Jessenia Wright

The holidays are here and ‘tis the season to travel! Across the country, TSA is prepared for 20 million passengers traveling by air this week and AAA predicts over 53 million people are hitting the roads for Thanksgiving alone. With safety a priority, MSA Security® prepared a few tips to help ensure the happiest of holidays.

Traveling by Car

  • Plan ahead. Prepare for road trips by ensuring proper car maintenance and a well-stocked emergency preparedness kit which can provide necessary tools in the event of a roadside emergency or natural disaster. Roadside assistance plans like AAA or Better World Club is also recommended.
  • Always wear your seatbelt. In the event of a crash, a seat belt can be the difference between minor injuries and death.
  • Don’t drive impaired. If you plan to drink, do not drive. Alcohol impairment is involved in nearly one-third of fatalities reported during the holidays so it is important to designate a sober driver or make arrangements to utilize public transportation or an Uber.
  • Stay fresh and alert. Get proper rest before a long drive. Drowsy driving is very similar to driving under the influence. According to the Sleep Foundation, after 18 hours of being awake, the effects on reaction time, vigilance and hand-eye coordination are comparable to a blood alcohol content of 0.05%.
  • Avoid distractions. According to, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that is enough time to travel the distance of an entire football field. Practice safe driving by paying attention to the road, staying off the phone and being mindful of other drivers.

Traveling by Plane

  • Stay alert. Hundreds of thousands of people pass through airports daily. It is important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. If you notice a suspicious package or suitcase, notify the proper authorities immediately. Staying vigilant while traveling in the airport ensures your safety, as well as those around you.
  • Keep close to your belongings. Thieves and bad actors love high-traffic, congested areas. When traveling to new destinations, you often need time to adjust to your surroundings. This period of disorientation is when pickpockets strike. Never leave your luggage or bags unattended. If carrying a purse or briefcase, keep it close to your body at all times.
  • Maintain communication. It is always a good idea to let friends or family know your itinerary so that a few trusted people know of your travel plans and can alert authorities should you not make it to your intended destination.
  • Do not accept unsolicited transportation. Be wary of anyone who tries to lure you away from your intended mode of transportation, offers a “good deal,” is overly friendly or can’t provide credentials. Never hesitate to ask for identification, even if you are using a pre-arranged car service.
  • Keep health a priority. Do not travel if you are sick, have been exposed to COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19. It is recommended to take a COVID-19 test prior to your travel date, especially if you are unvaccinated. If you test positive, do not travel. By law, a mask is required in all airports and on all planes regardless of vaccination status.

As we make plans to visit family and friends over the next several weeks, we should be filled with the joy of the season and mindful of the safety of ourselves and loved ones.

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