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Tips to get ready for Vacation
Vacation definition, a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity.
1. BEFORE you start to pack
its important to know every airline has their own rules and fees when it comes to luggage, strollers, car seats, golf clubs, etc (and they are always changing). Be sure to double check the baggage rules and fees ahead of time to avoid costly mistakes. This will give you time to plan exactly what gear your family will need to take. It will also give you time to purchase any gear you may potentially need (suitcases, umbrella strollers etc).Most airlines charge for checked luggage. If you are bag is very large or weighs more than 50 pounds, most airlines charge a premium fee for this. Use your bathroom scale to double check and avoid surprises.Generally each passenger is allowed one carry on bag and one personal item. Think of a carry on bag to be comparable to the size of one standard flully bed pillow. Carry on bags must be able to fit in the storage compartments above your seat. Personal items are things like purses, laptop bags or kid size backpacks. Personal items MUST be able to fit UNDER the seat in front of you. BE SURE to keep very important items like medication, cash and your childs lovie with you at all times in your carry on gear.Kids luggage If you pay for an airline seat for your baby, they are entitled to the same luggage rules as adults. In this case, their diaper bag could count as their carry on. If your baby is flying free, then they are not entitled to a carry on and would need to pay for luggage. Parents will need to carry all diaper bag necessities in their OWN carry on bags. For older kids we just love these fun ride on, carry on suitcases that help to make getting thru the airport more fun.
2. Print Your Boarding Passes
When you make your reservations, chances are you were given E-tickets. Etickets are computer print outs with all of your travel information. In order to get onto the plane, you will need to show or register your etickets and get BOARDING PASSES. You will not be able to pass through airport security or get onto your plane without Boarding passes.Go ONLINE directly to your airline's website and look in the menu for CHECK IN. Generally you will need your last name and airline confirmation number (PNR number which is a series of letters and numbers usually found in small print on your eticket). Follow the steps and complete your check in for departure. Many airlines will allow you to download your boarding pass to your phone which is fine. Its still a good idea to have a print out as back up JUST in case. You can pay any luggage fees in advance. When you arrive at the airport, you can do a self check in by scanning your printed boarding passes or phone at the airline departure desk, drop your bags and head off to do your Security check.Remember, you can do your online check in 24 hours to your return trip home. Most hotel business centers have printers or ask the hotel concierge or desk clerk for help.
3. Figure out how to get there
Prepare directions to your destination in advance. Have maps and alternate travel routes handy in case you hit traffic. Satellite navigational devices can also be helpful, but make sure any gadget you use is easy to operate and read.
4. Know what to expect
Check weather and traffic reports often as travel conditions can suddenly change. Look out for construction projects along your path. Often, the Department of Transportation in each area will list road closures or detours on their web site.
5. Decide when to drive
Be aware of peak travel hours. You can generally expect roads to be packed after 5 p.m. on the Friday before a holiday, and between 6 p.m. and midnight on the Monday or Tuesday after a holiday. To avoid jam-packed highways, consider taking personal days to travel. Although that may not be ideal, you may be saving yourself the headache of an accident. Since many people get up very early in the morning or travel late into the night to beat traffic, there is the real danger of drowsy driving. According to Sinclair, many who drive during times they are normally asleep can drift off into microsleep three to 10 second intervals of snoozing while at the wheel. Drivers [in a simulator study] thought they were just drowsy, but they had actually fallen asleep, says Sinclair. Falling asleep for three seconds may not sound like a big deal, but at 60 miles an hour, you are traveling 88 feet per second. So, at three seconds, you have traveled the distance of nearly a football field. A lot of bad things can happen in that distance.
6. Leave the lighters at home
TSA confiscates more than 30,000 lighters a day. Other items prohibited in carry-on baggage include knives, sharp objects, firearms, explosives, and flammable liquids. Also forbidden as carry-on: athletic equipment that could be used as weapons such as bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks, and ski poles.
7. Keep valuables with you
Pack jewelry, cash, fragile items, electronics, medications, and undeveloped film in your carry-on luggage.
8. Dress for speediness
To avoid setting off the metal detector, steer clear of clothing, jewelry, or other accessories containing excessive metal. Examples include decorative zippers, buttons, large belt buckles, or underwire bras. Wear easy-to-remove shoes. Suggested footwear includes flip-flops and thin-soled sandals without metal.
9. Know what to take in and out
Laptops and video cameras with cassettes should be taken out of their cases, placed in a bin, and sent through the X ray machine on their own. Coats, blazers, and jackets should also be placed in a bin and screened. Before entering the screening checkpoint, place cell phones, PDAs, keys, loose change, jewelry, and large metal items in your carryon luggage.
10. Take the time to prepare for your trip
If you take a personal day off and think of it as part of your vacation, you have a better chance of going into your getaway more relaxed and coming out of it more rejuvenated. If you cannot take the time off, try preparing for your trip at least a week earlier than usual.
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