by Krystal Smith, Red Cross North Texas Regional Digital Communication Specialist
With the 4th of July falling on a Wednesday this year, travelers across the nation are taking advantage of the entire week to celebrate the holiday. With the ability to stretch Independence Day celebrations over two weekends, people are taking to the highways and the skies to reach their favorite destination.
The Red Cross has put together the Top 8 Travel Tips every traveler should know before beginning their holiday trip!
#1 Be Proactive.
Check your vehicle to ensure everything is in working order before hitting the road. Avoid letting your gas tank run low, refill windshield wiper fluid, and keep your windows clean and clear of distractions. Keep a first aid kit in your vehicle and pull off the highway if you begin experiencing car trouble.
#2 Buckle Up.
Whether traveling by plane or car, always wear your seatbelt. Properly secure children in age- and weight-appropriate car seats or booster seats.
#3 Watch for Germs.
Remember, everything you touch has been touched by someone else – luggage handles, doors, airline tickets, etc. GROSS! Fight germs with hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes, and remember to wash your hands often with soap and water.
#4 Pay Attention.
Always be aware of your surroundings. Adhere to warning signs and follow instructions from highway and airport authorities. While on the highways, watch for motorists, use caution in work zones, and avoid distractions such as cell phones. NEVER leave children or pets in a vehicle.
#5 Protect Pets.
Place pets in a crate, carrier, or special seatbelt harness when traveling by vehicle. Take frequent breaks to allow pets to stretch their legs while on a leash. Some pets can travel in the passenger cabin of an airplane; check airline policy and make sure to monitor your pet’s safety during air travel. If your pet needs to be placed in the cargo area below the plane, take a direct flight and ask flight attendants about cargo area temperatures if the plane is on the tarmac for a long time.
#6 Have a Plan.
No matter where you are traveling or how you’re getting there, make sure you have a backup plan in case of detours, cancellations, or unexpected emergencies. If traveling in a group, know where to meet if you become separated.
#7 Check the Weather.
While you’ll obviously want to know the forecast before packing your clothes, it’s also important to know what weather conditions you might experience both on the way to your destination and while there. Download the Red Cross Emergency App to receive weather alerts throughout your trip.
#8 Pack Your Patience.
The next two weekends are expected to be extremely busy! Both highways and airports will be packed with travelers eager to get to their destination. Make sure to arrive at the airport early, take frequent breaks when traveling by car and take deep breaths along the way.
For more tips on highway safety, international travel safety or pet travel safety, visit redcross.org.