Lindsay Buckingham and Your Holiday Road Trip

How to Avoid a Griswold Family Vacation

“Holiday Road” is a 1983 single written and recorded by Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. The song was featured in the 1983 film “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and was played during the opening titles. The song was also used in the sequels “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” and “Vegas Vacation”. The song peaked at #82 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1983.

So as you’re now trying to remove the earworm, let’s talk about traveling safely on your vacation so it doesn’t involve tying Aunt Edna to the roof of the panel-sided station wagon.

Sure, there’s packing the suitcases, getting the bathing suits ready, and securing time off from work, but you also need to make sure you are staying safe before you leave, at the airport, and on vacation.

Before you leave on vacation, secure your home:

  • Tell a neighbor your travel plans and ask them to help keep an eye on your property and alert the police to any suspicious activity.
  • Lock all your windows and doors for home security. Don’t forget about doors leading to the garage or second-story windows.
  • Have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. A sign that nobody is home is a stack of mail and newspapers, as well as garbage cans left at the curb. You can temporarily stop delivery by contacting your newspaper carrier and the United States Post Office and have a neighbor bring in the garbage bins.
  • Make sure any yard tools are put away. A ladder, rakes, and even patio furniture, can all be used as tools to gain entry to your home.

Once you’ve arrived safely at your destination. Don’t relax on safety just yet. Whether at a theme park or at a fancy resort, there are a few safety precautions you can take to make sure you are as safe as possible.

  • Stay off social media. Don’t tip criminals off by sharing too much information on your social networks. Refrain from posting photos, status updates, or “checking in” while on vacation. Even if you have the highest security settings on Facebook and Twitter, your personal information could still be seen by unwanted eyes.
  • Tell friends and family at home your itinerary. It’s a good idea to let family and friends know your plans. Always let someone know when you’re expected to be back and what route you’re planning to take.
  • Keep cash and credit cards separate places. Never carry your credit cards, cash, and passport at the same time. You’ll want to keep some cash in your wallet, and then stash the rest in a pocket or money pouch. If you have a safe in your hotel room, leave the majority of your cash there and only bring what you’ll need for the day.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given about traveling is that men should keep their wallet in the front pants pocket. We don’t recommend carrying anything valuable in a purse, which is too easily snatched, or a backpack, which can be opened without your noticing.

  • Make a copy of your passport. You’ll want to make two copies of your passport. Leave one copy at home with a trusted friend or family member and take another copy with you. When you go out sightseeing, take the copy with you and leave the original in a hotel safe until you are ready to travel again.
  • Do a security sweep of your hotel room. Always keep your hotel door locked and never answer it for someone you don’t know. If you can, try to get a room near the front desk or the elevator.

In this day and age we’re using our ATM cards for almost every transaction. Since your ATM card is a direct link to your financial savings, guard it at least as carefully as you would cash or other valuables. Visa offers these tips for ATM safety:

  • Make sure that no one waiting behind you can see you entering your PIN number.
  • Be sure to take your ATM receipt with you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If the machine is poorly lit or in a hidden area, use another location.
  • Don’t count your cash or rummage through your personal items while standing at the ATM.
  • If you are using an indoor ATM that requires your card to open the door, avoid letting anyone come in with you that you do not know.
  • When using a drive-through ATM, lock your car doors. When walking up, never leave your car running or unlocked.
  • If you lose your ATM card, immediately contact the financial institution that issued it.

You can never be too careful, especially when it comes to seeking out the world’s biggest ball of twine. Make sure things are safe at home and while you are traveling by taking the necessary precautions.

And if you can’t get enough of the song or want to add it to your playlist – ok, face it you need to show your kids.

Enjoy your holiday road!
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