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Preparing for Safe Holiday Travel

Planning a destination holiday this year? The holidays are prime time for a journey to visit family and friends out of town or to simply "get away" while you have a few extra days off. Whether traveling by plane, train, or automobile, some forethought and preparation can help you stay safe, healthy, and sane on your way. Prepare for a successful trip with the following tips.

Before You "Hit the Road"

  • Prepare your home to appear occupied if you will be gone for an extended period. Maintain the lawn, and make arrangements for someone to collect mail and packages, or arrange a temporary hold on your mail through the United States Postal Service. Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway periodically and, if possible, set home lighting on a timer.
  • If you have an alarm system, activate it and inform your alarm monitoring company how to contact you if a breach is identified.
  • Ensure water lines are not left on and unplug appliances. If there is a chance of a freeze while you are out, insulate external pipes prior to departure.
  • Communicate your travel plans and contact information to family members or close friends, so if something unexpected happens, your whereabouts are known.
  • Leave current legal documents, such as will, power of attorney, and insurance documents with a family member or friend. Consider arranging guardianship for children.
  • Inform phone service providers and credit card carriers of your travel dates and destination(s) to avoid any interruption of service for perceived fraudulent activity.
  • If traveling internationally, ensure passport or Visa and inoculations are in order and that your communication device is optimized for international voice and data plan. Bring copies of your passports with you, stored in a separate location from the originals, as well as an extra set of passport photos for each traveler in your group.
  • Check weather and travel advisories pertaining to your route.
  • Make arrangements for care of pets.
  • Inform your children's school(s) or care provider(s) if they will be absent.

Pack Like a Pro

  • Traveling light will allow you to more easily manage baggage and move quickly through travel stations/terminals with less physical strain and distraction. Pack mix-and-match clothing that can be combined and layered.
  • Pack necessary medications in their original labeled containers, and bring prescriptions with you in case refills are needed or to prove their legality. Don't forget prescription eye wear or contact lens care kits.
  • Bring appropriate identification, frequent flyer/airline cards, travel or discount membership cards, and insurance information.
  • Remember the chargers to your communication devices and camera equipment.
  • Pack healthy snacks to keep energy and immunity levels high.
  • Vitamins like probiotics found in yogurt, omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, and B-12 have proven to be powerful immune system enhancers. With your physician's approval, consider taking these before and during travel to give your immune system an extra boost.
  • Hand sanitizer, tissues, and hand-wipes help keep germs at bay when you can't get to soap and water. Pack these items to keep your hands as clean as possible during your travels.
  • Limit credit cards to one or two, and only carry small amounts of cash or preferably travelers checks—they are safer to carry than cash.

What NOT to Pack

  • Valuables such as expensive jewelry, clothing, and irreplaceable or sentimental items should be left at home.
  • Do not wear expensive items of clothing or jewelry. If you are perceived as an affluent tourist, your travel risks increase.
  • Leave unnecessary credit cards, Social Security card, library card, and other items that you may normally carry in your wallet at home. Only bring the items that you need during your travels.

About U.S. Security Associates

U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.

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