Travel Safe This Holiday Season With These Tips
When taking the family on a long road trip few decisions cause more anxiety then deciding what items are the best to snack on. Decisions on what to munch on during a road trip are most often based on convenience and price instead of the most important factor, nutrition. With some thoughtful planning you can turn the road trip snack planning process into a fun and interactive time for your family; and when the family interacts they tend to enjoy the entire process. Road trip snacks don’t have to be messy, they can be fun to eat and taste great.
It's hardly a secret that holiday travel can be a stressful occasion with the hustle and bustle creating unexpected delays and challenges. Additionally, whether traveling by air, rail or car, there are always more delays during the winter months than during the warm weather and travelers must stay aware of the risks in order to travel safe.
Road closings due to snow and the traffic accidents caused by storms are a major concern during the winter holidays. Additionally, commercial travel can impose its own set of risks that passengers need to stay vigilant to. Road trip games are a great way to keep your mind alert and fresh, but still does not hold up to being practically prepared for any situation.
Safe Driving Tips
Any vehicle making a winter-time road trip should have a thorough inspection beforehand to cut down on the chances of any unwelcome surprises on the road. A local auto shop should check the tires, battery, cooling system and antifreeze, heater, brakes and change the oil and filters.
Pack a safety kit.
A good safety kit for a road trip is a definite must have. Essential items including a flash light, jumper cables, first aid kit, blankets, road flares, a tow cable, a small bag of cat litter or sand -- and the cell phone car charger -- should be packed.
Plan the route.
Both the main route and an alternative course in case of road closures should be planned. While GPS devices are wonderful modern conveniences, the gadgets sometimes stop working unexpectedly, so an up-to-date road atlas is essential.
While it may not seem like dehydration would be an issue, a recent Mayo-Clinic study showed that just a one-percent reduction of bodily fluid can lead to fatigue and decreased awareness, which could result in an accident. Additionally, the body requires more fuel during cold weather, so foods such as sandwiches, fruit and a thermos of hot soup should be packed.
Winter-time driving is very fatiguing, so it is crucial to take frequent breaks to stretch and get some fresh air. Just a two-minute brake every hour will significantly improve alertness behind the wheel.
Safe Commercial Travel Tips
In addition to the stress of commercial holiday travel, safety is also a concern when traveling by air, train or even bus. However, there are a few simple traveler-savvy tips that can make commercial travel safe.
Waiting until the last minute always leaves a great deal to chance and rushing around will lead to stress and mistakes. Whether booking online or through an agent, set both arrival and departure dates as far before or after the holiday period as possible. Traveling at off-peak times both reduces stress levels and keeps travelers away from unscrupulous individuals that wait to prey on harried passengers during hectic holiday periods.
As more and more airlines are adopting stricter baggage restrictions on limits and weight, packing light will save money as well as time. Additionally, lost baggage is one of every travel’s biggest concerns, and lost luggage over the holidays, when travel is highest, is a strong possibility. Never, not ever, place valuables of any kind in checked baggage, as many a passenger has had items just miraculously “disappear” from checked baggage. Instead of packing gifts in luggage, consider shopping online and have the gifts shipped straight to the final destination. Alternatively, have gifts and other valuable shipped UPS, Fed-Ex or USPS.
Minimize personal contact.
Travelers are a magnet for cold and flu viruses, adding misery to the aggravation of holiday travel. Travelers should to get a flu vaccine before departure. As most germs are spread by some form of direct person-to-person contact, it is important to maintain a rigorous personal-hygiene routine. Contact with strangers should be minimized as much as possible as should hand-to-face contact. Hands should also be washed with soap and water at every opportunity and hand sanitizer can be used when a washroom is not available.
Long periods of inactivity in cramped quarters can result in a potentially life threatening condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis, or blood clotting in the legs. If a clot should dislodge from the legs it can impair blood flow to the heart or brain, resulting in a heart attack or stroke. However, simply getting up for a few minutes every hour will prevent blood clots from forming and will help keep holiday travel safe.