-6 tips for a great travel season –
Whether trekking by car, plane, boat, or train, traveling is consistently inconsistent. With the potential for fun, but always a large margin for error, travel is our ultimate frenemy. Follow these guidelines to stay protected when you’re away from the home turf!
1. Prepare for emergencies— Though they seem unlikely, plan ahead just in case! Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with a close friend or family. This way, you can be easily contacted in case of an emergency.
If you’re planning on traveling abroad, sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This service is free and easy. Go to the website, attach your travel plans, and voila! The State Department will be able to contact you in the event of a crisis while traveling.
2. Prevent lost bags while flying—Don’t check your bags. Pack light, and carry them on instead! However, luggage shipment is another option. Businesses like Luggage Concierge, and Virtual Bellhop serve as alternatives to checking baggage with airlines. Though the price per bag varies depending on weight and travel destination, the rates are comparable to airline fees for checked bags! Check it out to see if you can save money, and skip the hassle of traveling with bags.
3. Notify your credit card company—Whether you’re traveling out of the state, or out of the country,make sure you call your credit card company ahead of time, and let them know about your upcoming trip. Many companies have identity protection plans for their clients to prevent criminal attack. Although this may protect from fraud and theft, it may also prevent you from using your credit card in another location.
4. Utilize your smartphone—Use free travel apps for smartphones to help guide on the road, and in the airport. Apps like RoadAhead for iPhone, or GoHow Airport for iPhone, Android, and other smartphones serve as helpful tools.
RoadAhead helps the user navigate by tracking location on highways, and providing directions to the destination. Need to make a stop? The app shows the user what services are available at upcoming exits. Whether you need to refill an empty tank, or an empty stomach, it will direct you accordingly! It can even compare gas prices among the upcoming exists to save you some extra cash.
GoHow Airport keeps you informed about your flight. Use it to stay updated about potential delays, look up departure and arrival gates, or list the restaurants and shops located near your gate. You’ll make sure you don’t miss your flight, or your Starbucks!
5. Look into your insurance coverage—While traveling provides a fun dose of spontaneity, beprepared just in case of wayward surprise. Contact your medical insurance company to find out if you’re covered while traveling abroad. If your policy doesn’t cover expenses such as medical evacuation, consider purchasing supplemental insurance for your trip.
Many home insurance policies have a vacant property clause that affects coverage if a home is vacant for a certain period of time. If your home is damaged or broken into while you’re away, the last thing you would want to discover is that it wasn’t covered by your insurance. Clarify your policy conditions and take steps to ensure continuity of insurance. If you call 877-485-9388, your California insurance agent will be happy to advise you as to whether or not you have all the necessary financial protection.
6. Don’t be a target for crime—Avoid unnecessary attention by dressing conspicuously. Your newdiamond necklace is lovely, but it’s a flashy ‘pick me!’ sign for potential thieves. “When looking for targets, thieves look for the sharply dressed individuals, those wearing lots of jewelry,” said Mike Bowers of the People to People Ambassador programs. “It’s important to try and blend in.”
Though traveler’s cheques have become less popular in recent years, they are a safe option fortraveling finances! They’ll be refunded when lost or stolen, and can be cashed in for local currency wherever you are. They also make budgeting easier, and help you stick to your plan.
And… if you are as meticulous (paranoid) as my mother when it comes to pick pockets, you can purchase a travel wallet like this one from Magellan’s. It hides your wallet underneath your clothing, and away from mischievous hands. But more importantly, it ensures that you are completely, 100%, over-prepared, excited even, for the prospect of pick pocketing!
Traveling will always be unpredictable, so take some easy steps to prevent unwanted drama. Whether you buy some techie gadgets, or simply read up about your destination, prepping for your trip will prove to be worthwhile. Prepare for the things you can control, and embrace the ones you can’t. Happy travels!