Summer is in full swing across the states and the time to venture out, is running out. Road trips have become a sort of American past time over the years and with fall right around the corner, August is the last chance for most to get their adventures in. So it’s a perfect time to deem August, Travel Safety Awareness Month and plan a safe, stress free vacation.
Okay, admittedly putting stress free and vacation in the same sentence anymore might seem like a laughable contradiction. But whether you travel by plane or automobile, the benefits of proper preparation and safety awareness might be just what you need to give you the stress free vacation you seek.
What Can You Do to Plan a Safe Trip?
- Start early. Allow enough planning time to research your destination and find the best routes with the destinations you seek along the way.
- Use the resources available. The Automobiles Club, visitors’ bureaus, YouTube, and other websites can be very helpful in the planning stages of your trip.
- Make reservations! Don’t assume anything, if you have dates and destinations already picked out, make reservations accordingly. This is a major stress reliever when arriving at a destination tired and wore out from your travels.
- Do a weather search for all your destinations along the way so you know what to expect along the way.
- If you’re leaving the country, check with the US State Department for travel advisories.
- Get appropriate inoculations or certificates of inoculations your might need.
- Make sure your identification, driver’s license, emergency contact lists, insurance, passports* are up to date.
- Have enough cash and available credit for your planned trip as well as any emergencies that may occur along the way.
- If you’re traveling by car, make sure you have had a recent service and inspection done on your vehicle.
* Check passports well ahead of time, as it may take several weeks to months to issue or renew.
Become an Expert Packer
Space is always limited on a vacation especially if you’re flying. Learning strategic packing methods is essential to getting the most you can out of the least amount of space. Follow these helpful guidelines to get you ahead of the game when comes to packing:
- Review TSA policies and procedures. Know what you can and can’t bring with you.
- Roll clothes in your suitcase instead of folding. Takes up less room and avoids unwanted creases. Also, pack footwear on top of clothes.
- Know ahead of time, your airlines baggage fees and the amount of luggage you can have.
- Use packing aids. Compression sacs shrivel your clothes into a vacuum packed, tiny, tight bundle that takes up minimal space.
- Never check essential items. Your passport, identification, money, credit cards, jewelery, electronics, and other valuables should stay with you at all times.
- Make a list! Weeks before you go start a list of items you think you will need on your trip. As you think of something write it down.
- Pack plenty of entertainment and snacks. Whether you have kids or not this is extremely important and will save you money along the way. For road trips a small cooler is always helpful.
One Last Thing
Whether you’re leaving for a weekend or a week always arrange to have your mail, newspapers, trashcans, and other routine deliveries taken care of or stopped altogether. Also, you should have a friend or neighbor come by to water your plants and check on the house from time-to-time.
Don’t forget about your pets! Arrange to have your pets taken care of well in advance. There are plenty of animal boarding locations in most areas, but you can also check with your local veterinarian.
Lastly, leave an itinerary with someone for that “just in case” moment.
For more summer driving tips and information on the 100 Deadliest Days on the Road click here.