As saying goes, “there’s no place like home for the holidays.” If your home for the holidays happens to be away from home, then it’s likely you’ll joining the millions of others on the road this holiday season. According to AAA, the expected number of holiday drivers this year will be more than 100 million. With so many people on the road, you should have a holiday traveling preparedness plan in place. Here are some things you can do to make your holiday travels less stressful and more enjoyable for yourself and passengers:
If you’re going to rely on your vehicle to safely transport you and your family hundreds, maybe thousands of miles, then you should inspect it, or have it inspected, prior to your departure. Be sure to check fluid levels, tire pressure (spare too), tire tread depth, brakes, and even the windshield wipers. If you’ve been putting off any schedule maintenance or repairs, then you should have these taken care of before your trip begins. Doing so helps avoid unexpected breakdowns that would take away from the joy of the holiday season.
Besides your suitcases and gifts, be sure you have additional supplies packed in the event of an emergency, detour, or simply a change of plans. Be sure to have car chargers for your phones, paper map(s) of the states you’re traveling through, quarters for tolls, blankets, and plenty of snacks and water.
The day before a major holiday are the busiest. Rather than traveling the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas, take an additional day or two off work and travel then instead. This will help you avoid major traffic and the stressful situations that follow. In addition, it will help reduce total travel time and wear on your vehicle from stop-and-go traffic jams.
Before hitting the road for a long trip, be sure you’ve gotten plenty of sleep. Traveling requires your full attention and awareness of your surroundings. Sleep deprivation can lead to an impairment in your judgement which could result in an accident.
With so many people on the road, you’re bound to get caught up in traffic at some point during your travels. If that happens, be sure to take a deep breath and stay calm. Driving aggressively will only make matter worse. If possible, make a pit stop and get out of the car to walk around a stretch your legs. This will serve as both a physical and mental break from being in the car and will help you relax. There’s no sense in being stressed because you’re rushing to your destination. Instead, take your time and make the trip an enjoyable part of the holidays.
Happy Holidays everyone!