Whether by plane, train or automobile, there are a few common things that you should prepare to make the best of your holiday season travels. Holidays are wonderful times to gather together, and we hope you enjoy your time with family and friends.
Prepare your Home
Let’s start with the most common factor – you’re leaving your home. You don’t want to leave it open or inviting to theft, and there are several things you can be mindful to leave yourself more protected.
If you have never installed any monitoring or home surveillance, there are many options that are much more affordable today than in the past. Whether using a DIY system or paying for professional monitoring, consider having some kind of system in place before you leave for the holidays. Nest Secure ($400+), Ring Alarm Home Security System ($200), SimpliSafe Home Security System “Knox” Package 2018 ($380) and Ooma Home Security Starter Kit ($120) are all DIY options.
Everyone loves to share their happy holiday spirits on social media, but be mindful of your privacy settings and consider posting pics of you out of town AFTER you get back. Many celebrities have recently been burgled – and that is one thing you definitely do not want to have in common with the stars. The victims’ homes had been selected based on social media posting, touring or travel schedules of the owners.
Prepare your Car
Before leaving, make sure you have recently had your vehicle inspected and serviced. Consider putting together an emergency kit if you do not already have one. One of the most common problems travelers experience are vehicle troubles and nothing ruins a trip quite like being stranded on top of heavy holiday traffic. If you are traveling far north, the winter freeze has come early this holiday season, so prepare accordingly. At an absolute minimum, make sure you carry proper clothes, have a spare tire and the tools needed to change it.
Plan Your Route
… and know alternate routes. Today, virtually all of us have access to map programs or dashboard navigation systems. With the sheer number of travelers that will be on the roads this season, having the ability to choose an alternate route can help save you a lot of gridlocked frustration. Also, if you want to avoid traffic, plan to leave at a specific time when you might be able to drive through that area before or after peak traffic times.
Wash your hands frequently with soap or antibacterial hand sanitizer
Especially if you are flying or riding a train or bus. Everything you touch has been touched by someone else, including armrests and door handles. Many times, people are completely unaware that they are spreading their sicknesses. In addition to typical germs that can be on someone’s hands, it is also flu season, which can be very contagious and really put a drag on your holiday season.
Communicate your travel plans
It is a good practice to let both people that you are visiting and people that live near you know your travel plans. In case something happens, at least someone will be looking for you. Also, if an emergency arises, it lets people have a way to find you. If you are traveling out of the country, leave photocopies of your passports, credit cards, and any other types of identification with a person you trust. Keep a separate set of photocopies in your own luggage as well.
If you have chronic medical issues, make sure you are traveling with proper prescriptions that are up to date and documented. It can be illegal to possess certain medications without a prescription and if you have diabetes or take medication using a syringe, get a signed letter from your doctor explaining that your syringes are a medical necessity. If you have allergies, let the people you are traveling with know about it and know where to get to your Epi-pen or take other measures in case an emergency arises.
Talk to Your Children
Make sure your children know their home address or the address you are traveling to and also have a contact number to reach someone in case of separation. If you’re traveling together in an airport or mall, or separate while shopping, make sure you have a time and place agreed upon to meet back together. If you are a single parent traveling with your children, have a signed letter of permission from the other parent. If traveling by plane, you could be barred from the plane if you are unable to prove you have the right to take your children with you.
Happy Holidays and Be Safe!