Family travel can be an exhilarating, educational, adventurous, and an unforgettable bonding time for family members; however, nothing can ruin a vacation or road trip like poor pre-planning and being unprepared for emergencies. Whether a travel vacation is by air or car, safety procedures must be established and followed. Safety tips for both types of travel are easy to follow.
Airline travel doesn’t have to be chaotic. Although the last eight years have brought strictly enforced security procedures, complaining about it is useless; follow the rules. Never leave luggage unattended for any reason. Although security is ever present, never leave a child alone in an airport to watch luggage or for any other reason. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity by anyone and unattended bags. Report this activity to a security guard immediately.
Travel vacations by car are the choice of many American families. Traveling by car however, can present some difficulties and road emergencies. Take the vehicle in for a full service checkup before the road trip; better to be safe than sorry. Several internet sites provide a trip planning service at no charge. These sites will give information such as the least complicated routes, motels on the route, and local attractions in each area. Take advantage of this free service and avoid getting stuck in unfamiliar areas which can be dangerous. Check possible road construction areas and the weather report the evening before the next day’s travel. Flash flooding can occur in the summer months and be extremely hazardous.
A first aid kit is a must for minor injuries. Be sure to inspect the kit and know how to use the items. A road emergency kit should also be in the car trunk. These kits contain items such as: jumper cables, tools, road flares, flashlights, tire gauges, batteries, matches, and other repair items. Cell phones are not a luxury on a road trip; they are a necessity in case of an emergency. Keep the phone charged and know the company’s coverage area. Charge cards and/or travelers checks are the way to pay for expenses along the way. If possible, take one card to carry and hide one in the vehicle, just in case one becomes lost.
People can also be road hazards. Be aware of the surroundings and if another vehicle seems to be following you, stopping when you stop, and waiting around. Get the license plate number and report it if it continues. Do not stop at rest areas during the night, and only during the day when numerous cars are present. Never let a child go into a rest area bathroom alone. We all feel bad for hitchhikers in the hot summer, but never stop. Criminals have also been known to fake car trouble. Take note of the mile marker and notify the state police of the stranded car. Keep road rage under control. It is impossible to know who may be carrying a weapon.
Vacations, especially with children in a vehicle, can be irritating enough just dealing with the quarreling and boredom. Add some road closures or emergencies, and a fun time can become a nightmare. Efficient travel planning will eliminate the worry of dealing with unexpected events.