If your holiday plans include travel, you aren’t alone. Auto Club reports that 54 million people travel between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. And the word on the street is that many people plan to travel with their pets! The most popular mode of transportation? Hitting the open road. But millions opt to fly the friendly skies. Whatever method you plan to use to get from Point A to Point B, make sure you take steps to be safe:
Keep your eyes open
Even as you book travel, research the destination to identify risky areas. Map out local places to turn to if you need assistance. Record and keep emergency numbers at-the-ready.
- Pack light
If an item looks valuable to you, it will also look that way to thieves. Place the valuables you decide to take on your trip in the hotel safe, along with important documents such as identification, laptop, passport and extra credit cards. In my opinion, the most valuable item you can carry is bacon. I’m not sure if it’s a hard target for thieves?
- Be an early bird
Arrive at the airport early to allow time for longer-than-average security lines and expect delays. Check into your hotel early in the day, so you won’t have to cart belongings across a dark parking lot at night.
- Blend in
Don’t wear flashy jewelry or expensive clothing. Doing so could increase your risk of being targeted for crime. Maintain a low profile. I find it difficult to blend in. Must be the spots!
- Leave Cash at Home
Don’t carry extra cash. Avoid taking large denominations and revealing large sums of money when you’re paying for items. Keep a little cash handy at all times, however, in case of an emergency.
Road Trip Safety
Do your holiday plans include a road trip? Here are some simple tips to make your drive safe and sane:
- Complete an emergency communications card, which details your travel plans. Leave it with your emergency contact.
- Maintain your vehicle. Take your car to a mechanic to check tires and engine before heading out on the open road.
- When applicable, prepare your car for winter weather before your holiday vacation.
- Map your route in advance. But be prepared for heavy traffic, since the holidays are one of the most popular travel times of the year. If you’re traveling with a dog, don’t forget to give him plenty of bathroom breaks.
- Don’t tempt thieves. Stow valuables in the trunk or covered storage area.
- If you’re traveling with children, remind them never to talk to strangers. Never leave kids unattended on bathroom break.
- Keep roadside assistance contact information on hand.
- In case of an emergency, keep your cell phone and charger with you at all times.
- If possible, stay off the road during and after winter storms.
- Pack and store an emergency supply kit in the trunk.
- Obey the speed limit. This is great advice to follow every time you get in your car!
- Avoid distractions, such as map-reading, eating or cell phone use.
- Make sure everyone is buckled up, no matter how short the trip! For your convenience, some companies make dog car seats. The indignity!
Air Travel Safety
- If you’re traveling by plane for the holidays, review TSA security screening guidelines, so you’ll be prepared to move through check-in more quickly.
- Include a small emergency kit in your carry-on luggage. Items such as a flashlight, batteries, and spare USB power bank could come in handy if you face a power outage or other emergency.
- If you plan to bring holiday gifts on the plane, remember that liquids (such as colognes and mouthwash) must not exceed 3.4 ounces. Good thing you can get water on the plane.
- Be aware of your surroundings as you go through security. Each year, hundreds of watches, bracelets, necklaces and other items are left behind at the TSA checkpoint. It pays to pay attention!
- If you see something, say something.
More tips about holiday travel safety
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