I am going to try to entertain you with the second chapter of The Time Traveler's Handbook. This chapter deals with actually leaving. I kind of liked this chapter when I wrote it.
Chapter 2--Going on Vacation
It's now time to take off for the past and a fabulous vacation. It's hard to know exactly what one might encounter, but preparation is key. Make sure the time machine is locked up securely and out of sight of any curious third parties. Remember where it's parked, though, as it is necessary to returning home. Keep in mind, what happens in the past does not mean it stays in the past. Aging is a concern, too, because the human body continues to age no matter where in time it happens to be. Finally, when coming home it is important not to get back earlier than the initial departure time because if one person talks to him/herself it could spoil the whole trip.
Things were different in the past, so it's difficult to tell what one will encounter when arriving in the past. Some times may be easier than others. Coming in during the late-1600's have pitfalls due to the superstitions of the time. Arriving in the middle of a war could result in death. Prehistoric man could go one of two ways, either the cave-persons will get scared and kill the time travelers or or revere them as gods (which may not be all bad). Pretty much, it's hit or miss on the people (or other beings), but it makes for an exciting trip.
Remember to stow the time machine in an inconspicuous location and don't forget to lock it up. The last thing history needs is a rogue figure changing things around. It also would not be be good to lose the time machine as it makes it much more difficult, though not impossible, to get back to the present. Communication from one time period to another is under investigation, the current technology means it is only possible to find another time traveler in the past and hitch a ride home. This is, however, a rare occurence so keeping tabs on the time machine is a wise move. Being prepared and keeping the time machine safe are important, but there are some more important things to keep in mind.
One must keep in mind not to touch anything when traveling backward in time. Any action in the past can affect the present. It could also stand to reason that further back one travels in time, the smaller actions could impact the present more. It would also be a good idea to keep far away from relatives as any contact may affect present and future generations (no offense). This means that anything that happens in the past does not necessarily stay in the past (this isn't Vegas). If the time traveler meets an unfortunate end in the past, then he/she will not be returning to the present. This is, of course, a matter of debate if time traveling with another person since it would be easy enough for the non-dead member of the party to return to a minute or two prior to initial departure to warn the soon-to-be-dead party. It is thought that the instance of the same person appearing twice in the same plane of existence could cause the fabric of space and time to collapse. Because the idea has never been tested (for obvious reasons) it is only deemed, "NOT RECOMMENDED," by the TTA.
Aging is a consideration to keep in mind. Five years in the past will cause five years of aging on the time traveler. This would definitely be something to remember, especially if trying to hide a trip in time from somebody, but this will have to wait for the ethics guide. Aging cannot be halted in time. The TTA has tried to research the idea, but a solution has yet to be found.
The time traveler must be ready for anything as the people of the past may not be so welcoming to mysterious newcomers. One must keep the time machine safe and secure as it is the only realistic means of returning to the present. Touching things in the past may (and most likely, will) affect the present and future. This goes especially for people of the past. Death is a definite possibility and reversing it is difficult if not impossible. Aging is always a concern for the time traveler as the human body will age no matter what time it is. The most important thing is, though, have fun in the past.
There you have it. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I will post the third and final later this week if I can't think of anything else.