Once again the popular vacation season has arrived, Colleges and Universities have already closed for the summer and the elementary and high schools will be following very soon. When putting together vacation plans it is important to include the smallest details that can make the difference for a stress free trip.
For those who plan on using an automobile, here are a few important check points for car travel from “Bret Bodas” a auto industry expert and executive at RepairPal .
1. Before you start that road trip be sure to inspect the tread and sidewalls of the tires on the car. Cracks, cuts, bulges and dry rot can cause problems once on the road, and having the tire pressure set to the manufacturers’s specifications on all the tires, including the spare, will help keep away any problems and can give better gas mileage.
2. The battery is very important, be sure the charging system is checked as well as the age of the battery, you can find that stamped right on the battery.
3. Drive belts run all the accessories on the engine including the water pump, power steering and alternator. Check their condition, are they cracked, frayed, or worn, does the timing belt need to be replaced. The necessary replacements should take place before leaving home, not in the middle of a trip.
4. Driving visibility is very important, it could be the difference between an accident or not. Making sure the wipers and washer fluid are working as they should, is one way to avoid that
Click here for the the Car Care Survey report that was done in April 2013 by “RepairPal” a leading provider of auto repair and maintenance.
Travellers planning on going by air, whether to an international location or domestically in the U.S. will benefit from following these tips, where applicable.
1. Before you leave on your trip one of the most important things to do is to leave the necessary information for family or friends in case they need to contact you. A copy of one’s itinerary, with all the pertinent information should include:
(a) The hotel name,address, phone number, dates of stay, and confirmation number of the reservations.
(b) Name, phone number and dates you will be using any tour companies.
2. Getting to the airport in the appropriate time to check in and clear security is recommended; 90 minutes for domestic travel and 3 hours for International travel. It is better to have extra time at the airport, than miss ones flight.
3. Passports & Visas. It is the traveller’s responsibility to get the necessary Visas for the Foreign countries they plan on visiting. A valid Passport is required by all International travellers, it should be valid for 6 months beyond the return date. Copies of the First page of the Passport and the address of the U.S. Consulate in the countries one plans on visiting will help to expedite the re-issue of a stolen or lost Passport.
4. How to get a new Passport while travelling. If you have the name, address and phone numbers of U.S. Consulates in the regions where you are travelling, you are ahead of the game. You will need to submit forms DS-11 and DS-64 available at “travel.state.gov”; a copy of your outbound itinerary, and a fee of $135 to get either a new Passport good for 10 years, or a temporary one good for 3 months to get one home.
5 Travel Insurance will cover, death, accident or illness one has while travelling, lost baggage, and missed flights. There are many different kinds of travel insurance policies, have them explained,before purchasing, to be sure they cover all your requirements.
6 Once an airline ticket is purchased, it is usually non-refundable and carries a large penalty for re-issue. After purchase the traveller should go on the Airline website and enter all the information requested. A valid phone number is very important in case of delayed or cancelled flights.
7 Seating on the airplane is also important, no one wants to sit in the middle seat. Try these tips they might help to get the seat you want.
(a) Book early about 30 to 90 days prior to departure
(b) sign up for alert with http://www.expertflyer.com/, this air-travel planning tool allows one to create a custom alert, for when the preferred seat becomes available.
(c) Use your frequent flyer miles to upgrade to business class, a better way to fly
(d) Airlines usually begin granting upgrades 100, 48 and 24 hours before a flights departure. This opens up seats in economy, so keep checking their website.
8. The only lock for checked luggage is those approved by TSA. These locks can be purchased at many stores, be sure to check they say TSA on them.
9. Use the safe in the hotel room for important documents and valuables, if the hotel does not have in-room safes check with the Reception area if they have safes and be sure to get a receipt.
10. Money belts for men is an excellent way to carry passports, documents and money. Neck pouches are favored by women for the same purpose, and tend to hang under outer garments. They can also be worn around the waist.
References: Local shops – Laguna Niguel Auto Center
27622 Camino Capistrano Unit C | Laguna Niguel, CA 92677; (949) 234-6506
Larry’s Independent Service
25721 Taladro Cr, Unit B | Mission Viejo, CA 92691; 949) 381-5094)