August is an odd time of the year: While so many kids are preparing to head back to school and workers are finding fewer days off, many people still have the chance to travel. In fact, according to a 2014 survey from AYTM market research, 36 percent of people take vacations during August. That's compared to the most popular month, July, in which 46 percent of respondents hit the road for a vacay. Given August's popularity, it's no wonder the eighth month has often been used to observe National Travel Safety Month.
If planned and executed properly, a vacation can be a huge event; here are six handy tips:
"Over 36% of people take vacations during August."
1. Prepare a travel kit
Drew Dwyer is a former CIA operative and a Marine Corps veteran. In an interview with Conde Nast Traveler, he said that travelers should ensure they've acquired a few handy items. One is a flashlight, which should be kept near the nightstand at all times. Dwyer also suggested that travelers set up a "bug out bag" in case of sudden departures; it should contain passports, cash, travel itinerary and your state ID. Finally, make sure you've made a copy of the hotel's fire escape plan, which should be located on your room's door.
2. Follow the checklist
Whenever you plan to travel, it's a good idea to check out the U.S. State Department's extensive checklist. One of the first steps is to do your research on the city you plan to travel, including local laws and any visa requirements (if traveling internationally). It's also important to stay current on your vaccinations, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has a list of essential precautions. Finally, if you are traveling out of the country, stay aware of any alerts for other countries; the U.S. embassy is usually a good source of information.
3. Plan ahead when packing
If you're going on a summer vacation, you might immediately think to pack swimwear and sunscreen. However, the CDC mentioned that there are several, more health-centric items that should make their way into your luggage. First and foremost are any prescription medications you take. It's also a good idea to get a letter from your doctor to verify their validity. In addition, any smart traveler brings along essentials like cough drops, antacids, laxatives, antihistamine, antibacterial creams, hydrocortisone, pain reliever (aspirin or ibuprofen) and a decongestant.
4. Follow rules of the road
According to an April 2016 survey from American Automobile Association, over 69 percent of American families said they'd be taking a road trip during the summer months (including August). If you plan to hit the open road, AAA suggested you always plan out a route before ever leaving the house. During that planning, make sure to leave time for breaks; one every two hours is usually best.
The American Red Cross, meanwhile, had a few additional safety tips. They include cleaning your windows and various lights before any trip, pulling over at the first sign of car trouble and using headlights during dusk.
If you happen to be traveling in the Eastern Seaboard, you can head to any number of CareWell Urgent Care Centers. With highly trained doctors at every facility, CareWell's teams can treat most accidents and acute illnesses.