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Leaving for Spring Break? Make a List and Check it Twice

Leaving for Spring Break? Make a List and Check it Twice

You’ve made your spring break travel plans and now all that remain are the last-minute details. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you head out the door for your vacation.

First, take care of everything at home. Remember to cancel newspaper delivery, arrange for a neighbor to pick up the mail, or have it held at the post office, and put a lamp on a security timer. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends unplugging appliances that continue to draw power from electrical outlets even when they’re turned off or idle, including hair dryers and electric shavers, coffee makers, toasters, computers, and printers.

Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in the world these days but don’t forget a simple, yet essential, step when you’re traveling, whether it’s within the United States or outside the country—contact your bank and credit card companies before you leave, to let them know about your travel plans. The last thing you want when you’re paying for dinner or picking out a souvenir is to find that a hold has been placed on your card because you’re in an unfamiliar location. (It’s also a good idea to take anything out of your wallet that you won’t need on your trip.)

If you’re traveling abroad, make a copy of your passport so that you can leave the original in your hotel room safe. Also check to make sure that you have the right adaptors to plug in your phone charger and other electronic devices. Another step to consider is registering with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, listing your dates of travel, destinations and the hotels where you’ll be staying. Enrollment will make it easier for officials to contact you if there’s a family emergency, as well as alert you to important information about your destination. Also, if you are going to take your smartphone along, contact your service provider in advance to get onto an international calling plan so you can avoid exorbitant roaming fees.

The night before you leave on your trip, while you’re packing and obtaining your boarding pass, take a look at the weather forecast for your destination. Spring temperatures can vary widely and you want to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for your end destination.

Also, as you’re packing, remember the Transportation Security Administration’s 3-1-1 rule: 1 quart-size clear plastic zip-top bag per passenger; and liquids, gels, and aerosols in containers of 3.4 ounces or less. And don’t forget to wear shoes that you can take on and off easily when you’re going through the security line—that is, unless you have TSA Precheck or are age 75 or older.

The morning of your vacation is filled with anticipation but it can also be a bit hectic. It’s good idea to make a checklist and go over it before you leave for the airport. Do you have all the clothes you need, and is it possible you actually over-packed? Do you have each of the essential toiletries you’ll need, including sunscreen? Are medications packed in your carry-on? Do you have your phone charger? Do you have your boarding pass, passport, and any other necessary documentation for your trip? Finally, check the traffic report and leave in plenty of time to make your flight, especially if you’ll be on the road during rush hour.

For help planning your next vacation, contact Travel Leaders COS at 800-273-0793 or

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