According to the American Automobile Association Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast, 93.3 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holidays. Of those traveling, 90% or 84.4 million of them will be on the road in an automobile. Holiday road trips can be a fun part of the season’s festivities, as long as you are safe and prepared. Before you head out over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, here are a few tips for preparing the car and the passengers.
- Make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey with a service check including: battery, brakes, wipers, lights, oil, coolant, fluids, and tire pressure.
- If you have a smart phone, download an app like GasBuddy to help you find the best gas prices along the way.
- Make sure your maps are current, whether it’s updating your GPS or getting the good old paper kind from a gas station.
- When packing the car, you may need to remove things you normally keep in the trunk in order to make room for gifts and your luggage. Be sure not to leave behind your roadside emergency items such as jumper cables or a folding shovel.
Lastly, if you are traveling with kids, make sure they have something to do to pass the time. You don’t necessarily need a DVD player or an MP3 player to keep kids occupied. A bag of books and travel games is great for keeping the choruses of “are we there yet” at bay. Or try making a list of car games to play – this is a great way for busy families to get some quality together time. Of course you can also sing some carols!
Whatever your plans may be, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays!