Millions of people will take to the highways, skies, or rails to visit their loved ones over the upcoming holiday. With snow and sleet predicted for many parts of the country this weekend, here are some travel tips to help holiday travelers arrive safely at their destination:
- Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Fill your gas tank, check the air pressure in your tires and make sure you have windshield fluid.
- Buckle up, slow down, don’t drink and drive.
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones – don’t text and drive.
- Make frequent stops on long trips. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and rest.
- If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.
Flying and Riding Trains
- It’s flu season. If you’ve been sick or been in contact with someone who is sick, consider postponing your trip. You could be contagious for a week before symptoms appear.
- Remember that everything you touch has to be touched by someone else – luggage handlers, etc. Handle your own belongings as much as possible. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Carry hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes with you. You can use them to wash your hands or wipe down surfaces such as armrests.
- Bring your own pillows and blankets – they can act as a shield against the seat itself.
- Avoid touching your face or eyes. If you have to cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your sleeve.
- If you have diabetes or take medication using a syringe, get a signed letter from your doctor explaining that your syringes are a medical necessity.
- Know the generic names of your medications so you can replace them if they are lost or stolen. Your medication will have a different brand name in another country.
- If you have any life-threatening allergies, wear a medical alert bracelet and bring an Epi-pen kit.
- Travel light. Take only what you need and no more.
- Make sure your children know their home address and telephone number. Show them where to go if you get separated, and review the procedure for dealing with strangers.
- Leave the jewelry at home and reduce your risk of getting robbed. The same goes for expensive electronics such as iPods and digital cameras. Buy some disposable cameras to use.
- Make photocopies of your passports, credit cards and other ID. Leave one copy with a relative at home, and keep another copy separate from your originals.
- Travel with only one credit card. Bring a combination of traveller’s cheques and cash in small bills (American money is universally accepted). You should be able to use your debit card as long as the machine has the CIRRUS symbol. You will be charged for each transaction. Try to familiarize yourself with the local currency so your first transaction won’t be so confusing.
- Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses as backup. You don’t want your vacation ruined because you can’t see anything.