Home guest articles Prepare for Takeoff: Tasks Before Leaving for Holiday Travel

Prepare for Takeoff: Tasks Before Leaving for Holiday Travel

written by Guest Blogger December 18, 2012

Are you travelling for the 2012 holidays? You might want to check out this guest post by Don Campbell before you start packing!

A segment from the 1983 comedy film “National Lampoons Vacation” perfectly captures the importance of preparation. The family was traveling across country and pulled out of their garage to begin the 1800 mile drive.


Through all the chaos and preparation, they forgot to strap down the luggage on top of the station wagon, causing a colossal mess before even getting out of the driveway.

This makes for great laughs in Tinseltown, but can be the start of a miserable vacation in real life. There are steps that can be taken to ensure your holidays are as enjoyable and safe as possible, while minimizing anxiety.

Secure Your Home

Burglars look for specific signs in determining which houses they want to target. Some of the obvious includes newspapers piling up on the porch, fresh snow in the driveway days after a storm, and even Facebook and Twitter posts which announce your impending holiday plans.

Arrangements should be made with a friend or neighbor to deal with the first two, while vacationers should refrain from posting public announcements on social media altogether. Security systems are now more affordable than ever and provide homeowners a way to monitor their property remotely. There are also devices (very inexpensive) which produce a flickering light resembling a television that work on a timer.

Plan Ahead

Last minute shopping is one thing, but everything else pertaining to your holiday travels should be completed well in advance. Flight plans can be booked far in advance. This will not only avert potential disaster upon arrival at your holiday destination, but can save money by taking advantage of early-booking discounts. Hotel and car rentals can generally be reserved on one booking website and should be done sooner rather than later. The agencies should be made aware of any special accommodations needed, such as wheelchair accessibility and roll-away beds, during the reservation process.

Comfort & Entertainment

Whether traveling by plane or car, you’ll be sitting in one place for several hours. Holiday travel isn’t the time to look good and try to impress onlookers. Loose-fitting clothes can make all the difference between a relaxing voyage and an uncomfortable nightmare. Women should refrain from skirts and heals, while men should think sneakers and sandals. If you’re flying from Miami to Minneapolis, layers can avoid the shock of going from 80 degrees to below 10. A light, yet fulfilling meal before takeoff will keep the stomach rumbles away and eliminate all the stresses that come with hunger.

A long flight or drive can mean boredom and restlessness if not properly mitigated. A portable device containing all your favorite music can make the time fly. Kids should be given coloring books and other toys to keep them occupied so they’re not asking “are we there yet” every 15 minutes.

About the Author

Don Campbell has been working on trucks and volunteering at the neighborhood soup kitchen for 15 years. Donnie keeps a blog about his favorite cars and supporting his favorite charities.

Do you have any travelling tips for the holidays?

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