We have reached the time of our year when even our year-round residents contemplate summer travels. Maybe you are going to spend some time in your other home. Many go to visit family-see how those grandkids are doing in person. Or maybe you just want to dodge the heat and some of the hurricane season. Whatever the reason to go remember a few trips as you are planning your itinerary.
- Your property here:
They are predicting an active hurricane season for this summer. We already had one storm (Alberto) form before it was even season! Be sure to secure your property here by closing shutters, moving lanai furniture inside, and getting rid of perishables in your refrigerator. Consider if it might be safer to shut off the water, especially if you live in a condo or townhome.
Remember to stop your paper delivery and enter a hold mail (or forward if you are going for more than a couple of weeks) order with the post office.
If possible, arrange with a neighbor or friend who will be here to check up on your property a few times and give you a report. (You can pay them back with a nice thank you gift from wherever you are visiting.) Or you can contract with a home-watch service to make scheduled inspections and make sure the systems such as air conditioning are working.
- Travel concerns:
Keep in mind the need for enough prescription medications for the length of your stay.
If you are driving, remember that even well-familiar interstates are being modified all the time. Many cities are developing “thru lanes:” a type of express lane with limited exits to move more through traffic quickly. If you accidentally get in one even though you need an exit in that area, just stay calm and look for the overhead signs marking the next opportunity to rejoin the local lanes. And they will always allow certain exits which can be used to reverse your direction if you pass your intended exit.
If you are flying, TSA has special rules for travelers over 75. You may keep on your shoes and a light jacket during screening. (If you set off an alarm during regular screening, they may request further screening including shoe removal at that time. You may request to be seated during that more intensive screening.) Go ahead and mention to the TSA agent who checks your id any special medical implants that may set off sensors such as a pacemaker or metal plates, etc.
- Expectations with family members:
If you are going to be staying with family there should be clear ground rules set. Either you do or do not expect to be part of family meals. Maybe you would like to be part of some meals but sometimes wish to be on your own. You might want to help with budgeting by giving your relatives some grocery money. Or you could make clear that you would like to do a shopping trip yourself to help out. Alternatively you could take them out for a nice dinner or brunch during your visit to show your appreciation.
Even if you are not staying with family, but do hope to see them at times, go ahead and make your expectations clear. Do you expect dinner together every night? Do you just want to see them a couple of times while you are there? Maybe the graduation/wedding/christening will have enough family events to satisfy the together time you desire. It is better to communicate your desires than to be disappointed. Your family may come up with a creative compromise that will meet your needs and their schedules.
Wherever you go, we hope you have a safe and happy summer, and bring back lots of pictures!