An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Good planning makes for a great vacation

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Wynee Diaz
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Safety Office
It's vacation time.

Planning your trip is half the fun of going on vacation; it's also half the battle of making a trip successful. While some trips are extensively planned and saved for, others are spontaneous and exciting. All trips are meant for adventure, relaxation and enjoyment. By planning well, people can ensure families enjoy a hassle free trip. There are so many things to do before leaving: pack, stop mail, board pets, etc. Using to-do lists helps individuals stay on track.

When choosing a vacation location, consider the following:

· Start planning trip early.

· Research location and if possible discuss it with someone who has been there.

· Make a budget and ensure financial preparation.

· Keep in mind weather and climatic conditions to pack appropriately.

If traveling by car

· Plan route and check for construction along the route before departing. State's department of transportation websites are a great resource.

· Ensure vehicle is mechanically sound.

· Check tires for wear. Worn tires can be unsafe.

· Be well rested before departing.

· Drive in intervals and plan stops.

· Drive at a speed appropriate for the road conditions and weather.

· Do not drive if fatigued and don't drive during normal sleeping hours.

· Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even allergy medication can affect reaction time while driving.

· Use a hands free device if using a cell phone.

· Never text and drive.

If traveling by plane

· Check the airline website for guidance.

· The Transportation Security Administration website,, offers summer travel tips and security information.

· When flying with children take snacks, small games and books to help keep them entertained.

· If traveling internationally, take passport and be sure to safe guard it.

If members are traveling into an area where phone service isn't readily available, (i.e. backpacking in the mountains) research communication options in the event of an emergency. One option would be a fully charged satellite phone, if one is available and use it only for emergencies.

Wherever travels take you, have fun and be safe. And last, but not least, have a wingman and keep them up-to-date as you travel.