The holidays are a time for cheer but they can also be a time for stress due to hectic travel plans. For those planning to travel, staying safe must be a top priority and the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin (BBB) recommends taking a few extra precautions when hitting the road or airport this holiday season.
The BBB recommends taking the following steps before traveling this season:
Tips for the Road
•Create a car safety kit. Holiday driving often includes the threat of dangerous winter weather. Snow and ice can lead to accidents, car troubles, long delays, and road closures. You can prepare for bad weather by creating your own safety kit. Basics for the kit include a blanket, flares, flashlight with extra batteries, radio, first aid kit, cell phone with an extra charged battery and charger, jumper cables, nonperishable foods like granola bars and nuts, bottled water, an ice scraper and warm gloves.
•Take the car in for a checkup. Breaking down on the side of the road can definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit. If your car is due for a check-up, take it in before making that long haul. At the very least, check the car’s fluid levels, wipers and tire pressure. Check the condition of your tires and if you plan on driving through serious winter weather, consider getting snow tires. For a listing of dealers and mechanics you can trust, visit www.wisconsin.bbb.org.
•Drop the distractions. When you’re behind the wheel, don’t text and drive; if you must talk on your phone, use a hands free headset and put someone else in charge of the GPS.
•Start early and slow down.The best way to fight holiday travel stress is to allow extra time. The increased number of travelers means longer lines through security check in and more cars on the road.
Tips for the Air
•Make sure you are organized. Plane travel can get overwhelming, especially when traveling with the family. Make sure you have all the necessary documents including plane tickets, identification and itineraries. Having everything easily accessible makes check-in much easier.
•Look into the requirements of your airline. Different airlines have different ways of handling luggage, and many charge extra to check a bag. Look ahead so you don’t get stuck with extra, unwanted fees. Also, airport security has strict rules about carrying liquid in carry-on bags. Check in advance to avoid problems through security check points.
•Plan ahead for airport parking. Before heading to the airport make sure to look into parking rates at the airport garage. If traveling for an extended time, it may be more cost-effective to find alternative transportation to the airport. Some taxi companies offer fixed rates to and from the airport. There are also shuttles that offer daily schedules for airport drop-off. Looking into these alternative routes may be a great way to save some cash.
For more advice and holiday tips, visit www.bbb.org or call (800)273-1002.