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Couple traveling safely wearing backpacks and winter coats

Top 10 tips for holiday travel safety

Key takeaways:

- As the busiest travel time of the year is approaching, many families are enlisting safety apps, like Greenlight, to keep their kids safe and connected.

- Holiday travel can be safe with the right precautions — like packing first-aid kits and making sure your kids have a debit card for any financial emergency.

- Greenlight’s top 10 travel safety tips can help your family navigate the busy season and prepare for any unexpected encounter.

As the holiday season approaches, so does the demand for toys, turkeys, and (you guessed it) travel. Whether you’re visiting grandma a few miles away or traveling across the country to reunite with all your relatives — you’re bound to encounter the busiest travel time of the year.

So what can you do to prepare? Greenlight has all your travel safety questions covered. Here are our top 10 family safety tips for holiday travel — so you can hit the road safely and focus on what matters most — spending time with your family. 

Is holiday travel safe?

As parents, you might ask yourself, “Is holiday travel safe for my family?” And in short — it can be safe with the right health and safety precautions. That means prepping your family for travel with the essentials like first-aid kits, snacks and water, debit or credit cards, and safety apps (like Greenlight) to keep your family connected. Plus, keep them healthy through all your adventures by staying updated on public health announcements and alerts.

Greenlight’s top 10 travel safety tips for the holidays

If you’re thinking of packing your bags for the holidays —  consider Greenlight’s top 10 travel tips for families on the go.

Three siblings wear Santa hats and sunglasses in a car on the way to see family for the holidays

1. Use location sharing to stay connected.

Knowing where your kids are can help bring you peace of mind while you travel. Use a mobile app like Greenlight to enable location sharing for every member of the family. 

By having everyone opt-in, you’ll be able to see everyone’s location — and they’ll be able to see yours, too. No more worrying about getting lost in crowded places. With location sharing, your family will always be able to find their way back to you.

2. Be prepared for high traffic and delays.

Some of the best memories come from holiday road trips. Watching them fall asleep in the back seats. Jamming to the latest radio hit together. Making a TikTok during a quick rest area break. 

For the good moments — and the tough ones — it’s important to be prepared for it all. That means sitting in long traffic delays or choosing an alternate route. A lot can happen while on the road. 

So whether you’re driving for an hour (or 10), precautions like having a spare tire, extra snacks, or a blanket if it’s cold, can give your family the extra peace of mind they deserve. 

Greenlight tip: Remember to always drive safely — and avoid being rushed or distracted while on the road. 🚗

3. Help at their fingertips — with SOS alerts and crash detection.

As parents, your child’s safety comes before everything else. And when you’re traveling, it’s important to give them the tools they need to stay safe — with or without you. 

SOS alerts screen on a mobile phone with real-time notifications in case of emergency by Greenlight

Enter Greenlight’s SOS alerts for kids and teens. With just one swipe, they can send SOS alerts to 911, family or both if something’s wrong. 

And because accidents happen, Greenlight’s crash detection can help kids and teens when they’re on the road. If a crash is detected, 911 dispatch will check on them and send help immediately. Plus, their emergency contacts will be notified of the situation. 

So you can keep calm, and they get help as soon as they need it. All over the map.

4. Make a family group chat.

If you haven’t already, create a family group chat for quick communication. Instead of sending multiple texts, now you can just send one. 

Lunch vote? Check. Meet-up time? Check. Reminders? Check.

A family group chat is the perfect place to house all the important details for your trip — and beyond.

5. A kid-friendly debit card for their financial needs.

Leave the cash at home. Give kids their own debit card to make purchases on their own. It’s safer — and easier than keeping track of every dollar. And if they lose it, you can simply turn it off — no more lost (or loose) change 💰

Plus, if they need money, you can send them the money they need. Instantly.

Greenlight app on mobile screen with personalized holiday themed debit card against green background

Not sure where to start? Sign up for Greenlight and get debit cards for up to five kids. They can request money from their cell phones when needed — and you can use category limits to make sure they’re spending smart.

Greenlight tip: Parents also get real-time notifications when kids use their debit card. You can monitor purchases and see locations for each transaction from your parent app.

6. Have a backup plan.

Canceled flight? Bad weather? If your travel doesn’t go as planned, make sure you have an alternate game plan for the holidays. Whether it’s staying home or going somewhere local — keep the holiday spirit alive by keeping everyone together.

7. Pack a first-aid kit and emergency medication.

A small emergency kit can go a long way — especially when traveling with kids. Whether it’s a Band-Aid, allergy, or flu medicine, you can stay prepared for any minor medical need. 

8. Protect them from infectious diseases during the colder months.

Hello colder months. Hello, flu season. Remember that COVID-19, the seasonal flu, and other infectious diseases are typically going around during the colder months.

Protect your family from getting sick. Follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and monitor their website for alerts. Consider wearing masks, washing your hands frequently, and using hand sanitizer while you’re on the go.

9. Dress for the right weather.

Research before you go. Plan your wardrobe around your destination’s weather forecast. Bring an extra layer or jacket, just in case. If you choose the wrong clothes for the weather, you may have to spend time and money on new clothes during your holiday travel. 

Greenlight tip: Assign weather research and packing chores to your kids so they can learn all about planning for the right weather. Depending on their age, you may want to do a final check on that luggage.

10. Keep your belongings safely guarded.

Remember to keep an eye on your belongings. Cash and cards? Check. Bags and luggage? Check. Precious other valuables? Check.

Many cards (including Greenlight’s debit cards) are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Misplaced your Greenlight debit card? Just turn the card on or off from the app.

Last but not least — enjoy every moment. Because truth is, kids grow up fast. So bring a camera to capture it all, or a mobile phone battery for some extra juice so you don’t miss a beat. The fireworks. The first snowfall. The tree lighting. And (of course) the unwrapping. You’ll be glad you captured it when you look back years later.

Why holiday travel safety is important

You can’t slow down the holiday season. But you can give your family everything they need to stay safe and connected while they travel. They get to explore the world and spend time with family. And you get to watch them do it all safely. 

Mom and dad put Christmas tree on top of their car before traveling to see family for the holidays

Interested in Greenlight’s safety offerings? Learn more about Greenlight Infinity — our power-packed plan to keep every member of the family connected and safe.

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