2017-12-20 / Front Page

Last-Minute Holiday Travel Tips

By Liz Goff
Travel experts at the American Automobile Association (AAA) predict that 107 million Americans will head over the river and through the woods to visit relatives or friends between December 23 and January 1, a 3.1 per cent increase over last year and the ninth straight increase in Christmas travel, according to AAA.

People will travel by car, rail, or in the air to catch up on family news and share football memories, AAA officials said.

Holiday travel can provide a number of memorable moments – or a series of seasonal setbacks for travelers. Experts suggest that you follow these last-minute tips to help avoid some of the pitfalls involved in holiday travel:

  • Don’t announce your travel plans to anyone but close friends, family, your postman and the circulation supervisor at your local newspaper. If your plans don’t call for a long absence from home, you might want to ask a close friend to pick up your newspaper and your mail, rather than announcing your trip to strangers.
  • Make sure payment of your cell phone or iPhone plan is up to date. Check with your provider to make sure your phone will work in another part of the U.S. or in another country. No one wants to be stranded in a strange place without a way to communicate with family members or emergency responders.
  • Make sure your car insurance is paid to date and check with your insurance agent to determine if you need additional insurance for interstate travel. You don’t want to learn that your coverage does not extend to another state after you are stranded on a distant highway.
  • Pack smart and simple. Prepare your luggage for inspection by airport security personnel and to meet weight and bulk requirements posted by your airline. Don’t carry gifts on board with you – ship them ahead of time so they will arrive at your destination when you do.
  • Check weather forecasts for your destination and make sure you get all necessary immunizations for overseas travel. Make sure you have health insurance cards with you and get a number from your health insurance carrier for an agent in the city or town of your destination

AAA officials also suggest that you have your vehicle checked by a mechanic before you hit the road to make sure your oil, transmission fluid and antifreeze are at required levels, your brakes are in working order, your windshield wipers are working properly and your tires are fit and properly inflated.

Experts advise that you check infant and child car seat and adult seat belt requirements for your travel route through other cities and your city of destination.

“By taking a few moments to prepare for emergencies and plan out your Christmas trip, you can ease stress and spend your time enjoying family gatherings or overseas travel,” AAA officials said...

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