As the economy is recovering, more households than ever are packing up their vacation gear and taking off for the long Labor Day holiday weekend.
AAA Travel has projected that 34.1 million people -- nearly 11 percent of Americans -- will be traveling more than 50 miles away from home this Labor Day weekend.
To help keep you safe and ensure a happy vacation, keep these Top 10 travel tips in mind:
- Don't drink and drive! Common wisdom and AAA projections agree that Labor Day will see more drivers on the road than ever, with 85 percent of vacationers traveling by car. So don't add any more worries by drinking and driving.
- Check for recalls. Since many travelers will be making their trek via car, it's important to check if your car's manufacturer has issued a safety recall. You should have received notice, but it never hurts to double check.
- Snag a first aid kit. Even if you're not planning on doing anything dangerous, your vehicle should be equipped with, among other things, a basic first aid kit. They retail for about $10 and may give you some piece of mind.
- Get updated proof of insurance. A ticket for driving without valid or sufficient insurance, especially from out of state, is a major pain and entirely avoidable. Shove an updated copy of your proof of insurance into the glove box before you disembark.
- Leave early... or really late. If you want to hit the road today (Friday), try to get on the highway either much before or far after rush hour. That's leaving either before 4 p.m. or after 10 p.m., USA Today advises.
- Obey cell phone laws. Your Labor Day weekend road trip may have you crossing into unfamiliar states, where talking or the phone or texting while driving is illegal. Look up the laws before you leave and try to avoid messing with your phone.
- Secure your updated passport/ID. For those travelers who are headed to the airport, secure your up-to-date passport and/or driver's license before you get there. Some countries may not allow you entry if your passport expires in six months.
- Pack travel-sized liquids. Remember the TSA's guidelines on liquids in your carry-ons. You don't want airport security to toss your 5-ounce bottle of expensive cologne in the trash.
- Don't bring pot to the airport. Marijuana may be legal in your state, but it is still illegal under federal law.
- Limit your drinking before your flight. Too many peach bellinis at the airport Chili's may keep your intoxicated keister from getting on the plane or spending the Labor Day weekend in jail.
Follow these tips and have a safe and legal worry-free Labor Day vacation!