Many parents are asking themselves what they would do if this happened to their child.
Authorities say there are things you can do to protect yourself and your traveling loved ones from becoming victims. The stunning 18-year-old from Alabama, Natalee Holloway, has been missing for more than a week.
More FBI agents are being sent to Aruba, where Holloway was on a five-day celebration trip with 130 of her senior classmates. Now, many parents are asking the question: would I send my child to a foreign country?
Anna Lopez-Edwards, a mother, says, "I would never dream of letting a child less than 18 go anywhere by themselves. They are just not responsible enough, even though they can be, their lack of judgment could happen at any moment."
Maria Rodriguez adds, "Now, I will not let them go. I am not going and take care of my kids and be more careful."
Travel experts have some tips for traveling safely. Always use a buddy system, no matter where you're going or for how long. Stick to the main tourist areas.
SGT Nancy Burns of the Leon County Sheriff's Office says, "Make sure you don't leave luggage unattended. Don't accept packages from strangers. Don't wear conspicuous clothing, expensive jewelry or carry excessive amounts of money."
Following this advice could be the difference between a dream vacation or a nightmare.
LCSO also says you should contact the closest American Embassy to make those officials aware of your travel plans. This way, if your family needs to contact you, the embassy could have easier access.
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