Holiday Travel Trouble-shooting
Planning to take to the roads, trains and airplanes this holiday season? Here, four common safety risks and strategies to avoid them
Severe weather can affect your plans regardless of how you travel, causing power outages, dangerous road conditions and flight delays or cancellations.
– Most governments offer a national weather service which provides the latest information online. If you’re not sure where to look, the World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather Information Service offers both international forecasts and points you to the local meteorological service.
– Take advantage of online distribution. Many weather websites offer free services such as RSS feeds, email and desktop alerts.
Most travellers will be on a major highway sometime this season, and weather isn’t their only concern. Increased traffic volume, exhaustion and alcohol consumption all contribute to the risk of a road accident over the holidays.
Many people neglect their health over the holidays, but an illness or emergency can put a damper on your holiday plans.
– Learn about health issues for your destination and how to prevent them. Many travellers neglect to take appropriate precautions when visiting loved ones abroad. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) have country-specific information about vaccinations and other preventative measures.
– Wash your hands. It’s still the best way to prevent spreading illnesses. Travel wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer should be part of your travel pack.
– Stick to your daily regime. If you are on a restricted diet (e.g. for a heart condition or diabetes) allow yourself a treat but overindulging can lead health complications.
– Eat right. Food poisoning is common problem both home and away. Avoid lukewarm foods if they should be hot or kept cool. Stick to beverages that come in sealed bottles or cans (and skip the ice cubes) if you have concerns about water quality.
– Don’t hesitate to get help. A recent article on ABC News on avoiding holiday injuries notes that many people put off a visit to the hospital so they won’t disrupt a family gathering, and risk getting worse.
– Get medical insurance if you’re travelling out of the province or country (even if it’s just for the day). A case of food poisoning or a car accident could net thousands in medical bills.
Major holidays and festivals are usually accompanied by a rise in petty crime, such as theft from vehicles and pick pocketing. Some criminals take advantage of empty homes while others target travellers at their destinations.