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Labor Day travel tips to get you there

By John North

Labor Day is reserved to celebrate the 155 million workers in the nation’s labor force. If you’re one of the millions who have the holiday weekend off, your Better Business Bureau offers some tips to keep you safe if you’re making holiday travel plans.

According to AAA Miami Valley, 34.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this year, the highest since 2008. In Ohio, more than 1.3 million people will travel this year, with the ninety percent of those traveling by car, which is an increase of 3.3 percent in 2012.

Cindy Antrican, AAA Miami Valley, says there are several reasons why there will be more travelers this year. “People have a better and positive outlook on the economy and housing.” Also, gas prices are down significantly in Ohio. The cost of a gallon of gas is down 30 cents a gallon, a decrease from $3.76 last year.

Your BBB offers these Labor Day travel tips:

• Avoid flying or driving at peak travel times.

• Make travel plans early. If you’re traveling by plane, make sure to get to the airport early to avoid long lines.

• Get your arrangements in writing and ask detailed questions.

• Always pay with a credit card because you can dispute the charges. Never pay cash.

• Verify your reservations with the airline, hotel or car rental company directly before your trip.

• Buckle up and don’t text and drive. Pull over to a safe place if you need to text or make a call.

• Check the local weather at your destination.

• Get plenty of rest if you plan to drive, so you’re not a hazard to yourself or others.

• Watch your speed and remember the rules of the road. Don’t tailgate and don’t rely primarily on your mirrors when changing lanes; turn around and check your blind spot.

Remember, if you’re traveling by car, it’s always a good idea to have your car checked by a mechanic before hitting the road. Make sure you pack an emergency kit in case something unexpected happens. Each emergency kit should include a flashlight, radio, batteries, first aid kit and bottled water.

Your BBB can provide lists of BBB Accredited travel agencies, mechanics, hotels or rental car services and business reviews on ones you’re considering. If you have questions regarding holiday travel, you can always get help from your Better Business Bureau. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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