When it comes to carpooling and overnight travel arrangements, parents will want to be aware and vigilant when deferring driving, caretaking and chaperoning responsibilities to other parents. Here are 10 simple tips and best practices to ensure everyone has a fun and safe experience:
1. Always make arrangements with parents you trust and are comfortable in their ability to transport and supervise your child. It should be clear that the parent assuming a chaperone role agrees to provide appropriate supervision.
2. Make sure the adult in charge has a list of allergies your child might have, medications your child is taking and has your child’s most updated insurance information.
3. When making travel arrangements for the week, trip or even the full season are decided on, team officials (coach, assistants, team parents) should be informed of the plan so it’s easy to keep track of where children are supposed to be.
4. Any adults who drive players should check with their personal auto insurance carrier to make sure they have adequate liability coverage.
5. If traveling to a tournament or game that requires an overnight stay, parents also have options for room arrangements. The parents of a child can agree that the player and chaperone will share one room together (with separate beds) or two rooms depending on their age, appropriateness, comfort level, etc.
6. The supervising adults should be sure that any shared room is near other adults and that appropriate precautions are taken (locking out adult programming on TV, enforcing curfews, etc.).
7. No adults should be alone in a hotel room with minors except with their own children (or children that parents have assigned to be supervised by that individual).
8. Adults should meet with minors in hotel common areas.
9. Any trainer or first aid tasks should be conducted at the field, not in a hotel room.
10. Minors should never be allowed to drive while on a soccer trip (even if licensed). Whenever renting a vehicle, always take the additional insurance coverage.