It's time to start thinking about holiday travel! Whether you travel to visit family, or maybe travel to get a break from them, there are some things you want to keep in mind in order to keep both yourself and your valuables safe when you're on the road.
Here are some travel safety tips to keep in mind for the upcoming holiday travel season.
Do your destination research
If you're planning a holiday getaway for yourself or your family, you want to make sure to do your homework before booking anything. You'll want to know what kind of currency you'll need (and the best way to get it); whether you'll need a visa or any special immunizations; what neighborhoods are the safest and easiest to sightsee from; what transportation options are available; and what attractions and tours are worth it.
It also never hurts to read up on typical prices and common scams in order to keep your wallet safe, too.
Arrive at public transport areas early
The holidays are a very popular time to travel, whether you're just going across the state or headed to the other side of the world. And when airports, train stations, and even border crossings are so crowded, they can feel overwhelming.
In order to reduce some of that holiday travel stress, be sure to get to the station or airport early. There's nothing more stressful than rushing to catch a plane or bus, especially when you add in those holiday crowds and potential delays.
There are two things to consider when packing for any trip. First, you want to make sure you know what the weather will be like wherever you're going, keeping in mind that seasons can differ depending on where in the world you're traveling. If it's going to be warm, light and breathable clothing is ideal. For colder climates, you want clothing you can layer!
Second, you want to make note of whether there are any cultural expectations to consider where you're going. For example, many Middle-Eastern and Asian countries are much more conservative when it comes to dress, meaning you may need to avoid packing things like tank tops and shorts.
And to make sure you're not overstuffing your suitcase? Bring clothing you can mix and match, and remember that most destinations will have some sort of laundry facilities that you can take advantage of.
Make sure family or friends know your itinerary
If you're traveling with your family, make sure a friend or someone else at home has a copy of your itinerary. If you're traveling on your own (or maybe going to go SEE family), let your family members in on your travel plans to ensure that someone knows where you should be and when.
If you're traveling abroad and want to take things a step further, you can also register your trip (if you're American) with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is free, and makes it easier for your family or an Embassy to contact you in the event of an emergency.
Lastly, you'll also want to make sure to alert your bank/credit card companies that you'll be traveling. This helps lessen the likelihood that your card will be declined or deactivated for suspicious activity while you're gone. You definitely want to do this if you're traveling out of the country, but it's also a good idea if you're traveling somewhere you don't usually go within the US, just to be safe.
Safeguard your home while you're away
If your whole family is traveling for the holidays, you want to make sure your home will be safe while you're gone. The best thing you can do is to find someone to housesit for you while you're gone.
But, if this isn't possible, having a good security system or at least a security camera installed is the next best thing. Security cameras these days can be connected to your smartphone, meaning you can keep an eye on your home even if you're hundreds of miles away.
Make a copy of documents
It's always a good idea to have extra copies of important travel documents, including tickets, your itinerary, and even your passport. Keep these copies somewhere safe in your luggage, ideally separate from the originals.
Have emergency contact info at hand
You hopefully won't ever need to use emergency contact info when you're traveling, but it's good to have anyway. Important numbers to have include the local number to call in case of emergency, numbers for someone back home (and ideally you'll have these physically written down somewhere and not just stored in your phone), and the number of the local embassy if you're traveling abroad. It's also always good to have numbers for your bank/credit cards in case one of them is lost or stolen.
If you keep these travel tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to having a safe and less-stressful holiday trip!
What other things to do you to ensure safe travels?
All content provided in this blog is supplied by Amanda Williams and is for informational purposes only. Barclays makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
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