Okay Canadians! March Break is almost here and it looks like Niagara Falls may be the place to go with temperatures expected to rise above the freezing mark this weekend. The sun is expected to shine and so will the smiles on your kids faces when they see all the glitz and glamour that Niagara has to offer!
But what about safety? Please buckle up, stay alert and drive defensively. Keep your full attention on the road ahead and minimize all distractions. Plan ahead of time your route; the GPS is a great invention. So many times we get busy with all the major details of our trip that we forget the obvious…like mapping out the clearest route. I know I’ve been guilty of this. Pulling alongside the highway messing around with a map or finding a gas station attendant that you hope has all the answers because you mistakenly assumed you knew…or your spouse knew. If you don’t have a GPS, have one person in your vehicle as the designated navigator. Have them read out the directions so you don’t have to keep one eye on the road and the other on any electronic devices. Also, and this should go without saying, make sure that your vehicle can survive the trip! Fill up your tank, check all your fluid levels, tire pressure and all your lights before you pull out of your driveway. When I was in highschool my dad used to nag me all the time about keeping a blanket, candles, first aid kit, water and some snacks (such as granola bars) in the trunk at all times. I used to dismiss his advice as idle ramblings until one cold Winter’s night a few years later that I ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere….take heed, it can happen to you!
I would also recommend carrying just the items in your wallet that you need for your trip. Think one credit card each, a bank card, Drivers Licence, Health Card, Passport if needed and any Roadside Assistance cards. If you carry too much you run the risk of a major hassle should you have your wallet or purse stolen. Identity theft is unfortunately a growing concern.
As someone that has worked in the tourism industry for a number of years I can tell you that too many times I have seen children wander off in a blink of an eye. Don’t assume that it only happens to poor parenting. You can simply be rifling through your purse and your child is off to the races because a certain arcade game caught their eye. It happens, but it can be avoided. I like to play a game with my son called “hold on” when we are in a busy area. The first person that let goes of each other’s hand loses. It works and he gets a riot out of it. Also, I’m a big fan of the safety harness. You may not like the idea, but at the end of the day your child is SAFE!
Exploring all the safe, kid friendly activities along Clifton Hill is one of the highlights of Niagara Falls, but it’s a good idea to set rules out before hand.
- Kids shouldn’t be where they can’t see you.
- Don’t talk to strangers.
- Beforehand, point out the safe places for help. A ticket booth, retail shop or Tim Horton’s, and point out the staff uniforms.
You can stay more focused on paying attention to your kids if your not so worried about what you’re doing next. Planning your itinerary is a good idea. A list of attractions, packages and fun things to do can be found at www.cliftonhill.com and you can also pick up the Clifton Hill Fun Pass which will help keep a few dollars IN your pocket during your visit too.