Summertime in most western countries around the world means vacation, school breaks, and enjoying longer days and warmer weather outside. The number of people traveling during this time of year is usually higher than in the colder months, as many of us try to take advantage of weekends and holiday time off to visit our loved ones from further away and make new memories. This summer, for example, more than 4Train7 million Americans reported having travel plans for the 4th of July holiday weekend (US Travel Association). With more opportunities to play away from home, the potential risks of something unexpected happening also go up. Here are a few travel planning tips to help make sure that your summer travel stays all fun, with safety in mind.
Whether you are an experienced traveler or a newbie going overseas for the first time, traveling for fun to new destinations is always exciting. Some helpful actions and things to consider in preparation:
- Be prepared. Research the destination first before going. Look up places you want to visit while there and their working hours and rules, research airport or train station maps to know where your departure and connecting gates will be and where you can get food on the way. Not only will this generate interest, but it also will help reduce anxiety (VanBergeijk).
- Be comfortable. Details are important while traveling. Сonsider what you’ll wear to breeze through any security checkpoints and stay comfortable during the trip. Make sure to check the weather and pack clothes for all occasions while there. After you get back, remember to leave some time for rest as your body might need a little time to adjust before comfortably getting back into the daily routine (Grant et al.).
- Bring cash for emergencies. Travelers should always have cash on them in case something happens to their card, especially when traveling abroad (University Wire). If you have cash, don't keep it all in the same place and take out as close to the exact amount you need at a time as possible so you don’t draw any unwanted attention.
- Consider your personal comfort level if traveling alone. There are a few destinations where it’s better not to travel alone, but that depends on your personal comfort level. Consider possible situations you might find yourself in while traveling, such as dealing with travel delays or other emergencies, and what it will take on your part. Whether you go alone or with a group, always make sure you have a way to communicate in case you get separated or so someone always knows where you are.
As a master trainer, I very often travel for work and have accumulated a few additional tips:
- Carry-on only. If possible when flying, pack fewer things and only bring carry-on luggage to save time by skipping baggage claim and possibly a few extra dollars for baggage fees!
- Download and use travel apps. There’s a variety of different travel apps out there, and they come in handy for keeping travel plans and reservations organized. Specific airlines and hotel apps keep track of that information separately but are useful for last-minute updates such as gate changes as the information is usually refreshed every few minutes.
- Bring snacks. Having some snacks packed in your carry-on will help you save time at the airport and make sure you always stay nourished, even if your flight gets delayed and there are no food options available at the airport. I like to have some nut mix or protein bars, fruit or small fruit purees, and an empty water bottle that I can fill up after going through security. Prevents me from getting hangry as well!
These tips may help you as you enjoy your summer, whether you are traveling abroad, to the beach, or traveling with your family. Always remember - safety first.
Grant, A., Terry, S. F., M.A., & Edelson, V. (2012, 07). It's summertime! The Exceptional Parent (Online), 42, 17-18. Retrieved from https://www.proquest.com/magazines/summer-time/docview/1368148173/se-2?accountid=166077
Monthly travel data report (2021, 07). US Travel Association
Safety tips keep summer travels fun. (2016, Jun 16). University Wire Retrieved from https://www.proquest.com/wire-feeds/safety-tips-keep-summer-travels-fun/docview/1797420973/se-2?accountid=166077
Travel Advice for Higher Functioning Individuals on the Autism Spectrum,
VanBergeijk, Ernst. The Exceptional Parent; Boston Vol. 39, Iss.12, (Dec 2009): 44-45.