Don’t look now, but it’s that time of year again. The holidays are stressful enough in their own right, thanks to all the extra cooking, cleaning, shopping, and spending required to make it through the season. So when you add in a lengthy road trip complete with bad weather, traffic, and fidgety kids, it doesn’t take long for stress levels to skyrocket.
Fortunately, with some good planning and a few simple precautions, you can improve your chances of having an enjoyable travel experience. Start by checking out our key tips to stress-free holiday road trips:
- Make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and maintained. Of particular importance for winter driving are tire tread wear, tire pressure, battery condition, and the level of engine oil, antifreeze, and other critical fluids.
- Put together an emergency car kit for your trunk that includes jumper cables, a portable shovel, hand-crank radio, flashlight, blankets, a backup cellphone and charger, and bottled water.
- When heading to an unfamiliar destination, map your route in advance (even if you have a navigation system in your car) to get a general idea of where you’re going. If you anticipate heavy traffic, consider planning alternate routes as well.
- Make sure pets are restrained or contained in a way that is safe for them as well as for the human passengers.
- Pack healthy snacks and drinks to avoid unnecessary stops and minimize hunger-induced crankiness in children and adults alike.
- Eliminate arguments about the vehicle being too hot or too cold by providing each passenger with their own heated car seat cushion or travel throw from CozyWinters. We offer a variety of plug-in and battery operated warming products, including items for pets traveling with you.
- For journeys taking longer than one day, limit driving time to a reasonable number of hours to reduce driver drowsiness and the potential for accidents. In addition, be sure to take at least one planned break every 2-3 hours to allow all passengers a chance to get fresh air and stretch their legs.
Holiday travel doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking event that spikes your blood pressure to unprecedented levels and pushes your patience to the brink. Just follow the above tips so you can emerge from your upcoming family road trip with your sanity intact.