Just like tagging your luggage with an item tracker such as an Apple AirTag, consider tagging the kids so you don't lose them when on holiday. It’s not a case of actually losing them per se but in the case of a natural disaster, kidnapping, or when a child has a habit of merely wandering off in their own world, tagging a child could be a lifesaver and save a few grey hairs from overtaking your head.

Traveling with children can be a headache at the best of times. Unless all the family is tied together with a bit of rope, keeping track of the little mites in a crowd, in a busy unknown city, or in the wild is almost impossible.


Airports are bustling with people, and when small in stature, it's easy to get lost amongst everyone's legs and bags; there are tempting shops for little feet to meander into and strangers everywhere that we all tell our children ‘not to talk to.' If you had to describe what you dressed your over-excited child in that morning, would you remember? Stress levels rise if you are traveling with a child with a chronic condition such as diabetes or autism—multiply this tenfold if you have other children in tow as well. One parent is usually the holder of the passports and the youngest child, while the other parent is left to exert some control over the remaining kids plus luggage, which may be beyond their capabilities. From squabbling siblings over nothing much to who sits on whose bag in the queue to check-in, it can be an all-out declaration of war. Even gut-wrenching crying over forgetting to pack their favorite teddy for a holiday can herald disaster; all the while, you are getting the stink-eye from other passengers because your child won't be quiet. It's like herding cattle without the benefit of a muster dog.

If you tag your luggage, why not your kids?

Mobile phones and laptops can be found by GPS tracking, so it's imperative to consider a solution to keeping track of kids based on technology, as one would hope that you value your offspring as much as your luggage. This will enable you to monitor the location and movements of a child anytime they manage to disappear from your eyesight in a strange and unknown destination.

Talk with your child about why you want to track their movements while on holiday without scaring them or hurting their feelings that you don't trust them to stay within your vicinity. Explain how great it is that a GPS tracker uses satellite-based technology. Apart from locating them if they get lost, it can send messages or tell them how to reach a meeting point.

Children have a habit of following other children absentmindedly. Before they know it, they can't find you and have no idea where they are. A GPS tracker will give their exact location to you so you can find them quickly before the wailing sets in. Many kids have mobile phones with GPS trackers. Still, a mobile is easily lost, or phone lines may be overwhelmed during a natural disaster. With a personal GPS tracker, first responders will have real-time location data to hasten a rescue effort and save lives.

There are GPS trackers for children that look amazing and are designed to appeal to kids. They can be put in a backpack, a wristband, attached to clothes, or even shoes. I suggest a waist wallet under their top so they can't lose it. The type of tracker you buy for a child will depend on budget, the age of the child, the ongoing cost, which is usually a monthly fee for connecting to the network, ease of operation, the comfort factor, and what the GPS tracker is capable of doing, such as sending out an alert.

Know Where Your Kids Are When Traveling - Personal GPS Tracking Devices - The Wise Traveller - Smart watch with GPS tracker

When buying a GPS tracker, take into account the following:

  • Is it waterproof?
  • battery life, rechargeable battery
  • initial cost plus the ongoing monthly cost
  • coverage – network connectivity

A good GPS tracker will go beyond basic features:

  • location tracking with frequent updates on any movement
  • one-way, two-way calling
  • child-user friendly
  • ease of set-up for the mum or dad
  • size and durability
  • security
  • SOS button

Some of the best GPS trackers for children are listed below:

Personal GPS tracking devices are not just for kids when you are on holiday. Maybe you are traveling to a destination prone to natural disasters and want to keep track of your partner or even wear one yourself; most of the above brands have grown-up versions.

Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller. Check out her website Gail Palethorpe Photography and her Shutterstock profile.