Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays here in the U.S. are known for stirring up longings to see family and friends, sending many people on the road or in the air. With so many people on the move, long lines, congested roadways, crowded flights – and hopefully fond memories – are inevitable.
Holiday travel should be something to look forward to, not something to worry about, so we’ve compiled a list of tips to stay safe and calm, wherever you may visit.
Regardless of when you travel, waiting until the last minute can ruin an otherwise pleasant experience. Planning ahead gives you time to look for good deals or find discounts and sales you may not have otherwise been able to take advantage of.
Protip: Transportation is easy to overlook when compared to the high cost of hotel reservations and plane tickets, but this oversight can leave many feeling panicked on arrival. Consider your options and, if you’re interested in booking a shared-ride shuttle, we serve over 40 airports in the U.S., Mexico, France and the UK.
Lock Up Tight
When traveling, anxiety can come from something far away – your home. Worrying about whether you locked your front door or if you left a window open can put a serious damper on your festivities. Be sure to make a checklist of to-do items before leaving and run through it carefully before you head out.
Purchase a Light Timer
Keeping lights on 24/7 can be as inviting to a burglar as unnatural darkness and piles of newspapers. It can also do a serious number on your electricity bills. Purchase a simple light timer, which will put the lights in your home on a regular schedule, giving the appearance that someone is home to turn them on for evening activities and off for bedtime.
Ask a Friend to House Sit
Ask an available friend or relative to keep an eye on your place. This could mean driving by every few days, feeding your cat, or bringing your mail or newspaper inside. You can also pay for a house- or pet-sitter, if it’s in your budget. Avoid hiding your key under your doormat, though, as that’s the first place burglars often look. Instead, give the spare key directly to the trusted friend, relative or house sitter before you leave.
It’s especially important to have someone check on things if you have an older home. There’s nothing worse than coming home from a nice trip to the damage caused by a slow leak in your roof or water heater.
If you’re staying with family or friends over the holidays, you will probably leave with more than you came. Paying luggage fees for heavy bags – or even an extra bag you bought along the way – add up quickly. Limiting how much you bring reduces the chance you’ll lose an item or be pick-pocketed while distracted. The less you have, the easier it is to keep track of your belongings, especially when traveling with children.
Save your money for something fun, and remember to pack light!
Buy Gifts with Travel in Mind
To pack light without seeming like a Scrooge, consider buying gift cards or shipping gifts directly to their recipients. If they’re traveling, too, they’ll appreciate both the thought and not having to haul the gift home!
Check Your Bags and Carry Your Presents
If you must bring physical gifts while flying, pack your presents in your carry-on. They’ll be able to pass through security much more quickly, and there’s less of a risk that TSA will have to tear open your beautifully-wrapped boxes. You may even want to wait and wrap those boxes at your destination, just in case.
Don’t Spend It All In One Place
Or really, don’t carry it all in one place. When traveling to an unfamiliar area, spread your cash, credit and debit cards, and travelers’ checks across multiple bags and your person. If you keep everything together, and it ends up getting lost or stolen, it’s much more difficult to replace things when you’re away from home. Also, scan any important documents and travel itineraries, and send them in an e-mail to yourself as back up.
Check Your Insurance
If you travel to a far-away location and expect to do anything adventurous – e.g. alpine skiing or zip-lining in Costa Rica – check with your medical insurance provider that your plan covers medical help abroad, including things like helicopter evacuation.
Hey, you never know!
Practice Common Sense
When it comes down to it, stress-free holiday safety boils down to thinking about something before you do it. Be safe about your decisions. Avoid broadcasting your travel online, as it may invite theft at home. If you’re going to partake in holiday cocktails, have a designated driver and, if one’s not readily available, a private car service like ExecuCar is the perfect DD.
And above all: remember to have fun!
How do you get through holiday travel while keeping your sanity? We’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!
Posted 1 years 195 days ago
by Maggie 0 Comments