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Holidaying with your teens is a great way to bond before they grow up and leave the nest, and taking them overseas can be an incredible family experience. But how can you make sure they stay safe while travelling?

Find Ways to Stay Connected

Whether you set up international roaming or buy a phone/SIM overseas, mobiles are the perfect way to stay connected with your kids, especially if they’re older and want to do a bit of exploring on their own.

If you have a smartphone, you can also take advantage of apps like Whatsapp (messaging) or Glympse (location sharing) too. Writing phone numbers down on a piece of paper can be handy too, just in case the phone runs out of battery or ends up lost.

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Educate Them About the Destination

Have a discussion with your kids about your destination before you leave for the trip. Let them know what to expect in relation to safety, health, local customs, scams/theft and general dos-and-don’ts.

If they’re not interested in listening, encourage them to research the destination themselves and ask them to educate the rest of the family.

At this point, you might want to set a few ground rules too, like staying in sight at all times if teens are on the younger side or avoiding certain areas for those old enough to be on their own.

Organize Meeting Points

If your kids are fine to spend a bit of time on their own, organize meeting points and times for later in the day.

Ensure you have a good idea of where they’re going, double-check their phones are working and make sure they’re equipped with a map or GPS so they’ll know how to get from their location to your meeting point.

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Pinpoint Local Help

Find out where the local police stations, hospitals, embassies (or similar) are in your destination, and write these down and/or program them into your phone (and your kids’ phones).

If you or your kids get into an emergency, fast access to these numbers can come in handy.

Cover the Whole Family with Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is essential for your entire family, kids included. Make sure you and your kids have cover for things like medical/hospital, cancellation, luggage, activities and more.

Avoid any actions or activities that could render your insurance void (e.g. driving without seatbelts).

Register with Your Government Authority

Register your holiday plans for each member of your family with your relevant government authority. For Australian’s this is

If you do experience an emergency overseas, your registration can assist authorities in finding out where you are and if possible, allow them to provide you with help.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.


  1. Some great tips for staying connected. When I was a teen we did a fair bit of family travel overseas and my sister and I were sometimes allowed to wander off on our own, but only in certain locations. This was long before the internet so we had to ensure we knew where to meet up in advance. It was so good to enjoy those little moments of independence, with the safety net of one’s parents still within reach!

    • Absolutely! It’s incredible how the internet keeps us connected these days, but yes it’s definitely important to keep a plan in place in case technology fails, just like the good old days!

  2. When I was a teen there prior to mobiles and internet I think I got lost quite frequently. Maybe my parents were trying to tell me something.

    Trying to get our son disconnected was usually the problem.

    • Haha sounds like you found your way back each time ok! Yes, technology is great, but it’s definitely a challenge getting teenagers to disconnect. Need to somehow promote that healthy balance!

  3. Great tips, if I were travelling with teenagers I would certainly follow some of your advice.

    • Thanks Lyn :) Happy travels!

  4. As a mum of a now not so teen, this is a great guide lots of valuable hits and info. I must admit though, best way to travel with teens is travel with them from as early as possible, no better way to educate them on staying safe.

    • Thanks Sara, so glad you found the post helpful :) And thanks for your point on traveling with kids early on – that’s a really great tip!

  5. So many great tips for traveling with teens! We always traveled as a family when I was growing up and I always look back at those memories with a smile. Educating the family about the destination is a great idea–it can save a lot of problems for everyone if they know what to expect!

    • Thanks Jenna :) We were the same – my fondest memories from my childhood are the family trips we took, and I think my parents handled traveling with teens really well – I’ve taken my lead from their example!

  6. These are great tips! I’ve used Whatsapp, but had never heard of Glympse for location sharing – which could be invaluable for every traveler – not just teens!
    As a teen I traveled with my family and had a fair bit of freedom, unfortunately I don’t think I’d be afforded the same freedoms nowadays.

    • Thanks Vicki! Yes, absolutely – Glympse is a great tool even if you’re not traveling with teens :) Can highly recommend it!

      It definitely feels like it was safer in the past, I think it’s something every parent needs to consider on a trip by trip basis, circumstances and the maturity of said teenager will always vary, but I do hope that the world begins to feel like a safe place as it used to :)

  7. Some great tips here. Going on a family holiday is such a great way to bond with teenagers but it’s not necessarily easy to manage. It’s good to have a plan before you go.

    • Thanks Christina :) Yes, absolutely – it’s a great bonding experience, however the proper planning does need to be in place before you leave.

  8. Super list of idea, as I have two teens who know know fear and are always off on an adventure while we are traveling – so I love this! Great tips for sure Love the meeting place, I think this is great!

    • Thanks Stacey :) Happy travels with your family!

  9. Some great tips here for staying connected. Even as adults we insist on deciding a meeting point while travelling. Phone, insurance… everything is very important. been there, done that. :)

    • Thanks Nisha … yes, I agree, I think a lot of these tips are actually important for those traveling in adult groups too :) Glad you enjoyed the post!

  10. It’s always great to have strategies for staying in touch and keeping safe, especially for teens! Even for adults, it’s a great idea. Of course, insurance is always a great idea, too!

    • Absolutely, I think a lot of these tips are actually important for those traveling in adult groups too :) Glad you enjoyed the post!

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