Packing that final box is just the beginning of your moving adventure. As you and your family travel to your new duty station, it's important to keep safety in mind. The following tips will help keep you and your belongings protected so you will arrive safely:
- Check your vehicle's fluid levels, tire pressure and the condition of belts and hoses. Getting stuck because of a broken hose can be a real nuisance when you're moving.
- Plan your route ahead of time with help from the Internet or an automobile travel service.
- Check weather conditions and anticipate traffic problems. Planning your trip to avoid cities during rush hours may keep you from spending extra hours in the car.
- Plan for rest if you're traveling long distances. If possible, rotate drivers before you become tired. Stop often to stretch your legs.
- Make extra copies of your passports, ID cards and credit card numbers. Keep them in a separate bag in case the originals are lost. This will make it easier to get replacements if necessary.
- Airports can be extremely busy as passengers rush from gate to gate. Carefully monitor your children, especially during long waits when they may want to wander.
- Give children critical information to carry with them. This can be a card with the child's name, parent's name, cell phone number and emergency contact number.
- Keep a careful eye on your belongings. Safely secure money, passports, cell phones and other items when traveling.
- Be sure your seatbelt and your children's seatbelts are fastened when seated. Unexpected turbulence can cause severe injuries.
- Check the airlines for current regulations for traveling with young children. Many require children to have their own seats and encourage the use of a car seat.
- Visit the U.S. Department of State International Travel website for updated information on security issues in foreign countries.
Hotel and motel safety
- Always park in well-lit areas with the doors locked and car alarm activated to protect your bags. Be aware of your surroundings in hotel parking lots and lobbies.
- Bring expensive items into the room with you. Use the room safe, if necessary, to further secure these items.
- The third through fifth floors are the safest floors as a compromise between emergency evacuation and avoiding unwanted entry through the windows.
- Pay special attention to children if your room has a balcony. This is an enticing play area that can be dangerous.