When your family decides to embark on a well-deserved vacation, you'll probably get caught up in all of the exciting logistics of planning your trip. You might decide to make good use of your timeshare property, like around 3% of U.S. households do on a yearly basis. Alternatively, you might travel to a new international location or choose to see the sights with a cross-country road trip. But now matter where you end up going on your getaway, you'll want to know all about Avoiding Vacation Injuries: What Families Should Know Before Going Away so that you can balance having fun with keeping everyone safe.
Getting hurt while at home can be scary enough, but when you're away, things can become even more complicated. If you don't have access to high-quality medical care or if you sustain a serious-enough injury, your trip might be over sooner than you'd planned. By knowing how to avoid some of the most common vacation injuries, you'll stay one step ahead and will ensure everyone stays healthy throughout your trip. We've put together a few tips to help.
Prep the Car
If you'll be heading out on the open road in your own car for vacation, you'll need to take some time to prepare it. Before loading in all the luggage, make sure all the must-haves are within reach and aren't buried underneath a big pile. When arranging the bags, make sure to leave open lines of sight for the driver. Around 3 million people are injured every year on car accidents on U.S. roads; by making sure the view is clear, you'll be in better shape to avoid a crash. You should also make sure to include a car emergency kit that includes trash bags, disinfecting wipes, water, energy bars, an LED flashlight, a first-aid pack, jumper cables, an external cell phone battery or charger, and more.
Consider International Insurance
If you're staying within the United States and already have health insurance, this will cover you no matter where you are. But if you're traveling internationally, you may want to consider purchasing additional health insurance to cover you while you're gone. Some travel providers, like cruise lines, may offer this as part of your package. Although you might be inclined to bypass this option, consider the fact that flying home in an air ambulance can cost up to $100,000 — but this insurance policy could cover this cost if you are seriously injured. In many cases, the nominal cost is well worth the peace of mind. After all, even if you're being incredibly careful, you never know what might happen on your trip.
Always Use Sunscreen
Did you know that a recent study found that only one-third of people apply sunscreen correctly? And that's only counting the people who actually use it at all. You should be wearing sunscreen all the time on vacation — even on cloudy days and when you're inside! Those harmful UV rays can still reach your skin under those conditions and cause damage. So make sure applying it frequently and correctly becomes a family habit. You'll likely need an ounce of sunscreen to cover your whole body. Look for a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher, as this will protect your skin against both UVA and UVB rays. And don't think just because you've got sunblock on you don't need to wear protective clothing. Opt for hats, long sleeves, sunglasses, or other options when you can, and remember to use an umbrella if you're at the beach.
Don't Bug Out
Your kids might be fascinated by creepy crawlies, but there are some insects you shouldn't welcome into the fold. Mosquitoes can be especially hazardous, not only due to their itchy bites but to the diseases they carry. Use a DEET-based lotion or repellent (if you use the latter, make sure not to spray in the air near others) and wear long sleeves and pants when possible. Ticks are also becoming a growing concern, especially if you're camping, hiking, or even staying in a hotel that allows dogs. Lyme disease is no joke, so be sure to apply repellent after sunscreen, stay out of tall grasses, and examine everyone for ticks regularly.
Be Weary of Water
You might be looking forward to spending time in the water while you're away, but both kids and grown-ups need to be careful. Life vests are a must in natural water sources, and it's important to obey all posted signs and any lifeguards on duty. Most importantly, no one should swim without a buddy and swimmers should stay within specific areas. At the beach, it's all too common for people to get swept under or drift out too far. Even at the pool, it's important to keep a close eye on your family.
Taking a vacation should be all about fun and relaxation, but an ill-timed injury or illness can derail your plans. By being totally prepared ahead of time, you and your family will be able to fully enjoy your time together, wherever you're headed.