With gasoline prices at a recent low – some areas have a gallon of gas under $2 – travel experts say the next two weeks of Christmas and New Years will experience record-breaking travel. AAA says that more than 100 million people will take to the roads by car to visit friends and relatives. Millions more will travel by air, train and on cruise ships.
Here are some tips for planning your trip and making sure that your home is just the way you left it when you get back.
- Plan your trip as early as possible. If you’re flying, try to pick direct flights or change planes at hub airports in areas least affected by weather.
- DON’T announce your trip on social media. There’s plenty of time to post pictures when you get back. Criminals scour social media for people who announce they’re going on vacation and use that notice to break in a house or apartment.
- If you have an alarm system, use it. Make sure all doors and windows are secured and locked.
- Tell a trusted friend or neighbor that you are going to be away for a few days. Have them pick up your mail and newspapers, so it’s not obvious you’re not home.
- Put holiday gifts away. Keep shades and blinds drawn.
- Use timers for indoor and outdoor lights. Keep a radio on at all times or put one on a timer.
- Pack light and smart – Don’t overpack for a short trip. If you’re staying a week or more and traveling by air, consider shipping suitcases ahead of your trip.
When you travel
- While traveling, eat and drink smart. Light meals are best. Water is better for you than soda or alcoholic beverages.
- Even though you may be on vacation, criminals aren’t. Keep your cell phone, computers, pocketbooks and other valuables with you at all times.
- Make sure to pack your patience. It’s not the gate agent’s fault that your flight is delayed by weather.
- Research where you’re headed before you get there. Download weather and news apps that are destination specific to your phone and check them before you leave.
- Have a backup plan. Keep some snacks and a water bottle with you at all times. Always pack medicines you take with out at all times.
Passenger screening at airport checkpoints can be intimidating and confusing. Get to the airport at least two hours before departure time. Pay attention to screening notices. Here are some good holiday tips on what you can and can’t bring on an airplane as carryon luggage.