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Holiday Travel Safety Tips

Holiday Travel Safety Tips

This article first appeared in Self-Defense News at Second Call Defense.

The holidays are a very busy time of year, and often mean long road trips to visit family and friends.If you'll be hitting the road soon, follow these tips to be prepared and stay safe.

Plan your trip.

Having a GPS can make you lazy about planning. Always bring a "real" map just in case and have a list of addresses and phone numbers for your destinations.

Give your vehicle a once-over.

This includes checking the basics, including tire pressure, oil, steering fluid, brake fluid, wiper fluid, engine coolant, lights, and battery. It's not a bad idea to get an oil change before your trip, which often includes a multi-point inspection.

Check your emergency gear.

Make sure your spare tire is properly inflated. Also make sure you have a jack and lug wrench to change a tire. Other handy items include a flashlight with fresh batteries, flares, jumper cables, tire chains and a tire inflater, either the quick fix kind in a can or one that is powered by your cigarette lighter.

Prepare for bad weather.

If you break down on the road, you'll want to at least have boots and warm clothing. Additional items that could make you and your family more comfortable as you do repairs or wait for a tow truck include blankets, hand warmers and a small supply of food and drinks.

Charge your cell phone.

Ask the rest of your family to charge their phones as well. And make sure you bring a charger. This is your lifeline if you get stuck or have an accident.

Bring a credit card and spare cash.

If you have a breakdown or need a tow, you'll need a credit card to pay for it since these services can get pretty expensive. And it's always good to have cash just in case you can't use your card for any reason. If you're a member of an auto club, bring that card too.

Plan for carrying, transporting and storing your firearm.

Check the rules for each state you'll travel through. And think about how you'll carry or store your gun at your destination.

Think extra hard about safety if there will be children around because when you're passed out on the couch from all the food, they could be darting all over the house. Don't assume you're clever enough to "hide" your firearm. Kids are way better at finding things than you are at hiding them.

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