If your family will be hitting the road this year to see friends and relatives during the holiday season, you will find these pre-travel holiday tips helpful for making your journey safe and memorable.
A quick reminder about the things we know you will check anyway: be sure the wheels are properly inflated, the oil has been recently changed, the window washer fluid is topped off, and the entire car is in good, working order.
That said, let us look at some safety tips.
1. Save Wear and Tear and Money by Renting
Many families choose to stretch their funds by fixing their present vehicles rather than buying new ones. If that is the case, you may trust your older vehicle just fine when you are near the home where friends, neighbors, and family members can pick you up if it breaks down. However, if you are traveling a long distance, you will save yourself a lot of worry and hassles by renting.
Your family car may not have a lot of added on luxuries like built-in entertainment for the kids, but renting a vehicle can change that – at least for a long road trip. The plus side is that many of the newer vehicles are much more economical in their fuel consumption, which will also help you save cash.
2. Establish your Route and Share It
Map your route out in advance and share it with the people you are visiting and at least one person back home. A friend or neighbor, perhaps so they know when to expect you and when to make an alarm if you do not arrive on the expected date.
Even if you have done the route previously, a quick check of road conditions can reveal any road closures and other changes that might have happened since you drove it last.
3. Don’t Travel Too Long Each Day
Depending on the length of your journey, and the weather conditions you will encounter, you will also want to have an idea of how long you can go between stops.
Planning a pit stop every two or three hours is best to stretch, move around and, clear your head. These activities will also help counter deep-vein thrombosis, a life-threatening condition that occurs when leg circulation is stopped for a long period of time.
Moreover, stopping once in a while and taking a look around can help you enjoy the trip a little more.
4. Reserve Overnight Stops Ahead of Time
If you are going to be on the road during the holidays, it is a good idea to get your hotels lined up ahead of time and have the reservation information with you in the car. In the event of a delay or a change in plans, you will have the contact information and confirmation codes on hand to deal with it efficiently.
5. Set The Right Environment For The Driver And Passengers.
- Adjust your seat to the right position to make it comfortable for longer periods of time.
- Fit your cell phone and/or GPS devices into hands-free dash or console mounts positioned properly so they can be easily seen.
- Have the entertainment items most useful to the kids on hand and where they can be easily reached.
- Put snacks and water bottles where the driver and passengers can easily reach them.
At every stop, take a look around the interior of the vehicle. Remove the garbage and clear all the crumbs to keep things fresh and tidy. If one movie has ended, pop in another and have it ready to play.
6. Think About Food Safety
Foods like dry cereal, popcorn, nuts, and pretzels are good options because they won’t go rancid even if they get warm. Grapes, carrots, celery, and other fruits are safe as long as they are fresh and washed at the start and packaged in resealable containers.
Follow these basic food safety tips while on your holiday road trip:
- Don’t let food sit unrefrigerated for more than two hours.
- Pack any foods that need to be kept cold in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice.
- Wash everyone’s hands with soap and water before eating and pack hand sanitizer for in between stops.
- Bring leftovers home with care – again, keep them chilled and reheat them thoroughly before serving them.
7. Have the Right Gadgets on Hand
The right gadgets can make a long drive much more comfortable and safe. Consider the following to be critical gadgets that are worth the investment:
- A good navigation system – it’s your preference which one you use, but be sure you have one and know how to use it. If you are using your smartphone, be sure you have a car charger and mounting device to hold it within the driver’s view.
- A cigarette lighter splitter – if you’ve got more than one device you need to keep charged, consider a splitter.
- A travel medical kit – it’s important to be able to handle minor medical emergencies yourself.
A roadside assistance program can be a lifesaver. Look at your options and choose a plan that gives you the security of mind that someone can fix the tire or tow the vehicle if you get into trouble on the road.Tags: family holidays, holidays, planning trip, safety tips, security, travelling