Holidays can be fun and they can also be stressful. If you’re driving this Thanksgiving weekend, a couple of miles or a couple of hundred miles, a little preparation can go a long way in making your trip fun and stress-free.
Here are some tips to help you prepare and enjoy stress-free travel by car:
Avoid the biggest travel rush times, if you can, instead of traveling on Wednesday, try to schedule your trip on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving morning and/or driving late at night or early in morning to avoid traffic jams is also desirable. You can avoid long traffic jams on your return trip by waiting until Sunday instead of Saturday.
PRE-TRAVEL AUTO PREP
- Auto check-up. Check your car’s tire pressure, signal and brake lights, oil, windshield wiper fluid, coolant and other fluids. It’s also a good time to change your windshield wiper blades if you haven’t done so lately. If you don’t know how to, you can bring your car into your local auto maintenance and repair shop for a check-up.
- Check your spare tire to make sure it’s in good condition and that the appropriate tools are stored along with it – tire jack and wrench.
- Fuel up. Start your trip with a full tank of gas.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes: flashlight, blanket, road flares and a gallon of water as well as a First Aid kit.
Stop off at your local AAA and get a map for your journey or use your GPS navigation system if you have one.
CHILDREN AND PETS PREP
- Travelling with children, pack healthy snacks, water, and games. If you plan on them watching a movie or playing video games don’t forget to charge your devices ahead of time.
- Travelling with pets, secure their pet carriers or crates where they will not get jolted if you have to stop short. Bring water, food, a favorite toy, a leash, and clean-up supplies in case of an accident.
Check out some of the travel playlists (and other great road trip info)on our Road Trip Pinterest boards here or make your own.
Now that you have all of that done, don’t forget if you need to, to stop your newspaper and/or mail delivery services. You can usually do that online these days.
Make a checklist of all the items you’ll need, such as devices (phone, iPad or laptop, digital camera, etc.) and their respective chargers and batteries, gifts, medications, and other treats and goodies.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Rest up before you drive with a good night’s sleep, charge your electronic devices the night before your trip.
The car trip can draw the family together, as it was in the days before television when parents and children actually talked to each other. -Andrew H. Malcolm
Thanksgiving is a high-traffic holiday and the day before may not be the busiest travel day of the year, the entire weekend still rates as one of the most traveled weekends across the country. Allow plenty of time for travel and know the weather and traffic conditions before you travel.
You’re ready! Get your road trip playlist ready, buckle up and hit the road. Eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, make your journey joyful. Stay calm knowing that you are prepared for any challenge.
We hope that you and your loved ones arrive at your destination safe and sound. In closing, some safety tips for your road trip
KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Safety first, driving at or just around the speed limit and keeping a safe breaking distance between cars, will keep you safer. Also if you start to feel drowsy, switch off with your co-pilot or pull over at your nearest rest stop and take a power nap or get out and stretch your legs and take in the fresh air.
If you’re traveling alone. Don’t let your phone distract you. If you must make a call or send a text, wait until you reach a rest area to pull over and call or send your message. Or you can use your imagination and pretend you are a time traveler and you’re driving in the prehistoric age when cell phones were not commonly in use. If you’re with others ask your co-pilot to answer the phone for you if it’s important.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
40% of fatal accidents on Thanksgiving evening involve alcohol. If you choose to drink this holiday, call Uber, reserve a cab, or designate a non-drinking driver to get you home safely or find a place to sleep overnight.
We wish you a warm and safe Thanksgiving, from all of us at Kirk’s Tire and Auto!
Sources: NPR, AAA, Consumer Reports