Olivia Pelehach /
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Holiday Travel Tips

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but the stress of traveling during the holidays can leave you feeling like Scrooge. Here are a few things that you can do in order to stay holly and jolly this holiday season.

Take Care of Your Car’s Basic Maintenance

Making sure your car is ready and working before a big trip is imperative. About a week before your travels, CNN suggests checking your car’s tire pressure and testing the battery, as well as filling up the windshield washer reservoir and replacing the windshield wiper blades.  Also make sure the brakes are working properly and remember to check your oil. Often times you can get these checked for free through Monro, Good Year or Firestone to name a few. Although it is a little cumbersome, doing these things before a big trip (or anytime you are driving in winter) can really help you in the long run.

Prepare an Emergency Kit for Your Car

In the event that your car does break down, you will want to make sure you have an emergency kit prepared.  Have items on hand that will keep you safe and warm such as a thermal blanket, a safety vest so that you are visible on the side of the road, along with road flares or reflector triangles.  It is also a good idea to have extra water bottles and a flashlight on hand.  You will also want to have a snow scraper, shovel, and sand or cat litter to help if winter weather hits.  Making sure you have emergency items to take care of yourself and your vehicle is crucial.

Think About Holiday Shoppers

Despite all the online shopping options, people still flock to the stores for last minute gifts.  According to Smarter Travel, Christmas Eve is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.  The combination of a high volume of people on the road mixed with the pressure of trying to find the perfect last minute gift can create a dangerous and stressful driving situation.  If possible, try to take different routes to avoid shopping areas.  But if this is unavoidable, remember to allow for extra travel time.

Have Activities and Snacks for the Kids

If you are going on a long car ride with your family, don’t forget to plan a few activities for the kids.   If you need some inspiration, the blog, Kids Are A Trip, has a bunch of road trip game ideas that the whole family can enjoy.  Also remember to bring some snacks in the car to save time on food stops, and to keep the kids from complaining.

Plan Ahead

With so much to worry about during the holiday season, the logistics of traveling can easily slip your mind.  However, putting in the little bit of extra effort to check the weather, map your routes, and equip your car for the winter weather will be well worth it.  Waze and Google Maps are wonderful tools, but shouldn’t be followed blindly.   By planning ahead, you can avoid some of the biggest travel woes, and be better prepared for any situation that may arise.

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