Millions of people are getting ready to travel for the holiday season this year. While it’s great to see family again, enjoy holiday meals, or go sightseeing, it’s also a time when crime increases and accidents can happen. To minimize the headaches and stay safe during holiday travel, it’s a good idea to do some preparation ahead of time.
Here are 5-holiday family travel safety tips from Haven Gear
1. Get Your Vehicle Holiday Ready
If you’re driving a vehicle to your holiday destination, you want to make sure it’s roadworthy and that you have the necessary supplies in it. Take your car, truck, or SUV to an auto shop and have them do a “trip check” before you leave. They’ll check your oil and coolant levels, tire pressure, and other items to make sure the vehicle is ready for a road trip.
If you’re traveling to a snowy area, you will want to have some basic safety gear and supplies in the vehicle. Things like jumper cables, a bag of cat litter for traction, tire chains, and other winter gear can mean the difference between a safe trip and ending up stranded somewhere. The National Safety Council offers a list of all the recommended winter safety gear to have in your car.
2. Check Cell Service Where You’re Going
We’re used to being able to get a cellphone signal just about anywhere here in the US, but that might not be the case if you’re traveling overseas. Check with your cell carrier ahead of time to make sure your phone will even work in your destination country. You also might need to have your carrier activate international minutes. Arriving on a trip overseas for the holidays only to discover that the main piece of modern convenience for many people doesn’t work can be a scary prospect, or it can even put you in a dangerous situation. Also, memorize a couple of phone numbers for family members back home, just in case you need assistance and end up without cell service.
3. Maintain Situational Awareness
It’s always relaxing to get out of town and away from the stresses of work for a few days, but many people relax too much when they get to a new location. Vacation destinations can give people a false sense of security when it comes to personal safety. Keep an eye on your surroundings, and watch for and avoid possibly dangerous situations. Predators tend to avoid people who are alert and confident.
4. Research Your Destination ahead of Time
It’s easier than ever to research a destination before you get there. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the place you’re vacationing, especially if you’ve never been there before. Some of the questions to ask yourself include:
- Where are the major landmarks?
- Does the city have Uber, Lyft, taxicabs, or other ways to get around?
- Is there a bus system and does it require exact change?
- Are there any neighborhoods that should be avoided?
- Can you find your way around if your GPS isn’t working for some reason, with a map or just from memory?
- Is there a hospital, police station, or US consulate nearby, and could you find them?
5. Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away on Travel
It’s never fun to return from a trip and discover that your home has been robbed. In addition to providing your travel itinerary to a family member or trusted friend, it can be a good idea to make arrangements to have someone watch your home when you’re away. Cancel mail deliveries and other regular deliveries while you’re going to be out of town. If you have a security system, make sure it’s functioning properly, and you can access it from your smartphone.
Haven Gear is dedicated to keeping law enforcement officers safe during riots or times of civil unrest. But we also want everyone to have safe and enjoyable holidays as they’re traveling. When you’re back from your vacation, if you want to know more about how we have revolutionized modern riot gear suits and PPE for law enforcement, contact us for a consultation.