As the group leader, the safety and security of your group is certain to be an overriding consideration throughout the planning stages as well as the trip itself. Advance preparation can help prevent any unpleasant experiences. Safety is a team effort. Knowledge is power and communication is key. Each person involved with a trip must understand their role in order to ensure that participants are in the safest possible environment at all times.
General Safety Tips
- Advise your participants to limit the amount of cash they bring. Give everyone a guide of how much money they will need, or, advise them to bring a credit card or ATM card if there will be an opportunity to use it.
- Gather health care information from each family, and if you are traveling abroad, make sure each plan offers coverage. Ask your GTC rep. about purchasing travel insurance - which will often cover extras such as theft during the trip.
- Pack a simple first aid kit containing bandages, antibiotic cream, pain relievers, etc.
- Find out in advance which participants are taking medication. Advise them to keep any prescription medication in its original container, and bring a photocopy of all current prescriptions so they can more easily be replaced if lost.
- Have your participants make copies of airline tickets, passports and visas when applicable. It's a good idea for you to collect and hold on to these copies.
- Let your GTC rep know if you want group specific nighttime security.
Safety Tips for Motorcoach Travel:
- Set rules to ensure that young people remain seated. Most accidents occur when passengers are standing in the aisles.
- Listen to emergency procedures and know how to use emergency windor exits.
- Make sure everyone knows the motorcoach number when off the coach.
- Keep your students well clear of the door when waiting for it to open.
Safety Tips for Air Travel:
- Set rules ahead of time so your group knows to keep their seatbelts on at all times while seated.
- Pay attention to the pre-flight safety demonstration and make sure you know where your nearest exit is.
- Advise any of your participants that wear contact lenses to bring glasses for the flight. The recycled air can dry out eyes.
Safety Tips at the Hotel:
- Advise participants to keep doors locked and chained and never open their hotel room to a stranger.
- Read the fire instructions on the back of the room door, and know where the nearest fire emergency exit is located on the hall.
- In case of fire, never get into an elevator.
- Make sure your group knows to never leave valuables including passports in the hotel room. Use the hotel safe or an in-room safe if available.
- Make sure each person knows how to contact the front desk and the groups leader's room.
- Never enter your room if it is unlocked or if you are alone and someone is following you down the hall. Let them pass you before entering.
- Make sure your hotel door is shut and locked behind you.
Safety Tips while Touring:
- Make sure each participant has the name, address and phone number of the hotel at all times, as well as the tour company's 24-hour hotline.
- Advise your group to keep a small amount of money in their pockets to pay for small purchases so they do not have to open their wallet in a busy place.
- The best place to keep a wallet is in a zippered pocket on the inside of a jacket, or in a front pants pocket. Never carry a wallet in the back pocket.
- Use only authorized agents when exchanging money.
- Be aware that traffic laws vary in different places and look both ways when crossing the street.
- Do not leave luggage unattended in public areas and never accept packages from strangers.
- Institute a buddy system rule and make sure no one strays from the group.
Group Travel Consultants | 6917 Narcoossee Road | Suite 700 | Orlando | Florida | 32922