There’s No Place Like Home: Traveling for the Holidays
However, holiday travel can be stressful. Large amounts of of traffic, unexpected weather conditions, mechanical issues, and bored family members are just a few things that can make holiday road trips less-than-pleasant. Here’s a list of a few things you can do to ensure you’re prepared to have a holly jolly time on the road to your final, festive destinations.
Have a Plan A, B, and C
While your final destination may be unchanging, the route to get there should be flexible. Ensure you know a few different ways to get to Uncle Pat’s cabin a few weeks before leaving. Check traffic apps like Waze and Google Maps a few days before departure to observe if any traffic-causing construction has popped up on any of your routes. Also, if you’re traveling anywhere that may have inclement weather, check the Weather Channel app to see if there’s the possibility of any storms brewing along the way.
The day of departure, check all of your routes again to make a final decision on which seems to be the clearest. Even if the optimal route claims to be the shortest in miles, a traffic jam could easily skew those numbers.
Stop and Smell the Roses
While you’re planning your routes, ensure you’ve mapped out some good places to stop and stretch. Nothing is worse than being cramped in a car for what seems like endless hours. It’s also unhealthy and stressful. Having a few locations pre-planned as stretch spots will give you something to look forward to, and a chance to get your blood pumping. Make sure you allow time for unexpected stops as well when you pass awesome, “must-see” locations like “The World’s Largest Teapot.” Stopping at these unique sites will ensure that your road trip is especially memorable.
Pack It Up, Pack It In
A well-packed car is really the key to successful holiday travel. While you’re configuring your seating arrangements, also configure your suitcases. Ensure everyone is well equipped with whatever electronics and electronic chargers they may need, and that pillows, blankets, and sweatshirts are within arms reach. And, most importantly, snacks! No one wants to be hangry in the middle of nowhere. Keep a supply of healthy, road trip approved snacks to keep yourself and all of your passengers satisfied between sustenance stops.
Stop at the Shop
Finally, no one wants to get stuck on the side of the highway going to Cousin Ethel’s because of an easily preventable mechanical problem. Schedule an appointment with your mechanic a few weeks prior to your departure to give your car a good once over. The few week period will allow your mechanic plenty of time to fix any problems he or she may spot. Ensure that your car is ready to go over the river and through the woods and you’ll get to Grandma’s house just in time for the turkey to be done!
Do you have any great holiday travel tips that we missed? We’d love to hear them!