Traveling over the holiday season can be a very hectic and stressful time for many people (especially for those who are afraid of flying). We all want to be with our family and close friends during these special times of year, so traveling is sometimes unavoidable. I have put together a few dos and don’ts to keep you safe (and sane) during your holiday travel season.
Air Travel Tips
DO: If your destination requires you to fly over the holidays, avoid added stress by flying direct and taking early or late flights to avoid larger crowds. It’s also wise to arrive at the airport at least one to two hours early to make your way through security. Not only will it be more crowded inside at the checkpoints the closer it gets to your flight time, but parking will be much more congested, too.
Remember to wear comfortable clothing and easily-removable shoes; this is good to remember anytime you are flying, but especially during the peak season. The process at the security gate will move more smoothly if you’re not wearing a belt or jewelry, if you ditch the change/keys in your pockets, and if you’re wearing slip-on shoes.
If you’re flying into or out of a city with snow or ice, then bear in mind that you could have delays of up to three hours for de-icing and snow removal. Having a book, magazines, or a handheld gaming system is great to pass the time while you’re waiting.
DON’T: If you’re traveling with gifts, then don’t wrap them before flying. A security officer may have to unwrap it anyway if he/she needs to inspect the gift. If possible, have your gifts shipped to your destination. This will cut down on your luggage and minimize the risk of lost or damaged items. Also, know which items are prohibited on the plane and put them in your checked bag before getting to the security checkpoint.
No matter if you’re driving across country or across town, winter driving can be very dangerous. Each year, tens of thousands of Americans die or injure themselves in vehicle accidents caused by ice and snow. Follow these small but helpful tips and it will be a smooth ride.
DO: Have your car checked out by a professional and pack a safety kit for the car before you travel. Make sure your tires are winter-ready and properly inflated, and that everything is in good working condition. The last thing you need while out of town is to break down in an unfamiliar place. Also, always be prepared for a change in your driving course due to traffic accidents or road construction. Have a couple alternative routes prepared, just in case.
When putting together a safety kit, these are the essentials:
- A car usb charger
- Ice scraper
- Tow rope and jumper cables
- Cat litter or sand
- A warm blanket, flashlight, first aid kit, and portable radio
DON’T: If traveling a long distance, don’t drive all the way through. Make frequent stops to stretch your legs and regain your alertness, even if it’s just for five minutes. Driving in the winter months are more fatiguing than the summer months. It’s also important to stay hydrated and energized to keep you alert while driving. Have extra bottled water and high-energy snacks with you, like sandwiches and fruit. The more alert you are the safer you will be on the road!
I hope these travel tips are helpful during the upcoming holiday season. By taking the stress out of flying and driving, you can better enjoy your time with loved ones and have a nice little vacation. Happy travels!
Do you recommend any other safety tips before traveling? Share your comments, experiences, or horror stories in the section below!