7 Tips for Holiday Car Travel

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Tis the season to be … traveling!  Whether you’re heading over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s, or taking a road trip to watch the ball drop, this is the time of year for extended car trips.  We thought you’d enjoy some great tips to make the trip as safe and painless as possible.

  1. Check your maintenance history.  Traveling 800 miles, but notice your next oil change is due in 200?  Go ahead and get your oil change done, check your tire pressure, and make sure all your maintenance is up to date to enjoy a safe arrival at your destination.
  2. Pack a safety kit for your car.  Include safety items such as flashlights, jumper cables, reflective triangles, a fire extinguisher, and foam tire sealant.  Now that your car is prepared, prepare yourself.  (See item 3).
  3. Pack a safety kit for yourself.  Include a cell phone charger, warm outerwear in case you get stranded, and some snacks.  A first aid kit is always a good idea as well.
  4. Plan your route.  There are lots of horror stories on the internet about families who got stranded in snowy, remote area by blindly following their GPS.  Plan your route in advance, and then recheck it to make sure you’re taking the safest path.
  5. Check the weather.  This tip goes hand-in-hand with tip #4 above – especially if you’re traveling from South to North where you could find yourself in some unexpected winter precipitation.  Make sure you are prepared.  Kitty litter provides great traction if you get stuck, and an ice scraper for your windshield is a must in colder climates.
  6. Take a break.  Accident data indicates nearly 6,000 lives are lost each year.  In New Jersey, a driver that has been without sleep for 24 hours is considered to be driving recklessly, in the same class as an intoxicated driver.  Most experts recommend taking a 15-minute break every two hours.  This is a great opportunity to stretch your legs, grab a snack, and of course, use the facilities.  It’s also around the length of a kid’s DVD, so you can safely switch out their video without fumbling while driving.
  7. Enjoy the ride! Plan some fun ideas for the ride.  Would You Rather, 20 Questions, and Punch Buggy are all games you can play spontaneously without any accessories.  Or try a Road Trip Bingo game or the Ungame Question Cards. Wonder Polls is also a fun app that can get the conversation rolling.

Road trips can be fun!  And the tips provided here can help you arrive at your destination happy and safe.  Happy Holidays!

Kelly Keith