in your suitcase). In addition, give each child an index card or personal business card with emergency contact information and the name, address, and phone number of your hotel.
Related: Print an emergency contact form
Use Travelers ChecksDo not carry a large amount of cash. Instead, obtain travel’s checks through your local bank. In addition, leave behind any credit cards you won’t be using, and make sure you have the account numbers and company phone numbers for the ones you’ll be brining with you.
Use Reputable Hotels/MotelsTo the extent that you can, plan out your trip and make reservations in advance. When you arrive, take note of the proximity of your room to the nearest emergency exit. Count the number of doors and review with your kids how you would exit in the event of a fire.
Take Care of Any Necessary Car Maintenance Before Your Trip
Make sure you’ve had an oil change recently, and have someone take a look at your coolant and air conditioning system. Having to have something fixed on the road can be more costly.
Be Extra Cautious Near Swimming PoolsMany tragic accidents take place in hotel/motel swimming pools. Be sure to keep a close eye on your children and never allow them to swim at the hotel pool unsupervised. And if your kids need swimmies or a life jacket, bring them with you.
Discuss What to Do If You Become SeparatedMake a plan ahead of time for what the kids should do if they become separated from you. In general, it’s a good idea to tell kids to look for someone in a uniform or another mom who has kids in a stroller. Even very young children can be taught mom or dad’s full name and your hometown.
Use Extra Caution if You Get Stranded in a Airport Overnight
Some airports will not allow you to “camp” near the gate overnight while you wait for your next flight. This means that you could be asked to return to the main terminal, and wait overnight with people who may or may not be ticketed passengers. If this should happen to you, stay in a well-lit area where many other stranded passengers have gathered. If you do not feel safe, explain your situation to someone at the ticket counter and ask for a hotel voucher.
Related: Guidelines for Children Flying Alone