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LIFE IN THE 2012s
Traveling for the holidays always seems like a good idea — until you are running three hours late, your car breaks down, your neighborhood sees an increase in crime (making you really consider if you should leave all those presents under the tree) and you forgot to pack your medication. Not to be a downer, but there are some things you are doing wrong. I've had my fair share of disasters.
Here's what not to do:
Close Car Checkups
Yes, you need to take your car to the mechanic for a checkup before a big trip. No, you shouldn't do it only days before you leave. Two days before my wedding I dropped my car off at the shop, telling the mechanic I wanted to make sure everything was in order before my soon-to-be husband and I set off on our honeymoon road trip.
A few hours and $50 later he told me it was ready to go. Fast forward a day and pieces of the engine were literally falling out as I drove on the freeway. Ticked-off and at a different repair shop was not how I wanted to spend the night before my wedding. Get a car checkup, but do it at least a week before you start traveling for the holidays.
Securing Your Home
Yes, your best bet is to make your home look occupied and ask your neighbors to keep an eye on it, but sometimes those aren't realistic options. Your neighbors travel for the holidays too, and keeping lights on or having someone shovel the walk sometimes isn't possible. We've found that Columbus home security systems are essential in giving us peace of mind and protecting from burglary or property crime. But many alarms don't just keep you safe from bad guys.
Last year while traveling, we received a call that a small fire had started in our home but the home security's fire-safety sensors led officials straight to our home and prevented any major damage from happening. Don't just rely on neighbors or a porch light to keep your home secure. Utilize every option you have, including deadbolt locks, an alarm system, hiring a house sitter and asking police to monitor your home.
No Room for Disruptions
Whatever you do, do not plan to catch the last flight out or leave at the very last possible moment. Yes, there's a chance you'll make it and everything will be fine, but there's also a very small margin for error. Two years ago me, my husband and two friends were traveling out of state to go on a cruise to Mexico.
We were going to leave the day of, knowing we'd have just enough time to make it to the ship before it set sail at 4 p.m. Luckily, we decided instead to travel the night before. Half-way there, we stopped to get something to drink and my husband locked our keys in the car. Three hours and $180 later, we were on the road again. We were exhausted, but at least we made it on time. When you can, leave room for the unexpected.
It's not hard to remember to pack your clothes, toothbrush and even a pillow, but there are a few things we tend to forget that would make our holiday vacations much-more enjoyable — aka nice-ities, or nice things that are necessities. If you don't already keep one in your car, make sure to get a dual-USB car charger for your smart phone, mp3 player or e-book. Basic chargers start around $10 and are worth it.
I'm sure you'll remember to pack your prescription medication, but what about other necessary meds? Pack antacids for when the heartburn comes on after a big meal or aspirin in case you get a tough headache. Lastly, my life-changer item to pack is an extension power cord. It seems like there are never enough reachable outlets in a hotel or guest bedroom.
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