Many of us plan to travel this holiday season so that we can spend time with family and friends. Whether you’re heading to see grandparents or to a favorite vacation spot to celebrate holidays with loved ones, you want to arrive at your destination safely and without incident.
Here are some tips to help make your journey a smooth one.
- Remember to activate a travel alert for the debit and credit cards you plan to use. Letting your financial institution know you will be out of town can prevent unnecessary delays and make certain you will be able to use your cards easily and safely.
- Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
- Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
- If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated.
- Assure that your children know their home address and your phone number.
- Give a family member or friend your travel itinerary and the contact information for the place you will stay.
- If you, or a family member, take prescribed medications, make sure you have enough medication for the trip.
- Air travelers should know that both over-the-counter and prescription medications are allowed through TSA checkpoints. If you have liquid medications, they are exempt from TSA's 3.4 ounce liquids rules in carry-on bags.
- Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses as backup. You don’t want your vacation ruined because you can’t see anything.
- If traveling by air, give your self enough time to arrive at the airport early - there may be a longer wait due to the larger number of travelers during the holidays. When getting to the airport, unanticipated heavy traffic, road construction, and road closures can put a severe kink in your plan.
- Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road. Your insurance company may offer roadside assistance features.
- Keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times and install a smartphone application that enables you to request help without making a phone call.
- Keep anything of value in the trunk or in a covered storage area.
With these tips, and a little preparation, you’ll be ready for a stress-free holiday with family and friends.