What Are The Best Safety Tips for Summer Vacation? [2021]

These safety tips for summer vacation are a perfect place to start when you’re making travel plans. Likewise, if you’ve already planned your trip, you’ll want to make sure you don’t overlook this guidance on travel safety and preparedness, either. That’s because these important points, below, can make the difference between an outstanding summer trip and having a potential disaster on your hands.

summer vacation planning route

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn the best travel safety tips for summer vacation you need to know, including:

Safety & Preparedness Tips for Summer Travelers

By Molly Barnes, Digital Nomad Life

Having fun on your summer vacation should be your first priority. Staying safe and prepared should be close behind.

After all, you can’t have fun if you run out of cash, wind up with a case of poison oak, or find yourself broken down by the side of the road!

Safety and preparedness come in all forms. You’ll want to think about everything from bad weather to staying healthy, from budgeting effectively to making sure your ride is safe.

Here are some important things to put on your to-do list before you head out for summer fun.

Plot a Safe Course for Your Adventure

traveler in raincoat with umbrella

First, it’s important to know where you’re going.

That’s not just because you want to be organized so you don’t miss any potential cool stops (which is important). It’s also because you need to prepare in advance for whatever might await you. 

Different trips require different kinds of preparedness.

For instance, if you’re going off-roading, you’ll need:

  • a four-wheel-drive vehicle with a winch-line and hook
  • shovel and axe
  • good lighting sources, because there won’t be any streetlights where you’re going
  • A heavy-duty jack

So, ask yourself if you want a leisurely trip with several stops or a long haul through to a single destination. Will you be planning a lot of physical activity, like hiking and biking? Or are you planning a photo trip with a tour of historical landmarks or wineries? Maybe you’ll be enjoying a getaway to relax and pamper yourself.

Your answer will dictate what safety equipment and preparations.

Be Ready for the Weather

It’s important to keep an eye on the weather where you’re going, too.

For example, if you’re headed to the Mojave Desert or elsewhere in the Southwestern US, you’ll need to be prepared for scorching heat. So take along extra coolant for your vehicle and plenty of bottled water to keep yourself and passengers hydrated. 

Download a dependable weather app with a 10- to 14-day forecast so you’ll know what to expect.

A good GPS app will help, too. It will show you how and where to avoid road construction and road hazards, traffic congestion, and toll roads for a smoother ride. Some apps, like Waze, will even alert you to police cruisers, which brings us to the next tip:

Know the Rules of the Road  

winding road through mountains with turn sign

You know the old trope of the “speed trap,” right? You may not notice that highway patrol car behind a billboard or under a bridge, but it’s waiting to catch you for a ticket as you head into town. (The “reduced speed limit” sign conveniently hides behind a tree, too.) 

In every cliché, there’s a little bit of truth — and sometimes more than a little. 

The point is, different areas have different speed limits, and not just in town, but on the highway, too. You can go 80 mph on a rural interstate in South Dakota and Montana. But the limit’s 65 mph in Alaska, where you’ll be tempted to go faster because of the wide-open spaces and the amount of ground to cover.

It’s also important to follow seatbelt laws. That’s not just to avoid getting a ticket, but because seatbelts really do help you stay safe. Seatbelts saved nearly 15,000 lives, and child-restraint seats saved 325 more, according to the most recent seat belt data. (2017)

Plus, relying on airbags alone can be dangerous. And if you’re traveling with young kids, you want to be 100% sure to install your safety seats correctly. 

Create and Follow a Budget  

saving jar filled with dollars and coins

If you start putting away money for your trip several months in advance, you know you’ll have enough and won’t find yourself short on cash. That way, you can create a comfortable budget to afford where you’re going and for how long.

Saving in advance also comes in handy when you want to reserve a special room and get your choice of seats when flying.

Even if you’ve planned your budget to the penny, you’ll also want to have some kind of emergency reserve for your trip.

If you don’t have a credit card with the balance to cover emergency expenses while you travel, think about getting a new one just in case.

Before applying for a new card, check your credit. If your credit score could stand improving, you might instead opt for a secured credit card.

A secured credit card gives you a line of credit when you make a deposit into a linked account. You use it just like a regular credit card and build credit by making payments on time; they only tap that account if you don’t pay your bill.

For safety’s sake, just be sure to have some kind of extra funds at the ready should you need it while you’re traveling.

Look Out for Your Health | Safety Tips for Summer Vacation  

safety tips for summer vacataion - woman with a bandage and first aid kit

Health risks from COVID-19 may be easing, but it doesn’t hurt to take along disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, regardless: There are other germs out there that can ruin a trip just as easily.

Take along a couple of face masks, too, just in case local ordinances require them. 

If you’re traveling outside the U.S., it’s true what they say about avoiding the local water. Stick to bottled water and avoid the fruit at local fruit stands, too. (They might wash the fruit in that same water.) 

Be sure to take along a first-aid kit that includes items like:

  • Gauze
  • Bandages
  • Antiseptic wipe packets
  • Aspirin
  • Motion sickness medicine
  • Oral thermometer (not glass)
  • Tweezers

The Red Cross has a complete list of suggested items for your first-aid kit. Click here to get a compact first aid kit that has just about everything you might need.

Ensure Your Comfort and a Good Night’s Sleep   

woman sleeping comfortably on pillow

Never underestimate the importance of comfort and good sleep when you’re traveling—especially if you’re driving.

Take an extra blanket in case it gets cold where you’re going. Even during the summer, the mercury can dip at night in some places.

If you’re headed to a hotel, motel, or even a bed-and-breakfast, it’s not a bad idea to travel with your favorite pillow, too. 

Finally, if you’re a light sleeper, a sleep mask can help keep out unwanted light, and earplugs do the same for noise.

Related articles: Find out what to wear on a road trip and the most comfortable clothes for flights.

Have the Right Tech  

mobile device charging with cord and adapter

There’s nothing worse than losing your navigation tools or communication with family when you’re on the road.

Therefore, pack an extra charging cord or two for your phone. You’ll also want to bring along an adapter in case you’re staying in a hotel room overnight.

And if you’re heading out far from civilization? A Wi-Fi booster is a good investment. This car internet booster improves your cellular coverage by 32x on the road.

Final Thoughts on Safety Tips for Summer Vacation

Wherever and whenever you choose to go on vacation, planning is key to having a safe and fun experience. If you start early and do a thorough job with these safety tips for summer vacation, you can kiss your worries goodbye. That way, you’re sure to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

If you’ll be hitting the road this summer and you want to learn more tips, click here to review this essential road trip planning guide.

Photos courtesy of Canva Pro.

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.