Traveling during the holiday season needn’t be stressful. Follow these helpful tips to minimize problems and maximize enjoyment.
Secure Your Home
If you really want to enjoy your time away, it’s important you secure your home. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, security cameras, and door and window locks.
Should you have a DIY home security system with a monitoring option, consider paying for the time you’re away. You may need to pay for an entire month, but it provides peace of mind.
Alternatively, have a friend or family member check your home regularly. Provide them with a copy of your itinerary and emergency contacts in case of emergency. Copy your credit cards, passport, and other relevant identification and save it to the cloud.
Attend to Car Maintenance
Whether you’re driving across the country or just to the airport, you’ll want to ensure your vehicle’s in tip-top condition. The last thing you want to deal with when you’re under a time constraint is a breakdown.
Check your vehicles tires and ensure they’re properly inflated. Change the oil and air filter, test your brakes, store extra windshield wiper fluid, and replace wiper blades, if required.
If you haven’t changed the battery in several years, test it. Restock your emergency kit and ensure you have a functional spare tire, jack, jumper cables, and flares.
Allow Extra Time
It’s the holiday season and it’s busier than usual. Whether you’re driving or flying, allow extra time to get to your destination.
Poor driving conditions and crowded roadways and airports can significantly add to your stress, but when you rush it can lead to disaster. Excess speed is the leading cause of accidents and if the roads are icy or wet you should drive even slower than normal.
Rely on Technology
Check traffic and road closures before you leave. Use GPS for alternate routes if you encounter a problem and need an alternative route.
Additionally, check the weather before and while traveling as it can seriously impact your plans. NOAA Weather radio broadcasts weather conditions throughout the nation continually. Here’s a list of the radio frequencies for all regions.
Carry a cell phone and a car charger in case you run into trouble. Store the police and roadside assistance numbers along your route on your phone.
Take A Break
Don’t schedule flights with little time in between. A break between connections gives you time to stretch your legs, re-energize, grab a bite, and freshen up. This is especially important if you have children. They need room to burn off pent up energy after the constraints of an airplane.
It’s equally important to rest when driving. It keeps the driver alert and lets passengers stretch out and breath fresh air. Drink plenty of water while driving to reduce fatigue and improve your ability to stay focused.
Don’t forget to check your home and car insurance before you leave home. If you haven’t done an insurance review recently do so before you travel. The holidays should be a time filled with fun, not worrying about whether you’ve properly protected against unexpected events.