Many of us will take to the air or open road to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving. Considering current events, many people feel even more anxious about traveling this year. Our first holiday travel tip? Don’t fear the worst. The odds of dying on an airplane are about the same as winning a million dollars in the lottery-about one in five million. The odds of flight delays and lost luggage, well…I’m sorry to say those odds go up.
We can’t promise a stress-free journey, but we can offer a few holiday travel tips to keep you safe and comfortable on the road or in the air.
Airline Travel Tips
Leave an hour earlier. The roads and airports will be more crowded than usual with holiday travelers. Give yourself more time to get to the airport and move through security. Print your boarding pass at home the day before your flight to eliminate another line. If you can, pack only what will fit in a carry-on to avoid potentially lost baggage and to move swiftly out the door at your arrival destination.
Wash your hands. You’ve heard the horror stories about unsanitary airplane restrooms. Wash your hands often and use a hand sanitizer to cut down the risk of a Thanksgiving cold. Drink lots of water-more than usual-and consider an immune-boosting product such as Airborne.
Stretch your legs. Long flights put you at risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), leading to blood clots in the legs. Walk around and stretch at least once per hour. Try some in-seat isometric exercises such as these chair exercises.
Auto Travel Tips
The holidays happen during some of the worst driving weather of the year, with clogged freeways, stressed drivers, and inclement weather. Take precautions to avoid any accidents and arrive to your holiday feast safe and sound.
Examine your car. We don’t get much ice and snow in the San Francisco Bay Area, but if you’re driving to a colder-weather climate, make sure your tires can handle the conditions. Have your mechanic give your vehicle a quick checkup to top off all fluids and make sure it’s ready for a long haul.
Pack a winter safety kit. Now is the time to invest in jumper cables if you don’t have a set already. Also stash an ice scraper, sand or cat litter to help with traction in ice, flashlights, a first aid kit, and other essentials.
Stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, which isn’t what you want during a long drive. Drink plenty of water and pack a few light, healthy snacks.
Make frequent rest stops. If you’re staying hydrated, this may take care of itself. Regardless, take a few breaks to stretch your legs (long drives can also cause DVT), which will help you stay alert.
No distracted driving. Just like any other day of the year, DO NOT text and drive or talk on the phone while driving. Use a hands-free headset if you must.
No intoxicated driving. If your turkey dinner comes with a few too many, designate a sober driver. If there isn’t one, skip the alcohol and designate those saved calories to another slice of pumpkin pie.
Wear your seat belt. We shouldn’t have to remind you, but we will anyway. Buckle up!