Most religions of which I am aware have a mid-winter holiday, and with good reason. The darker time of the year can be hard, and injecting a joyful celebration of all that’s good and right in the world is often welcome. So, regardless of your beliefs, let me open by wishing you the best of the holiday season.
It’s no coincidence that the title of this article is both a Christmas greeting and a Game of Thrones reference. While the holidays are a happy time, they are also a stressful and—for those of us traveling—potentially hazardous one. In the hustle and bustle of the season, sometimes things slip, and sadly those things are often related to safety and security. So in this article I’m going to offer some helpful reminders to keep you on health and happy no matter what comes your way.
First off, travel changes everything. The first consideration is your means of locomotion. If you’re driving, giving the old heap a once-over and making sure it’s in good mechanical condition (check that oil lately? How are those tires, anyhow?) and that the tags are up to date. If you’re flying, review your plans, transfers, etc and make sure you know what to expect. At a minimum, you’ll give yourself peace of mind.
Read More on Flying At: How to be Prepared When Flying and Traveling Safely and Legally with Guns and Ammo on Airlines
And before you leave town, make sure to familiarize yourself with all applicable laws. You’re subject to the laws of the city/state/country that you’re in, so stay on the right side of them.
Building from there, you need to have a travel kit. What exactly this entails will depend on your location, destination, and personal needs, but in generally it pays to have first aid, self defense, and communications tools available. This can be as simple as a small personal first aid kit, a can of pepper spray, and a full charged cell phone. If you’re driving, you may want to ensure that you have a vehicle kit in case you break down or encounter some other problem. A bug-out-bag or survival kit might be a good idea for some of you. Again, it all depends on your personal circumstances.
So while you’re on the road, identify people you trust and keep them posted. Let them know when to expect you, what route you’re taking, and what possible alternatives you might use as needed. If there’s a delay or you go missing, someone will know to sound the alarm and roughly where to send help. Even if the problem is a simple breakdown in an area without cell phone reception, this can be a great boon to your comfort and safety.
And while you’re out on the road, don’t forget the old homestead. Automated lights, a radio that comes on in the evening, and a few other such tricks can give a potential burglar pause. Have a trusted neighbor – you’ve made friends with your neighbors, right?–watching your place is also a good way to ensure your possessions are there when you return. Make sure to give them your on-the-road contact information. Also – have them collect your newspaper and mail. There’s nothing that screams “empty house” like a pile of dailies on the driveway.
As always, there’s a lot more to say about the subject, so I welcome your thoughts and experiences either in the comments or via email. I do hope you’ll follow some of this advice; many a holiday has been ruined by misadventure and I hate to see it happen to anyone. Until then, enjoy all the wonderful things this time of year has to offer and as always, stay safe out there.