If you are kayaking or rafting always wear a buoyancy aid and ensure it is fastened properly. Especially with children, who can slip out of them easily.
There is no government organisation regulating safety in the growing activity sector in Montenegro, so check that the equipment is in good condition, that there are helmets for rafting, and how experienced the guides are. If they are affiliated with an organisation like the British Canoe Union or European Paddle Pass, a good guide will have Level 3 qualification. If they only have level 1 or 2, they should only paddle in very sheltered and non-moving water, and no more than 50m from the shore.
A good question to ask a sea kayaking company is “what are your guide ratios?” In other words, how many people are out on the water for each guide. This applies to boats rather than people, and anything from one to eight boats per guide is acceptable. There is a bit more flexibility in a sheltered bay such as Kotor.
If you are a nervous parent when you take your children on the water, don’t be embarrassed. It is normal. Don’t be afraid to tell the guides what you feel your, or your child’s, comfort levels are. They are professionals and know how to deal with every situation. So, if you get the wobbles because you think your child has gone too far, then tell your guide. Good ones will have a beady eye on all of you, and especially the children. And the top guides will also quietly reassure you from time to time.
If you worry that your child might get tired and not able to cope with activities such as kayaking, all guides should carry a rope and can give you a tow if necessary. This is normal and prevents exhaustion on the water.
In cold water environments, be extra vigilant regarding safety. In severe cold, if you are not well equipped with dry gear, safety equipment and radio contact, the rescue time can be very short. This applies when white water rafting in the mountains, for example, especially early in the season.
If you are hiking, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.
Thunder storms are common in summer. If hiking in a remote spot when lightning occurs, stay away from summits or isolated trees. Stay as low as you can. If you are cycling, dismount and stay away from your bike.
If travelling around Kosovo, off road in remote areas, there is a risk of unexploded land mines. Talk to locals who are in the know before going off the beaten path.
The quality of roads is an issue, but they are improving. Take care on mountain roads in particular if you are unfamiliar with mountain driving.
Although homosexuality is legal in Montenegro, there is a general cultural intolerance in the country, particularly in traditional Orthodox areas. LGBT travellers need to, sadly, take caution.