Last Minute Pre-Vacation Checks and Preparations
Our Traveling Together: The All-Inclusive Guide to Traveling and Vacationing With Children book is ready with more useful tips for your perfect family vacation. Here are some things to consider before you leave:
Consider Travel Insurance
Accidents do happen. At first instance, this may seem like an unnecessary evil. But things can go wrong in the blink of an eye. At the very least, lost luggage is an all-too-familiar domain for many travelers. And although some countries like the United Kingdom will give tourists the right to use emergency room services at the hospital free of cost, don’t kid yourself by thinking that every country or even, every welfare state will be as welcoming when it comes to using their health facilities. A twisted ankle in Switzerland could cost you more than 600 Euros for one trip to the emergency room! Yes, we think getting travel insurance, where premiums are quite small and insignificant in comparison, will really offer you peace of mind, at the risk of sounding clichéd.
Halt All Your Mail and Newspapers
Before leaving for your vacation, be sure to hold all your mail and newspapers so that they don’t build up outside your house, alerting the world that you’re not home. Newspapers accumulating on your driveway allow burglars to understand that no one is at home. If you don’t want to use professional services, you can always ask a friendly neighbor to pick up your mail everyday. You should definitely alert someone in the area that you are out of town, anyway; they can keep you updated about your home, keep an eye on it, and perhaps, even water your plants.
Make Copies of Your Passports and Credit Cards
In order to travel to another country, everyone in your family is required to have a passport. However, your passport is one of the most likely items to be stolen while overseas. If you have copies of your passport, credit cards, and health-insurance information in a safe location back at your accommodation, you will be able to replace the originals much more quickly. To replace your passport, you can go to your country’s embassy with your passport copy, complete with your passport number and information. They can reissue your passport much more quickly, and you will not have a difficult time proving your identity.
Be sure to travel with the photocopies in your carry-on bag so as not to lose them in your undercarriage luggage. Store the photocopies in your hotel safe, if possible. Leave another set of photocopies with your trusted neighbor back home, just in case.
If you currently carry your PIN number on a piece of paper in your wallet, get out of the habit. Do not bring the number with you to Europe. If your wallet is stolen, the burglar will have a very easy time taking money off your card.
Unplug Your Home’s Electrical Devices
This is a safety tactic, of course, but it also decreases your electricity bill just that tiny bit. It’s the little things that count.
Check the Gas
The number one safety hazard. Make sure the gas is turned off.