Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house do you go? This is the time of year where more Americans will be hitting the road for travel than any other- the holiday season. Thanksgiving weekend kicks off holiday travel with plenty of crazy drivers, endless traffic, and lots of headaches. Take it from someone who's been there and done that- holiday travel isn't something for the faint of heart. Traveling solo or with your family can be a lot of fun and pave the way for grand adventures and lasting memories, so if you're up for it, take a look at these holiday travel tips to keep you and your family safe on the road this season.
Prep means everything. Seriously, a little prep work before you leave on your trip can save you time, money, and headaches. No one wants to deal with tons of stress while on the road. Driving in heavy holiday traffic is stressful enough. Take a few small steps to ensure you'll have a safe, smooth journey ahead.
Make sure your vehicle is travel-ready. Do proper maintenance checks before you hit the road. This means having an oil change before you take off, as well as checking other fluids. You'll also want to make sure you check tire pressure in each of your vehicle's tires. You might not want to rely on the tire pressure system in your car if you have one. Buy an air pressure gauge and check each tire manually, just to be sure.
Leave earlier or later to avoid traffic. If you're going to travel a long distance and have small children, it might make more sense for you to leave late, and drive through the night. Make sure that whoever is driving has had plenty of rest. If at any time the driver feels drowsy or tired, safely pull over and switch drivers, or stop for the night at a hotel and get some sleep. It's better to be completely safe by stopping than risk getting into an accident or falling asleep at the wheel.
Have a roadside assistance service ready. Even if you don't subscribe to a membership service for roadside assistance such as AAA, have important information and phone numbers available. Keep it stored on your phone to make quick calls with ease if you need assistance. Keep all other information regarding title, insurance, etc in your glove box so you can quickly access the information in the event that you wind up needing it.
Keep valuables out of sight. Lock up any valuables that you might be traveling with. Don't leave items like electronics laying in the back seat of the vehicle. Always keep the car doors locked, especially at traffic stops and when you're exiting the vehicle. Keep the child lock on rear passenger doors for children, no matter how old they are. Keeping them safe is more important than any pride issues that may arise with tweens or teens.
If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated. Never leave small children unattended or leave a child in the car alone. Do not leave an infant or small child alone in a vehicle with an older sibling- an adult should be with the children at all times.
Always keep a cell phone and a phone charger with you at all times. You never know when you might need it.
Use GPS, but use it safely. Have the passenger be the navigator, if need be. If traveling solo, put the information of your destination into your GPS before you leave the house.
Following these easy tips can help keep you and your family safe during the holiday travel season. Happy travels!
Brought to you by Reedman Toll Chevrolet.