Living Proactively in July:
Summer Camping and Road Trip Safety
Summer months are camping months, and camping months are road trip months. If you are getting ready to take your family on an adventure, you know that a good list and a little preparation go a long way in keeping everybody's sanity, especially if you're traveling with kids.
We've collected a variety of checklists, tips and helpful links to make your summer road and camping trip a smooth and safe one. Here's to making great memories with some of America's favorite vacation activities: driving, camping, and the great outdoors!
1. Preparation is the Key
Vacation Prep includes more than packing! Be sure to plan enough time to secure your home, clean out the refrigerator, fruit bowl, and especially, the garbage! Turn off and unplug appliances, and check that all water faucets (outdoor faucets, too!!) are shut.
2. Lights! Camera! Go!
Pretend you're home by setting certain indoor lights on a timer and leave outdoor and porchlights on for neighbors to see any mischief that might be going on. Don't forget to set your alarm system or notifying your security provider, if you have one.
3. Recruit Your Neighbors
Ask a friend or neighbor's help to take garbage cans out and back, mow the lawn and keep the garden watered. You might even consider asking them to park their car in your driveway.
4. Stop the Mailman's Letters for you!
Be sure to get your mail taken care of - have newspapers and mail held, or ask a person of trust to pick it up for you.
5. Secure Valuables
Jewelry is not only very valuable, it also carries memories, meaning, and sometimes a heritage. Chances to recover a stole piece of jewelry are slim, so be sure to lock valuables up in a safe or store them in a safety deposit box.
6. Scan Important Papers
Especially before international trips, it may be wise to scan and email to yourself copies of important documents, including the passport of each traveling family member, visas, or vaccination and health records.
7. Map your Route and Snacks
If you're a parent, you know to pack snacks, water and entertainment for the crew in the back seat. But don't forget yourself! Plan plenty of rest stops to stretch and "get the wiggles out," hydrate well and avoid caffeine, and eat clean foods that are low in salt, fat and starch, and high in vitamins and protein.
8. Know Your Destination
Especially if you go camping, pack plenty of clothes and plan to layer for warmth. Even summer nights can turn out to be colder than expected, especially near the ocean or in the mountains. Prepare to encounter wildlife and insects, and take precautions accordingly. Keep three First Aid Kits: One in your car, one in your purse or backpack, and one for your camping gear. Bug spray, cough drops, allergy medication and tweezers tend to be 'lifesavers' that are easily forgotten.
Also, know your plants! Teach children about poisonous vegetation, and remind them that pretty things are not always for touching (and even less, eating!)