If you are planning to go away this intercession, here are some helpful tips to help ensure a SAFE vacation:
· First, make sure to set up an easy and inexpensive way to stay in touch with family members. One option is to download WhatsApp. This app operates like a text message but because it operates on WiFi, it is free. You and your family can use its group feature, which allows you to communicate all together. If you are leaving the country and wish to use your own cell phone, contact your provider to see if they offer a discount calling plan. It varies between each provider but is generally a low, flat fee for the month and a much lower per-minute fee for both incoming and outgoing calls.
· Establish rules. Before going away, sit down and have a discussion with your family about what is and what is not proper vacation behavior. If you are giving the gift of a great vacation, you have the right to expect certain conduct.
· Discuss the laws of your chosen destination. Outside of America, many gambling casinos, clubs and bars don’t ask for an ID. Speak about what are, and what are not, age-appropriate and acceptable behaviors. It is also wise to research and talk about the regulations of alcohol consumption and other activities at your chosen destination. Penalties for public drunkenness or drunk driving may be much harsher than in the States. Having U.S. citizenship may not save your child from being prosecuted under a foreign country’s justice system.
· Don’t relax away the clock. Many resorts are set up in a way that make parents feel safe enough to let their teens roam freely, but it is best to establish some limits. One idea is to set up a floating curfew, wherein you discuss appropriate times to come in before they go out. Consider that there is more possibility of danger in the late hours. It is best to tell your teen to wake you upon his or her return.
· Keep stress in check. Vacations are a great time to bond with the family, but also a time when stress may be high. Remember that a person’s self-esteem is fragile at any age, so it is best to manage frustration without causing damage.
· Understand that you are being watched. Children do as we do and not necessarily as we say and vacations present many opportunities for parents to be wonderful role models. Have a great time!