Faster and smarter in the app... Open app

Staying Safe as an Under-18 Traveling Alone

The world of baggage claims and airport terminals can be overwhelming to the uninitiated. This is especially true to the unaccompanied minors (UM). Even though they're technically flying alone, an under 18 is the responsibility of a flight attendant once the aircraft door closes.

With hotel security issues and terrorist attacks having become a major concern around the world, it's important to be safe while traveling. Whether traveling by bus, train, cruise or plane, there's a lot a minor can do to remain safe when traveling alone.

Here are effective tips for staying safe as an under-18 traveling alone:

#1: Minors should study up on the airline they'll be flying with

Before traveling, it's wise for an under-18 to get as much information as possible on the airline he or she will be traveling with. It's prudent to consider the safety record of the airports and airline you'll be flying out and in to. Experts suggest that you stick to UK or American-based airlines. There's no harm in settling for their partners too. The rule of thumb is to be sure that the airport or airline is operating with particular security and safety standards.

#2: Pay close attention to plane stopovers

In addition to airlines and airports, an under-18 should also pay close attention to the safety regulations of locations or places he or she might have a layover. To be specific, be wary of flight stopovers in destinations known to be terrorist hotspots. If a minor has a sophisticated itinerary, he or she needs to consult a travel agent.

#3: Visit tourist attractions during off-peak hours

Rather than visiting tourist attractions during their busy times, it's great to visit attractions at their off-peak times. Of great importance to note is that crowded public areas are usually common targets for attacks. History suggests that vast public areas get attacked the most since terrorists desire to achieve maximum impact. When using public transportation, a minor should be extra vigilant. Avoid being around crowded cars especially on the subway.

#4: Contact the Embassy immediately if arrested

Sadly, minors can get find themselves in unlawful situations, knowingly or unknowingly. If this happens, they need to contact the embassy immediately. Embassy officials can help to get an attorney. They can make sure that the authorities in the host countries don't violate any rights. The embassy can also contact an employer, friends, or family and/or request them to transfer funds as long as it's permissible under the regulations of a prison.

#5: Remain seated once the plane lands

Deplaning can be pretty chaotic. To avoid getting swamped in the sea of travelers running to claim their baggage, an under-18 should remain seated when the plane lands. This goes miles to add to their protection, safety, and security. If possible, it's prudent to request a gate agent, pilot, or flight attendant to walk them off.

#6: Put your valuables in your front pockets

Most travelers often place their valuables in their back pocket, backpack, or purse. A safer bet is the front pocket. Front pockets not only offer one more visible line of sight in the event of pickpocketing, it also makes sure one does not lose your valuables If he or she leaves his or her backpack or purse behind.

#7: Have essential safety apps on the phone

When traveling, minors need to have a safety application. Such apps help one to stay aware of their surroundings and get help in the event of an emergency. Some apps offer real connections to global hotlines as well as a precise location of folks at risk. Other applications tell one, which hospitals are nearby, and the numbers to dial when an emergency presents itself.

#8: Have a travel medical kit

This is a must have when traveling. Ensure it has everything needed in case of an emergency. If one has medicines that he or she is taking, he or she should include them.

In Summary...

At the end of GCSEs, many teens plan their trips without parents or guardians. While it might sound fun, memorable and interesting, independent under-18 travelers should be extremely careful when traveling alone. Their safety and security should be their top priority. This will go miles in making sure they return home safe and sound. The above are the top 8 tips for staying safe as an under-18 traveling alone.

Related content.

If you found the tips and insights into under-18's travel insurance useful, then check out our other helpful articles on travelling as an under-18.

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Holiday Extras Cover Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 828848.

Holiday Extras™ is a Trading Name of Holiday Extras Cover Limited

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is provided by Taurus Insurance Services, an insurance intermediary licenced and authorised in Gibraltar by the Financial Services Commission under Permission Number 5566 and authorised to passport general insurance intermediary services into the UK and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under registration number 444830.

The insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with company number 13436330 and whose registered office address is 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, United Kingdom, EC3M 5BN. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 955859. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting; or by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority on 0800 111 6768.