Whether you’re embarking on a romantic getaway abroad, a cross country trip to beautiful Yellowstone, or heading over the river and through the woods to your grandmother’s house, you’ll have a more enjoyable time if you learn to expect the unexpected.
The truth is, traveling can come with complications. The other truth is, complications don’t have to ruin your holiday. Take a few precautions to lessen your risk, and be prepared with solutions when a holiday traveling hiccup catches up to you.
If you’re planning to be one of the three quarters of Americans that travel by car during the holidays, there are some easy and important steps to take to make sure you’re not stranded alongside the road in a 10 foot drift of cold snow.
- Check The Battery Dead batteries are one of the leading causes of roadside breakdowns, and they’re easily preventable. Remember, if you’re operating a vehicle with keyless ignition, make sure to store your keys away from your ignition; storing them too close drains the battery.
- Check Your Tires Tires are another leading cause of breakdown. Make sure to do a monthly tire check, and one last check before you depart.
- Stick To The Maintenance Schedule By adhering to your manufacturer’s carefully established routine maintenance schedule, you’ll be lessening your chance for huge wallet-busting breakdowns.
- Have A Roadside Service Plan If you do breakdown, have the peace of mind in knowing you can call an automobile club to assist.
Flying The Friendly (or sometimes Unfriendly) Skies
Traveling via the friendly skies can lead to some major hiccups, but a little pre-planning can help.
- Flight Delays Or Cancellations Before making your final reservations, consider checking the flight’s “on-time performance score.” This will show you how often your flight has been cancelled, and how often it’s been late, leading to missed connections. If your planned flight has a bad track record, you may want to consider a different flight. Once booked, always have a go to Plan B. This means, in the event your flight is cancelled, you are aware of other flights, with that airline or with other airlines, that can get you to your final destination.
- Lost or delayed luggage There are a few preemptive steps you can take to prevent luggage issues: 1) try to book your flight direct, 2) check your bags early, 3) remove old tags, 4) go with a longer connection time, and 5) use something unique like a ribbon, to make your bag stand out. In the event that your luggage is delayed, make sure that your necessities, like any necessary medication, are in your carry-on bag.
Staying Safe On The Homefront
The last holiday hiccup you’ll want to deal with is coming home from the trip of a lifetime to find your home broken into. So before heading out, take some extra safety precautions.
- Deadbolts Most burglaries happen through the front door, so if you don’t have a deadbolt installed on this door. you should get one added. Make sure that all windows and doors are locked.
- Lighting Use light timers throughout your home that go on and off at random times to make it appear like you’re home.
- Home Security System Home security systems are more effective and affordable than ever. Check out Redfin.com for ideas for home security solutions. Homes without a security system are 300 times more likely to be broken into.
In the event you are broken into, call the police and your insurance company immediately. Make sure to document, on video, all of the damage that is done to your property before cleaning up; this may be necessary for your insurance provider. Once things are settled, use a home safety checklist, so you’re sure to prevent a repeat.
As you start packing for your exciting getaway, make sure to pack an ample dose of flexibility. Traveling can bring about uncertainties, whether it’s hours of unexpected road delays, a last minute airline maintenance routine, or severe weather diverting you from one of your ship’s ports. Stuff happens, take a deep breath, go with the flow, and you’ll find you can still enjoy that special getaway.
AUTHOR: DANIEL SHERWIN