(Part 1 of a 3-Part Series)
No matter which way you choose to travel this holiday season, you would be wise to take advance precautions to guarantee that your family and friends are safe in the air, on the road, on the rails. After all; winter and holiday travel are stressful propositions. Not only is traffic at an all-time high but the vast majority of people get edgy and tempers flare with crowded parking lots and long lines. This happens with dogs, too. But we tend to react by barking instead of pulling revolvers on each other. This week, we’ll focus on tips for easing your air travel. Tune in over the next two weeks when we cover alternate means of holiday travel. At RJWestmore, Inc., we want you to travel safely this holiday season.
In the Air
- Plan Ahead. For the sake of your own sanity, plan ahead. Waiting until the last minute to book a flight can result in high fares, high prices and lots of frustration. If you would rather not handle your own booking, contact a travel agent to about your vacation plans well in advance. This way, you will be able to avoid peak travel times, secure low airfare, fly direct (or at least minimize connections). I like to book flights through Red Baron Travel Agency. The ride is a little rough. But the trip is always exciting with Snoopy at the helm.
- Pack Right. Check on FAA regulations so you won’t show up with bottles full of hair gel or pocket knives that have to be tossed as soon as you check in. This is where canines have it easy. No hair gel or bothersome clothes to have to pack. We just hit the road whenever we’re ready.
- Pack Light. Since airlines are developing stringent guidelines regarding weight, packing less and light could save you time and money. If you’re planning to travel to be with family and friends, consider shopping online and having gifts shipped directly to your destination. This strategy will reduce luggage weight and minimize the risk of loss. Before heading to the airport, check the restrictions for carry-on bags to avoid long delays after you board.
- Arrive on Time. Make things easy on yourself by checking in online. Avoid long lines by taking advantage of early Internet check-in available through most major carriers. I’ve never quite understood the concept of online check-in. How can you check in before you have arrived?
- Arrive Alive. Leave for the airport at least an extra hour earlier than you think you should. This will help you stay calm if and when you encounter peripheral delays. Where it used to be okay to rush to the gate, post-9/11 rules require you to allow plenty of time before your flight leaves, generally 90 minutes for domestic flights and at least 2 hours before international.
- Dress Right. Since FAA requirements demand the removal of belts, suspenders and shoes, wear something that’s easy to remove and replace so you won’t have to juggle all of your possessions on your lap while simultaneously, painstakingly reassembling your detail-ridden wardrobe. Again, this is a much simpler proposition for dogs.
- Pack Smart. Also with an eye to the lengthy security screening process, pack all of your electronic devices in a single layer. When things are tossed in haphazardly or jumbled together, TSA agents say they spend more time determining what those items are. Avoid this delay and eliminate the need for agents to manually check your bags by making things easy to access.
- Stay Calm. Remember to bring something to read while you wait in security or at the gate. In cities with snow or ice, arrival delays can exceed two to three hours and de-icing procedures sometimes require an additional hour. Or, you could take a nap. That’s what dogs do whenever we’re bored.
- Stay Healthy. Steer clear of influenza. Winter travel can breed germs that lead to colds and flu. Avoid adding this miserable element to your winter itinerary. Before you leave, visit your doctor’s office to get a flu shot or nasal spray flu vaccine, available for anyone age 5-49. Most germs will spread by contact, so wash your hands or use hand sanitizer constantly.
Once you’ve boarded the plane, make sure you get up and stretch your legs so they won’t fall asleep. Remaining in cramped quarters or crossing your legs during takeoff and landing can lead to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). So, remember this essential airline travel tip on your next flight — take some time to walk around and stretch your arms and legs once an hour. I can really get behind the idea of taking long walks whether you’re on an airplane or at home. It’s always a good idea to take a walk.
- Stay Smart. While you’re at the airport, pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your possessions close to you at all times. Don’t ever leave them out of your sight. What’s more, refuse to guard anyone else’s luggage since you don’t know what is inside of it.
When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJWestmore, Inc. Our new Version 3.0 system offers the best emergency training system.