The third installment of the series, Eat, Drink and be Merry...With an Eye on Your Safety! deals with traveling during the holiday season. As Thanksgiving traditionally kicks off the holiday season, many of us travel far and wide to visit with family and friends. There are some basic safety tips to keep in mind as we pack up our things and get out on the road.
Top 15 Tips for Traveling During the Holiday Season
1. Keep track of any weather events which may impact on your travel plans. Train, plane and bus schedules can be adversely affected. In all travel terminals keep track of your luggage at all times, and do not accept packages from unknown sources.
2. Allow for factors such as fatigue, lost luggage, and closures. Have back up plans for accommodations, gas and food. Always have charging capabilities for cell phones.
3. Driving conditions can deteriorate very quickly; make sure your vehicle is in good working order, filled with gas and wiper fluids. A GPS device is always a good idea to take with on long journeys.
4. Let family and friends know the route you are taking and your estimated time of arrival.
5. Do not announce on social media that you are SOOO excited about your trip and give away vital information about arrival and departure dates, travel plans and destinations. It is safer to share this information after you have returned home and have millions of photos to post.
6. Make sure that your place is locked up tight but still looks as if someone is home with lights on timers and neighbors clearing away any signs of your absence (old newspapers, accumulating mail, snow not shoveled, etc). Burglars are very adept at catching signs of an unoccupied home.
7. When staying in a hotel or motel, make sure you are comfortable with the security measures they offer and look for these features: electronic keycard locks, room safes, clearly marked fire escape plans and sprinklers, and additional locks/latches on inside of hotel room.
8. You do not really want to stay on the ground floor of a hotel, especially if it opens to the outside/parking lot. If your only option is the ground floor then try and get a room facing the interior courtyard of the hotel. Many experts suggest staying in rooms located between the fourth and sixth floors, as these are not too high for fire departments to reach but high enough that someone wouldn't attempt to enter from the exterior of the building.
9. For women traveling alone to a hotel, ask the clerk at the front desk to write down the room number as opposed to saying it out loud. Be aware of people listening as you check-in and watch for anyone paying particular attention to you as you make your way to the elevator.
10. When entering an elevator, try to enter last and select the floor last, and stand as close to the control panel as possible. If attacked in an elevator, pull the alarm and press as many floor buttons as possible. Trust your gut in this regard, if someone enters the elevator and makes you uncomfortable, leave the elevator and wait for another one filled with a group of people or families.
11. Use portable door locks or wedge guard door stop alarms to add that extra measure of security when staying in hotels (available on several online travel product websites).
12. Portable travel motion detectors can be used to alert you to the movement of a burglar or attacker. The VERY LOUD PIERCING alarm lasts for approximately 15 seconds -- enough time to scare off an intruder and alert others to a dangerous situation (also available on several online travel product websites).
13. Expensive laptop computers are targets for thieves. You may check these into a safety deposit box at the front desk or you can use a security cable to lock it to a fixed object (like the sink pipe in the bathroom or kitchenette).
14. Follow the safety tips from the first two installments of 'Eat, Drink and be Merry...With an Eye on Your Safety!' regarding situational awareness when running around and getting things done and keeping safe at parties.
15. Most of all, bring along your patience, compassion and kindness... holiday time is stressful for most of us and we need to cherish time together rather than dwell on perceived wrongs and create conflict.
Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!
Stay Safe, Live Well!