It should be no surprise that we think the best way to bring your family together is traveling. After all, what could be better than having time together away from work, school, and chores to try new foods and experiences? Unfortunately, stepping outside of your daily habits and going to a new place can cause a few hiccups in your plans. Plan ahead and keep your family safe and on track for a great adventure by adding these few things to your going away to-do list.
Check Travel Alerts & Warnings
It seems simple, but before you leave, check the weather. NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will not only provide important information for packing (bring shorts to Phoenix, for example) but it also alerts you of any storms or predictable natural disasters that might be in the cards, such as hurricanes and typhoons. You don’t want to get stuck in inclement weather, especially if a little research beforehand could prevent the hassle altogether. Weather not only affects flights and roads, it can also mean putting your family in danger without the emergency supplies you keep at home.
Defend Against Identity Theft
Identity theft is becoming more and more common, and it’s now easy for a sophisticated hacker to access your passwords or credit card numbers when you’re using an unsecured Internet connection (think coffeeshop or airport Wi-Fi). Be careful whether you’re in your hometown or traveling. Making sure your smartphone has a swipe lock or number code activation. Don’t check your bank account balance or make online purchases on unsecure connections and be aware of those sitting around you who may be more than just nosy neighbors.
Consider subscribing to an identity theft prevention service. While there is no way to completely prevent identity theft, many prevention companies can help you recover quickly from an unfortunate instance if your defenses are breached.
Call Your Credit Card Company
There’s nothing worse than whipping out your credit card to pay for your family’s dinner only to have it declined. Your credit card company may flag use on your card if they see it has been used in several different locations in a short period of time. But if you’re taking a road trip through the U.S. and you buy gas in three different states, this frequent use is necessity. Let your credit card company know where you’re headed so they don’t freeze your card for normal purchases like this. And, always carry cash, just in case it happens anyway.
You card might also come with other travel perks you aren’t aware of, like rental car insurance or points if you’re booking hotels, cars or airfare with it. Check out these tips for traveling with plastic.
Collect and Bring Contact Info
When traveling, be sure you have the correct contact information for emergencies that might arise. Do you have the phone numbers of family or friends if you lose your cell phone? Need to call your child’s doctor or the vet while you are away? Be sure you have this information before you set out because you won’t want to scramble to find it if an emergency does happen. And who has anyone’s phone number memorized these days?