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Traveling Tips for Your Move

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Whether traveling for business or pleasure, it can be hectic - but it doesn't have to be. When you're better prepared you can handle whatever the day may throw at you, even if that day is in fact, moving day. Stay safe and make traveling a smooth ride with these tips.

If you're driving to your new home:

Driving to your new home will be a likely choice for many people unless you're moving overseas, in which case, it's just not feasible. If you're going to be driving alone, with your entire family or just you and a friend on the open road, make sure to plan ahead and be prepared.

  • Service your car before making a long trip. Check your lights, signals, wiper blades, and engine connections. Make sure your spare tire is properly inflated and has no major damage.
  • Pack an emergency kit. Essential items include jumper cables, a tire iron, a flashlight, extra batteries, flares and a reflective triangle (in case you need to pull over), waterproof matches, a whistle, a blanket, rope, duct tape and a cutting device.
  • Make the ride enjoyable. Bring food, your favorite music and take breaks not only for safety but for your sanity. If you're traveling with kids, play games with them to help pass the time.
  • If you can avoid it, don't over pack your car--extra weight cuts fuel economy. Every extra 100 pounds cuts your fuel economy by about two percent. Try to avoid packing items on roof-top bins and racks which can cut fuel economy by about 20 percent.

If you're flying to your new home:

Flying can be a hassle, and to ensure a painless trip it's best to be prepared. TSA regulations can change from time to time so it's important to stay informed of what is and is not allowed during your flight. Having to unpack all your carry-on bags and leave something behind can easily be avoided if you know ahead of time.

  • Research prices from different airlines and airports to score the best deal on your ticket.
  • Timing is everything. Fares are cheapest four to six weeks before your travel date.
  • Make sure you purchase your tickets in the exact name that is on your ID.
  • Familiarize yourself with all the airline regulations. Knowing what you can and cannot bring ahead of your trip will save you time and effort.
  • Learn what documents you'll need if you're traveling internationally.
  • Pick luggage that stands apart from the group to save yourself some time at baggage claim.
  • Bring your own disinfecting wipes to clean your tray table on the flight.
  • If you're flying with children, pack coloring books or an approved electronic device for the plane ride to keep them busy.
  • Stuck in an airport? Ask an airport employee what the airport has to offer in the different terminals. For example, Boston's Logan Airport has a baggage carousel-style slide in a play area in Terminal C.

If you're taking the train:

Before leaving for the station, it's just as important to be prepared as if you were flying. You want to make sure you have your documents and identification and know about any baggage restrictions. Once you've got the kinks ironed out, you'll be able to have an enjoyable train ride to your new home.

  • Amtrak has undertaken heightened security measures for the safety of its customers--be sure to check with your chosen rail company to see what their restrictions and guidelines are.
  • Many trains are like mobile hotels and can be ideal for families traveling with kids and/or elderly because they allows for plenty of room to move around while the train is in transit.
  • It is best to book in advance when possible.
  • Take advantage of train ticket loopholes. Some countries calculate fares by market and not by distance so traveling can be cheaper if you buy separate tickets (A to B then B to C).
  • Avoid traveling during business rush hours. In larger cities that usually means two hours before and one hour after the traditional start of the workday.
  • In western countries, avoid traveling on Friday afternoons, Sunday evenings and public holidays. Services could be reduced or non-existent.
  • Late-night and early-morning rides are often sparse and are not entirely safe.

Don't let traveling make you anxious. Being prepared can be half the battle, but with these tips you'll be earning more frequent flyer miles in no time.

Photo by: Photostock (Freedigitalphotos.net)

Ana M. Ferrer  Posted by Ana M. Ferrer on March 28, 2014

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