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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Holiday Security Tips

holiday_safetyThe official holiday travel season is upon us in the US, ranging from Thanksgiving Week (this Thursday) through New Year’s. That’s a good 5-6 week time period when lots of families travel, schools and universities take breaks and people want to get away, once in November and again during late December to January. And now, the terror threat level is increased, so on top of our usual security tips, we all need to think about what wackos might do.

So much for “Over the meadow and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go….”national-holiday-security

The US State Department website has helpful info on their website, such as “exercise vigilance” and “avoid large crowds”. In light of these gems, along with giving international travel alerts and warnings, for instance, you probably should not be heading to Afghanistan right now, I thought you may need my help.

Here’s a travel tip all my own: Stay home! Really, folks, if there are nuts among us, they’re going to be targeting crowds this time of year: Thanksgiving Day parades, Black Friday shopping malls, holiday performances and concerts, tree-lighting ceremonies, New Year’s Eve at large venues. Maybe enjoy these events from afar.

homeOther than the option of bowing out entirely, I would suggest traveling before or after major travel dates. Either stay a little longer or leave a little earlier. I have a number of family friends doing just that and I think they’re smart.

Pay attention to those around you. If someone “accidentally” leaves a bag in a public place, move away immediately and notify authorities. Don’t peek inside yourself.

Trust your instincts. Watch those wearing extra clothing, big coats, carrying a backpack or shopping bag or rolling suitcase. They might be thick around the middle. Gee, that’s all helpful for this time of year! But it bears repeating.

Keep in mind that strange people… often act strange. Not always, but usually. They have a thanksgivingnervous, darting gaze. They may wear sunglasses or caps to obscure the face, or wigs and disguises. They could be sweating profusely or checking out the surroundings. You do the same.

Relax if you’re going on a get-away, but keep your focus. Do the usual security stuff before leaving home: put the lights on timers, suspend the newspaper and mail delivery. But this year, put your main focus on protecting your person and your family, rather than your things.

And that can be a lovely holiday message about what really matters in life. Safe travels!

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