With the peak of summer upon us, many families are embarking on their summer getaways. Whether you are traveling by air, land or sea, it is important to remember that safety should always be a priority. However, safety is not limited to bringing a first aid kit – although, that’s not a bad start. Here are some tips to help you navigate the potential dangers of summer travel.
Whether you are driving your own vehicle or a rental, make sure you know when the last time the vehicle was serviced. Also, be sure to check your tires for air before packing the family in for the trip. The last thing you want is to find yourself on the side of the road in an unfamiliar setting.Also, make sure that your spare tire (or donut) is in the trunk and in working condition just in case.
Even if your car, van or RV is in perfect working condition, make sure you know where you are going and what to expect once you arrive. Taking an inexpensive GPS along for the ride isn’t such a bad idea. It certainly beats trying to read a map on the side of the highway. Make sure your AAA or OnStar roadside assistance accounts are active and up to date.
Once you reach your destination, be sure to know about the local laws, customs and languages. Are you traveling to a state that does not permit right-turn-on-red? Is cell phone usage illegal while driving? Are radar detectors illegal in the state that you are visiting? What are the drinking laws? Regardless, you should never drink and drive. If you are going to another country, make sure you know what the spoken language is. As obvious as it may seem, remember, road signs may not be in English once you leave the United States and a pocket translator or dictionary could certainly come in handy.
Next, be sure to know whether the area you are visiting is a tourist hot spot. This may mean an increased risk of muggings and break-ins. Do not leave your valuables in the car, even if you are just grabbing a quick lunch. This is often the perfect opportunity for a smash-and-grab. You should also avoid traveling or walking alone, especially at night. Remember, you are a stranger in a strange land, and there are people who are counting on you to bring them a fancy new iPad or camera to play with. Keep an eye out for pick-pockets and scam artists, and NEVER accept packages from a stranger.
Lastly, make sure you plan ahead. Have your hotels reserved in advance, instead of searching for a vacancy after midnight. Pick hotels that have good reviews for safety. When you are in the hotel, make sure the door is always locked to the fullest ability, and keep your valuables (including your passport) in the safe. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to make a copy of your passport, and keep a spare in your suitcase.
These are just a few suggestions to help make your vacation go smoothly and safely. For more information, please visit the links below.
- Safety Tips for Road Travel
- Register for Foreign Travel
- Child Travel Safety Tips
Have fun, but BE SAFE!