Jan 19th
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Safety Watch

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A Fun, SAFE Family Vacation

    When travelers are surveyed about what is most important to them when planning a family vacation, the No. 1 answer isn’t sunshine, a wealth of activities, great food or even a low price.  Invariably, studies show that the most important element of a family vacation is a safe environment.
    But while safety is top-of-mind when planning a vacation, many families often forget the most common-sense safety rules once their vacation begins. Vacations offer a break from reality, a chance to get away from the worries of everyday life. Yet even as fears have been heightened following the Sept. 11 attacks, it’s easy for families to forget that even the most perfect vacations occur in the real world, where dangers still exist.
    As president of a large family resort, I’m constantly looking for ways to increase the level of safety and security for my guests. But there are also some simple tips that parents can follow to ensure their families enjoy a fun, safe vacation:

•  Make sure the door to your room is always locked, and instruct children that only grown-ups should answer the door.  Even when someone identifies himself as a hotel employee, only an adult should answer the door.

•  Review the resort’s safety information with your children upon check-in. Make sure everyone knows how to find the nearest exit, and how to reach the front desk in case of emergency.
•  Even in resorts with lifeguards, parents should always monitor their children’s activities in the pool. In fact, we ask parents to accompany their children in the pool whenever possible.

•  Accompany children at all times in a hotel’s public areas.  Hotels and resorts are getting larger and larger, and it’s easy for a child to become lost. Our security staff will often escort a child back to his or her room, only to find that the parents have sent the child out, unaccompanied, to play in the pool or game room.
     Always remember that even though family resorts are fun, happy places, they are also unfamiliar territory, and therefore it’s easy to become disoriented or lost.

•  Make sure your children know the name of the hotel where they are staying in case they get lost.
•  Whenever you leave the resort, place a 3x5 card in your children’s pockets, with your name and contact number. If your children become lost, this will help authorities reach you quickly.

•  Keep recent photographs of all children with you, which can speed up the search process if family members get separated.

•  Ask your family doctor or pediatrician to recommend a doctor or facility near your vacation destination.

•  Bring plenty of water with you on airplanes, while driving and while walking through the theme parks. Kids can become dehydrated quickly.

•  Dress your toddlers in brightly colored clothing, so they’re easier to spot in crowds.

    Keeping your family safe and secure while traveling doesn’t require a lot of work, and it shouldn’t … your focus needs to be on spending time together and enjoying fun family activities.
Simple attention to some general safety guidelines will help put your mind at ease, and allow you to enjoy a fabulous family vacation.

-- Terry Whaples, President Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort


Where is Alyx?

Alyx is near the 10,677-ft elevation of this Ski Resort offering awesome views and super ski slopes. Where is she? Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Camping the Great Outdoors
...ideas to consider

   "Since that first camping trip, all of our trips have been only partially planned, with itineraries set more as ideas than as fixed schedules.  We usually take each day one at a time, and do whatever feels right for that particular day.  Slowing down to smell the roses has never been so sweet as when we travel with our two kids!"  -- David, Westminster, MD

 Take it from David, there's a time to plan and a time to take one day at a time.


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