Eight Holiday Travel Tips

For many people, Thanksgiving marks the start of a busy holiday travel season that continues through Christmas and New Year’s. If you have a trip planned, here are some tips to think about before leaving home.

Save Electricity. Remember to unplug electronics and appliances that will sit idle while you’re away, like a computer, toaster or coffeemaker. To save money and energy, adjust the furnace thermostat. You want to make sure your home is warm enough to prevent the pipes from freezing if there’s a big drop in the temperature, but not so warm that you’re spending money on heat when no one is home.

Time Lights for Security. Putting lamps on a timer when you’re away is always a good idea, but as an added precaution, consider placing extra timers in different rooms in your home. Set them to go on and off at various times throughout the evening so that it always looks like the house is fully occupied.

Give Your Mail a Vacation, Too. It’s always a good idea to have a friend or family member pick up your mail while you’re away, especially if your mailbox is accessible from the street. Or, you can contact the post office and have your mail held until your return. Delivery services, like FedEx and UPS, will also hold packages that arrive while you’re away. Check with each company about its policy for vacation holds.

Unplug to Better Engage. Reevaluate which electronic devices you really need and which ones you can leave home. Bringing fewer gadgets can help you be more engaged on your trip developing memorable experiences, especially if you’re visiting a place you haven’t been before. You want to be able to focus on your destination and on your travel companions with as few distractions as possible.

Prepare Your Carry-On. When it comes to packing other items for a flight, bring in your carry-on an extra shirt, change of underwear, swimsuit if you’re taking a beach vacation or your hotel has a pool, a toothbrush and needed prescription medications in case your checked luggage gets separated from you.

Consider the Environment. Be a “green” traveler this year and save trees — and paper — by putting your boarding pass on your mobile device. Make sure your device is fully charged. Other ways to plan an environmentally conscious trip include taking a shuttle or public transportation to the airport. You can also save money and reduce the amount of plastic you use by traveling with a reusable water bottle. Just be sure to empty it before you go through airport security.

Inform Your Bank. Remember to contact your credit card company and bank to let them know when and where you’ll be on vacation. It alerts them to unusual purchases from faraway places. You don’t want to have a credit or debit card declined due to a security precaution.

Prepare for Your Return. Finally, while it may seem strange to plan for your return home when you haven’t even left yet, think about ways that you can make things as relaxing as possible after you step in the door at the end of a long journey. For example, prepare a quick and easy dinner beforehand that you can put in the freezer before you leave.

For help planning a holiday getaway, contact one of our amazing advisors today!

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