Holiday Travels: How to Stay Safe on the Road

Holiday Travels: How to Stay Safe on the Road

November 15, 2013
by Michael Barber
Holiday Travels: How to Stay Safe on the Road

Thanksgiving is the busiest air travel day of the year in the United States. Airports are also very busy near Christmas and New Year's Day. Then, there are those who choose to reach their holiday destinations via a road trip. There are many ways injuries can occur in airports and while driving, so here are tips to keep your holiday travels safe.

Related: Accident Prone: Common Holiday Accidents [INFOGRAPHIC]

Holiday Driving Safety

Use common sense if you choose to travel in your vehicle. Tips include:

  • Make sure the vehicle is in good working order and get it serviced before hitting the road.
  • Avoid dangerous activities like talking on your mobile phone or texting. The accidents from these activities are vast each year and there have been many fatalities. Accidents with objects, structures, or other vehicles will certainly mean a trip to an urgent care center for medical care.
  • A hot cup of coffee may keep you awake when driving long distances but it's also easy to spill in your lap and burn you. Take advantage of your vehicle's cup holders and keep the drinks on the cool side.
  • If you do get tired and don't have a back-up driver, pull over or plan ahead and stop at a hotel if the drive is lengthy.
  • If driving across town to a family or friend's home, appoint a designated driver if you plan to drink alcohol. Never drive home if you've consumed any alcohol, even if that means spending the night.

Air Travel Safety

Flying is a popular method of travel around the holidays. Here are some tips to avoid injuries:

  • Packing your suitcase: Don't overload your suitcases so they are too heavy to carry. Back strains and injuries are common from heavy suitcases, and if you overload them too much, the airline may charge you more money. 
  • Get to the airport on time: Most airlines recommend arriving at the airport at least an hour before the plane leaves, but for Thanksgiving and Christmas travel, you should double that time. Arriving late means running to your gate with carry-on bags, strollers, and tons of other stuff which makes it easy to trip and fall and harm yourself or others. Instead of boarding the plane, you'll be heading to retail clinics offering emergency care, which is not a great way to start off your trip.
  • Avoid alcohol on the plane: Indulging in alcoholic beverages when flying actually dehydrates you. In addition, once the plane lands, if you are required to drive to your final destination, you may be intoxicated and could harm yourself or others on the road. Drink water instead to stay hydrated.

Catching Colds or the Flu

Traveling in crowded vehicles like trains, buses, vehicles, or airplanes also means you'll be exposed to tight spaces with tons of germs floating through the air. Be sure to find a walk-in clinic and get a flu shot this year to avoid catching the flu. Some OTC vitamin C, and zinc-packed drinks and tablets are available to boost you immune system when traveling. Use these to prevent catching colds.

Related: 7 Surprising Things You're Doing to Help Yourself Get the Flu

Holiday traveling is almost always hectic, but if you follow these tips your trip will be safer and you'll reach your destination happy and healthy.