Tips to Travel Safe and Sound

Are you traveling for Thanksgiving and the Holidays? Do you know how to prepare your house for when you are gone? Check out these tips and tricks to stay safe during the holiday season.

  1. Unplug your electronics. Make sure to unplug your electronics to protect yourself from a potential spark that could lead to something more dangerous.
  2. Check your smoke alarm batteries. You will want to change these out
  3. Clean out your refrigerator. While you’re at it, take a peek inside your refrigerator. Freeze, eat or toss anything that will spoil while you’re gone. No one wants to come home to a fridge full of rotten, stinky foods.
  4. Program your thermostat. Another way to save on energy while you’re on vacation is setting the thermostat to an away program. Many newer thermostats — especially smart ones — offer a feature like this that will adjust the temperature setting when you’re not home. In the winter, it will lower the temperature for heating. Just be ready to wait for your home to return to a comfortable temperature when you return. That said, if you have a smart thermostat, you can disable the away mode hours before you arrive home and can walk into a perfectly cooled (or heated) house.
  5. Put lights on timers. One simple step you can take to deter break-ins is to put lights around your house on timers. You can do this the old school way with analog outlet timers. But if you want to upgrade the effect, use smart bulbs. Not only will you be able to control the lights remotely, you can put them on a different schedule each day while you’re gone to even better simulate someone being home.
  6. Check all the windows and doors. Right before you leave, it’s wise to check all the possible entry points around your home. Make sure you haven’t left any seldom-used doors or windows unlocked or cracked open. It’s easy to forget about that side door that rarely gets used, which is also the first place a would-be thief would likely check.
  7. Don’t post your business/travels on social media. If someone knows you are away and that no one is at your house, you are more vulnerable to a break-in. Make sure to wait until after you return to ensure your safety.

Also, use some of these ideas and safety tips when actually traveling over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house!

  • Keep your hands at 10 and 2. Don’t drive sleepy and risk your life and your family’s life as well. Take proper precautions and switch out drivers if you feel that you cannot get to your destination safely.
  • Check your tire pressure. During the winter months it is important to check your tire pressure so that you don’t end up on the side of the road in the cold!
  • Put your phone away. That one phone call or text message telling Grandma you’re almost there isn’t worth risking your life for. Stay safe and put your phone somewhere else in the car.
  • Pack a car kit! Gather some essential items that would be necessary if you had to stop for car troubles. Some of these things might include:
    • Jumper Cables
    • Flares or triangle reflectors. LED flares are also an option worth considering.
    • A quart or more of motor oil
    • A gallon of coolant
    • First-aid kit
    • Blanket or space blanket
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife
    • A can of tire inflator and sealant such as Fix-a-Flat
    • Tire pressure gauge
    • Paper towels
    • Spray bottle with washer fluid
    • Ice scraper (if you live in an area with snow)
    • Pen and paper
    • Granola or energy bars
    • Bottled water