Traveling for the Holidays? Read This First!

There might be no place like home for the holidays. But when you have time off from work, a little extra cash, or simply the urge to get away from the shopping, stress, and snow, the winter holidays can be the perfect time to take a vacation. If you’re planning a winter trip, you’re not alone. Last year, a record number of 107.3 million Americans traveled between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. 2018 is expected to be another busy year.

No matter how you’re traveling or where you’re traveling to, it’s important to stay safe while on vacation. To help you have a fun and safe winter holiday, here are some of our favorite travel tips:

On the Roads

During the holiday season, most people do their traveling via car. Of the millions of people who traveled during the holidays in 2017, 97.4 traveled by car. With so many people on the roads, holiday travel can lead to heavy traffic, gas price woes, and an increased risk of car accidents. Due to issues like these, holiday travel can be stressful and even dangerous!

  • Have your car serviced before setting off on your trip, especially if you will be driving for long distances
  • For long days of driving, take frequent breaks to rest or if possible, alternate drivers every few hours. If you are the only driver and began to feel fatigued, pull over to a safe area, like a well-lit rest stop, to rest until you feel more alert
  • Know when to travel. For example, avoid traveling on December 22nd from between 3 and 5 P.M., where the roads are expected to be the busiest
  • Know your route in advance and consider using a GPS or directions app like Waze
  • Be prepared with supplies like a phone charger, flashlights, first aid kit, and any other supplies
  • As always, never text while driving and do not drive after drinking

By Plane

To avoid traffic and gas prices, many people choose to travel by plane. While many disaster movies might give us the idea that plane accidents happen all the time, plane are actually one of the safest ways to travel. In fact, you’re more likely to be injured in a car accident on the way to the airport than you are on the actual plane.

Still, it’s important to stay alert when traveling by plane. From luggage mishaps to sudden turbulence, there are still plenty of things to look out for.

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport before your flight
  • Keep track of all your belongings, including your luggage and any travel information, like your passport or flight itinerary
  • On the plane, pay close attention to all safety instructions that the crew gives before takeoff. Locate the emergency exits, oxygen masks, and anything else you might need in an emergency
  • Make sure any luggage is safety stored in the overhead bins
  • Report any suspicious people or packages to airport personnel

Traveling Abroad

If you and your family have time off during the holidays, it can be a great time to take that vacation you’ve been planning all year. Whether it’s your dream to explore a European Christmas market or relax on a tropical cruise, there are so many options outside of the United States. But traveling outside the country takes some extra preparation and means you should be especially cautious:

  • Research the area where you plan to travel and be aware of any recent dangers, from terrorist attacks to dangerous weather events. To find out more about the safety of a country, you can check the travel advisory.
  • If you’re traveling to a country where English is not the main language, learn some basic phrases, including how to ask for help or directions.
  • Learn more about the culture of the county you will be visiting, including their attitudes towards women, LGBT people, and other groups.
  • Read up on how to dress appropriately and respectfully.
  • Stay alert at all times
  • Keep any important belongings, like your passport and extra money, in a safe in your hotel room or other secured area
  • On a cruise ship, follow all safety directions

If you are traveling over the winter holidays, we hope these tips can help you have a stress-free, safe, and fun vacation.

Safe travels!

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The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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