When your son or daughter decides to spend a year backpacking around Australia, how will you handle it? Whether you object to his or her decision or applaud your child’s independent spirit, as a parent you will probably have some concerns.

Australia has an extensive backpacking industry designed to support and assist travelers exploring the country by foot. Hostels, transportation systems, and work-for-hire programs are all readily available. With a little planning your backpacking son or daughter could enjoy the experience they’re dreaming of.

But things can go wrong during backpacking adventures. How will you handle the worst case scenario? What can be done to prevent backpackers from becoming missing persons Australia statistics?

Responsible parents will have a plan in place to both minimize the risk and take swift action should the unthinkable occur. Preparation won’t alleviate the pain and suffering parents endure when they realize their child has gone missing. It may not protect the missing from injury, harm or even death. But it can help minimize the time it takes to find a missing backpacker and make a world of difference to everyone involved.

Increase the odds of success for law enforcement agencies and professional missing persons Australia search efforts with the following tips and advice:

1. Plan regularly scheduled check-ins. Missing people in Australia can’t be found unless someone knows they’re missing. Aim for check-ins with your son or daughter at least every 3-5 days. Don’t forget to set a reasonable date for the next check-in on every call.

2. Keep the backpacker in contact. Make check-ins and emergency contacts with you easier for your son or daughter. Provide your child with a phone, calling cards or both that you can charge from home for them. Keep an adequate balance on their account so calling home is always an option.

3. Note specific locations at check-ins. Where is your child staying, who are they with, and where are they working? Also note any plans they may have to move on in the future and what their next destination is.

4. Have a recent photograph and copies of identification on hand for your son or daughter. This includes passport information or whatever other documentation they may be carrying.

5. Be involved with their plan. Help your son or daughter plan their backpacking route and chart their progress on a map as they check in every few days.

Plan Ahead for Swift Action

Should the worst happen and your child fails to check in as regularly scheduled, report it immediately to the local police in their last known location. If you are concerned for your child’s health or well-being, file a missing person’s report. Be sure to provide the police with all of the information you have about your son or daughter’s last known whereabouts, destinations and travel companions.

If you have probable reason to suspect your child has suffered an injury in the wilderness or countryside dial 000 for Emergency Services assistance.

Missing persons Australia police investigations may yield results, but be prepared with a back-up plan to take action swiftly. You will need to contact the local media in the area where your child was last seen and in any surrounding areas. Plan to hire an expert missing persons Australian people finder for your best chance at a successful location.

Planning ahead may not prevent your backpacking son or daughter from disappearing. But it can increase the odds they will be found quickly and safely returned home.