The holidays can be a great time to get together with family and friends to enjoy good food and company. However, traveling during the holiday season can be less than enjoyable and even ruin the experience. Don’t let the travel blues get you down this holiday season; read these tips before your next road trip on Thanksgiving weekend this year.
Leave Early to Beat Traffic
The busiest times to be on the road are the Tuesday and Wednesday before the holiday and the entire weekend after. Beat the rush and travel outside these peak days. If you can’t avoid travel these days, try hitting the road early in the morning while everyone else is still asleep. It can also be helpful to plan your stops before you leave so you know when and where to take breaks along the way. Check the forecast as well so you’re prepared for any inclement weather. Luckily, if your Thanksgiving road trip takes you to southwest Arizona, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about a blizzard or hurricane ruining your plans.
Pack the Right Snacks
The holidays are already a period of eating more than you normally would, so you should try to eat healthy as much as possible while you’re on the road. When you’re driving, it can be tempting to just stop somewhere and pick up something greasy. With so many fast food restaurants and gas station snacks along the route, it can make keeping up with a healthy diet difficult and make you feel bogged down and sluggish. Make your trip a little easier by packing some trail mix, fruit, crackers, protein bars and veggies. Not only does bringing healthy snacks help keep your appetite for greasy foods at bay, but it can also save you money. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water, too. Staying hydrated while you’re on the road can keep you focused and energized during those long hours behind the wheel.
Prep Your Car
Before you hit the road for any trip, you should prepare your vehicle for the journey. Take your car in for an overall inspection to make sure everything is in good working condition. Have your oil changed, top off all your fluids, and rotate your tires so you’re road-ready. You may even want to consider giving your car a thorough vacuuming since you’ll likely be spending many hours in it during your trip. With a clean, newly inspected vehicle, you can rest easy knowing you’ll be driving in safety and style.
Pack Your Entertainment
Road tripping doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Don’t forget to relish in the moment and enjoy the journey. Even if you don’t know where to go on Thanksgiving yet, you can start prepping your entertainment for when your plans are finalized. Whether you’re spending 20 minutes or 20 hours in the car, you can still have a good time with it if you have the right entertainment. Fill a bag with your favorite games and books and update your music playlist with your favorite tunes. If you forget your entertainment at home, you can always enjoy a good old-fashioned game of I Spy to pass the time.
Restock Your Emergency Kit
If your vehicle doesn’t have an emergency kit, now is the time to purchase one for your vehicle. A good emergency kit has blankets, road flares, a basic first aid kit, bottles of water, a flashlight, batteries and some nonperishable items. Make sure your vehicle is stocked with the necessities that may come in handy during an emergency. It’s not always fun to plan for the unexpected, but if something does happen, you’ll be happy you were prepared.
Don’t Forget to Move
Long hours behind the wheel can take its toll on your body, especially if you don’t take time to stop and stretch periodically. It can be tempting to make good time and drive straight to your destination, but try to refrain. If you remembered to plan your route to include stops, make sure you take frequent breaks to move about and keep blood circulating, which can keep you awake and focused.
Before you start getting ready for your trip, consider trying these tips to help make it more pleasant. A little planning and preparation can go a long way in creating a memorable experience this holiday season.