As the holiday season approaches, you may be formulating some travel plans, perhaps preparing to visit parents, grandparents, siblings, or other loved ones. If you have a holiday road trip on the horizon, now is the time to start getting ready for it, ensuring your time on the highway is as safe and as smooth as can be.
Here are just a few suggestions.
How to Get Ready for a Holiday Road Trip
- Schedule routine maintenance. Before any kind of extended travel, it’s wise to take your car to a trusted service center where it can be inspected. If there’s a problem with the brakes or the transmission, or if you simply need an oil change or a new set of tires, you want to know about it before you get on the road. This can be a valuable investment in the safety and performance of your vehicle, and it can prevent major hassle during your holiday travels.
- Assemble your emergency kit. If you ever do have car trouble and find yourself stuck for a long period of time, you’ll want to have an emergency kit handy. Your kit should include the following:
- Flashlight with batteries
- Flares or reflective triangles
- Some basic auto fluids… engine oil, wiper fluid, transmission fluid
- First Aid Kit
- Thermal blanket
- Bottled water and a protein bar or two
- Spare tire, tire gauge, and jack
- Jumper cables
- Bring some entertainment. The last thing you want on a long car trip is to feel stir crazy, or to become bored; that can lead to sloppy, distracted driving. Plan ahead by downloading some good podcasts or audio books, or simply ensuring you have the right CDs or music playlists ready to go. For passengers, a few good books can go a long way. And, be sure everyone has the right chargers to keep their devices operational.
- Know where you’re going. Even in the age of Google Maps, it’s important to know where you’re going in advance, and to study the path so that you can find alternate routes or back roads as needed. Also, make sure you plan for fuel stops regularly. We’d recommend not letting your vehicle get below a quarter tank of gas.
- Take care of yourself. Finally, make sure you plan your trip so as to minimize the need for driving while drowsy. If at all possible, avoid leaving before the sun’s up. And if you do need to get a super early start, make sure you go to bed early the night before. Plan for caffeine if you need it, and make sure you stop every two or three hours to stretch your legs and get the blood circulating.
We hope these tips are helpful to you as you think ahead to any holiday season traveling. As you think more about taking care of yourself, and your vehicle, please reach out to us with any questions or concerns. And, follow Get My Auto on social media to receive additional updates and tips.