The weather outside is frightful! Mother Nature isn’t playing nice this holiday season with severe weather threatening and affecting many across the continent. Family and friends of mine in Toronto have been without power for over 24 hours now, and many in Michigan have been suffering the same fate. Luckily a few of them are escaping to an exotic location over the holidays.
If you too are planning on taking a trip over the next few days, be sure to leave prepared. With so much bad weather fortune hitting many, you want all of your bases covered. Play safe and take some cautionary measures before you leave – just in case. It’s better to be safe then sorry.
Although we can’t control the weather, we can prevent other mishaps with a little bit of extra legwork. Here are 10 Christmas travel tips that may give you (and your family) peace of mind.
Copy, Copy, Copy 1 of 10
Photocopy your passports, birth certificates and driver's licenses before you leave and keep the copies in the safe or with family members. This will ensure that you are safe in case those documents are lost or stolen.
Photo credit: jaaron/Flickr
Check for Travel Insurance 2 of 10
If you have travel or reward credit cards, check and see what their travel insurance covers. You may already be covered for your trip as these cards are offering more and more perks every year. If not, purchasing travel insurance is a good idea -- especially this time of year! Travel insurance offers peace of mind and is worth considering -- it can help you out if you end up in a bind.
Photo credit: D Simmonds/Flickr
Call Your Bank 3 of 10
Speaking of credit cards, call your bank or credit card company and let them know you'll be travelling. Sometimes banks block purchases or flag them as suspicious if you are using your credit card in another country or region. Some companies are more cautious than others, so be sure to call them to eliminate future hassles.
Photo credit: zayzayem/Flickr
Make It Look Like Someone’s Home 4 of 10
Because our business is attached to our home, we always have someone here to watch and take care of our place while we're gone. If you don't have housesitter, ask a neighbour, family member or friend to keep tabs on your house. They can either park their car in your driveway or help to shovel the outside while you're gone so that it looks like someone is home.
Photo credit: tachyondecay/Flickr
Charge All Devices 5 of 10
Charge up your iPad, Kindle, and phone before your trip and be sure to pack your power cords and chargers in your carry-on. A power pack is an absolute MUST and can save you a lot of headaches -- especially if you're on a plane with no charging outlets. Mine is about the size of my iPhone, and with one charge, I can recharge up to 4 devices.
Pack Snacks & Empty Bottles 6 of 10
Snacks in baggies and empty reusable bottles are a must when traveling. Not only do you have the freedom to bring snacks that your family likes, you'll save money on expensive airport food. In regards to liquids, once you reach the airport's security check point, bottles of water aren't permitted. We always bring empty bottles for the kids because after you've gone through security you can always fill the bottles up again using the water fountain.
Photo credit: Sister72/Flickr
Don’t Forget the First-Aid Kit 7 of 10
Better to be safe than sorry! My 4-year-old has a habit of getting either a paper cut or a scrape of some sort on a very regular basis, and if she doesn't have a Band-Aid at her disposal, things aren't pretty. This first aid kit has been a favorite of mine for a few years now thanks to the small travel-friendly case (Bonus: It's refillable).
Consider TSA Locks 8 of 10
Have you ever had your luggage locks cut by TSA? It's happened to me a couple of times, and unfortunately they won't replace them. Since then, I've opted for these TSA locks, which can be customized with your own combination
The TSA has worked with a few different companies who have developed their own locks that can be opened by security officers using universal "master" keys. No more broken locks or damaged baggage!
Exchange Currency Before You Leave the House 9 of 10
Always exchange your currency before you make your way to the airport. Those currency exchange booths are there to make a profit and their rates can be outrageous. Your bank will give you the exact rate for the day that you visit ensuring that the money you exchange is at the lowest possible cost to you.
Photo credit: Images_of_Money/Flickr
Make Sure Your Luggage Stands Out 10 of 10
Do you have red, black, blue or grey luggage? So does most of the traveling world! Tie a brightly-colored scarf to the handle of your bag so that it will be easily distinguishable from the hundreds of bags that come down the luggage belt.
I bought a new piece of luggage a couple of years ago and someone else had the exact same bag! She didn't notice the luggage tag and started to walk away with my luggage. Thankfully, I had a brightly coloured tag on mine, so at least I was able to show her the difference between the two.
Photo credit: sun dazed/Flickr
Find more of Nadia’s writing on her site Child Mode. You can also find her on Disney Baby and Hip Baby. Love social media? So does she! Follow her daily on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.