Pack up the car, print out the boarding tickets and stash easy-does-it clothes in your suitcase: It’s spring break travel time. But before you lock up and wave goodbye to your home for a week (or even a weekend), brush up on your spring break travel safety prep.
Don’t broadcast your plans on social media
Of the more than 2.5 million burglaries that happen each year, about two-thirds of them are home break-ins. If potential thieves have access to your spring break travel plans, they may target your home or your car when you’re gone. Forgo the social media posting until after you return. Consider setting your lights on timers and asking a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail. And arrange for someone to check on your house while you’re gone.
Notify card companies before you leave
Make a quick call to both your bank and your credit card companies to alert them of your travel plans, particularly if you’re going out of the country. This helps ensure that neither puts a hold on your account because of perceived suspicious activity. You’ll also be able to check on potential fees for charges and withdrawals. You may even be able to notify your bank of your travel plans through its mobile app.
Know your rental car insurance coverage details
Contact your auto insurance agent to verify coverage based on your existing policy and your destination. If you’re traveling in the United States, you may not need additional coverage — and if you charge the rental, your credit card may offer rental car insurance. However, many domestic vehicle insurance policies do not cover cars rented abroad, so you may need additional in-country coverage.
Have your insurance information handy
Health insurance is similar to rental car insurance: If you’re traveling domestically you’re probably covered, but a call to your agent is a good way to double check what’s covered and what’s not. The latter is especially the case if you’re headed out of the country, where you may need a secondary health policy. In addition to carrying your health insurance card, download the State Farm mobile app so your finance and insurance info is always at the ready.
Check the news for your destination
If you’ve booked your trip with a travel agent, ask for any insider updates on weather or local events that may impact your plans. If you’ve booked the trip yourself, find the local newspaper online for information. And if you’re going out of the country, always check the U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings website and plan accordingly.
Get your car road trip ready
Visiting the next town over or the next state? Then your timely oil and fluid changes probably cover you. But for longer road trips, arrange for a once-over by your mechanic to check tire pressure and wear, brakes, fluid levels and conditions, and wiper blades. Stock your car with a car charger and portable jump-starter, as well as emergency supplies. And make playlists or check out e-books from the library so you have what you need to help pass the miles before you ever pull out of the driveway.