Holiday Travel Tips
If you've got an action-packed Christmas in mind, you're in for some fun, provided you've done some planning. Most people can plan a wonderful visit, but they leave out one important factor to consider, and that's Holiday travel.
Whether you've got 50 miles to travel or a long journey ahead of you, your trip can make or break your mood. Anticipate the pitfalls and be prepared if you go home for the holidays. These Christmas tips are for car travel and will get you off on a safe holiday trip.
Plan for Delays
Don't wait until the last minute to pack, load the car, or leave. There are many unexpected things that can take you off-schedule, so be prepared. Carsickness, bathroom breaks and road construction are all things that can cause stressful delays. It's best to leave early. You may arrive ahead of schedule, but you'll be on time or not near as late if you're delayed.
Anticipate any problems that may arise and take along a small tote bag packed with a map, compass, watch, Tylenol, tissues, moist wipes, munchies, bottled water, paper, pen, credit card, and fingernail clippers. Have a bag handy for trash and don't litter.
Lip balm and hand lotion are essential to Christmas travel. They will provide much relief to the drying affect of the car heater. A cell phone (and phone numbers) are convenient to contact family members and it can be a life-saver in case of emergencies.
Keep Children Busy
Depending on the age of your children, plan for boredom, impatience and sometimes, fights. There are many activities available specifically for traveling with kids. Invest in some simple games and reading material. Consider splurging on a portable DVD player and some movies to make time pass quickly.
Remember, when children are filled with anticipation for the holidays, time seems to sit still for them. Make it easier on them by playing some traditional car games like counting red vehicles or out-of-state license plates.
Maintain the Vehicle
The single most important plan for safe Christmas travel is to have your vehicle in tip-top shape. Prior to your trip, take it in for a tune up. Have the oil and transmission fluid checked and make sure your washer fluid is full. Check the radiator for anti freeze and water levels.
Ensure that your tires have proper air pressure and don't forget to check your spare. Consider taking along a small, portable air compressor and a can of "Fix-A-Flat".
Pack a small toolbox with the basics and remember to take along a flashlight for nighttime mishaps. You should also have some extra gloves and blankets in the trunk if your planning to travel in cold temperatures.
Lighten the Load
Last but not least, make arrangements to have your gifts shipped ahead of time. While this is an extra expense, you can avoid the last minute hassles of dealing with packages and will make your vehicle lighter.