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.
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.
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.
- Top 5 destinations for Solo Under 18 Travellers
- Using Your Electrics Abroad
- How To Save For Your Trip as an Under 18 Solo Traveller
- Is Couch-surfing Recommended for Under-18 Travellers?
- Under 18 solo travelling: Convincing your parents to let you travel
- Can you fly alone under 18 years of age?
- Travel insurance for under-18s
- Interrail travel insurance
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