With Thanksgiving almost a week away and the holiday season right around the corner, it's important to revisit some easy-to-follow traveling tips. This is the time of year when family is the focus, so take the time to do those little things that ensure your family will have a safe and happy holiday.
1. DO NOT post your excitement about being out of town on social media sites. This means resisting the urge to "check in" on Facebook or tag your family members at the various restaurants and clubs you'll visit. Friends of friends might not be the most savory of characters, which leaves you giving potential thieves direct knowledge of when your home is empty.
2. Consider enlisting the help of a house sitter. Whether it's a teenager or college student home on break, this person can ensure your home is being cared for. If you have a pet, even better. Instead of kenneling your furry friend, your pet can remain cozy and comfortable in their own home.
3. Leave on a few lights or the living room TV when you're away. Lights and noises will give the appearance that the house is occupied while you're on vacation.
4. Share your itinerary with a trusted someone. Let them know where you plan on stopping and staying, as well as when you plan on arriving and departing. During inclement weather this could end up being a life saver.
5. Be sure to stock your car with kitty litter (for the icy roads), flares, cell phone chargers, water, protein bars, blankets, and other articles of warm clothing. Give your car a "once-over" before driving away, checking everything from fluid levels to your spare tire.
6. It should go without saying, but you should never EVER drive after you've been drinking. If you plan on drinking at your annual holiday party, make arrangements for a designated driver or cab.
7. Remember, it's important to keep peace during a long trip. Kids do best when they're well fed, entertained and rested. In order to keep everyone happy you must plan ahead. Consider packing portable DVD players, headphones, travel versions of your kids' favorite board games and handheld game systems. These items can offer hours of entertainment.
No matter how you celebrate your holiday, make it a safe and happy one. The bottom line: traveling can be fun and it only takes a few precautions to keep your family and home safe.
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