17 Essential Travel Tips To Know For A Safe & Fun Trip

Packing up the car for a road trip or heading to the airport to catch a plane is usually the least fun part of your vacation. But if you take care of a few things before you go, it can make the whole trip that much more enjoyable.

So keep your family safe and stress-free during your travels with these helpful tips.

Top 3 General Travel Tips

No matter your method of travel, there are a few things you should take care of before walking out the front door.

  1. Make sure you fill all prescriptions before you leave and bring along your insurance card and doctor’s contact information.
  2. Lock all doors and windows in your home and set an alarm if you have one. It's also a good idea to keep some lights on timers and to have someone come by to collect your mail and newspaper.
  3. Consider what items you could buy once you get there, instead of having to bring them with you. For instance, if you’re flying with small children you’ll want to pack some diapers; but you can buy a pack of them once you arrive instead of having to lug them across the country.

Top 5 Road-Trip Tips

Although road trips can be great adventures with the family, there are still a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before. It's important to be alert when on the road.
  2. When you're planning your itinerary, add a few flex hours to your driving time (more if bad weather is expected). There's nothing more stressful than being behind schedule for a big event.
  3. In addition to your jack and spare tire, pack an emergency roadside kit that contains jumper cables, a blanket, flares and a flashlight. Also, buy a basic first-aid kit and keep aspirin, water and snacks handy.
  4. Have your car thoroughly checked by a mechanic before your trip – brakes, battery, tire pressure, fluid levels, fuses and bulbs. Make sure to check your oil when you gas up.
  5. Keep your cool when you're driving! Drive defensively, always indicate lane changes and give other drivers plenty of room. If you feel yourself getting agitated, take 10 deep breaths instead of yelling and honking.

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Top 5 Train Tips

Riding cross-country on a train can be a wonderful experience, and here are some tips to make it even better.

  1. You’ll have plenty of time, so use it to finalize the itinerary for your trip or finish other last details.
  2. Depending on your trip, there may or may not be a lot of food options. So find out in advance what you’ll be working with, and pack a picnic if you need to.
  3. If you’re not sure, ask. You want to be sure you get off at the right stop. You’ll want to know in advance if there are restrictions about what you can bring on the train. You’ll want to know if there’s wi-fi available.
  4. Look out the window! Bring some small binoculars if you have them. You may catch some great vistas.
  5. Be mindful of other passengers. Trains can have a bit more of shared space, so /many sure your items are out of the way and your noise level isn’t disruptive.

Top 4 Flying Tips

While faster, flying presents an entirely new set of circumstances. To make sure you’re ready and relaxed by the time you board the flight, take these precautions.

  1. Do your blood pressure a favor and get to the airport early so you're not sweating it waiting in security lines. Two hours for domestic flights and three hours for international flights should be enough.
  2. If you have an early morning flight and your budget allows, stay at an airport hotel the night before. That way, you'll get more sleep and will stress less about making it to the airport on time in the morning.
  3. Wash your hands frequently in the airport and on the plane (especially after using the bathroom and before you eat). Keep a supply of hand wipes with you as well.
  4. The air in a plane cabin is very dry (about 10 to 20 percent humidity), so once on board, keep yourself well hydrated. If you tend to get motion sickness, stick with water and juices.

With these tips, you should get anywhere you’re going – and back home again – safe and sound. If you have any tips we didn’t cover, let us know below. We’d love to hear them!

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