Memories of past holiday road trips can be wonderfully nostalgic or in some cases, awful. When setting out on the open road, preparation is the key word for your trip. So make the journey memorable in a good way by considering the following tips.
Safety Comes First on the Holiday Road Trip
-Check the vehicle, including tire pressure, oil, gas and if possible, schedule a tune up before the trip. If you know you have a headlight out, fix it before you leave.
-Ensure everyone uses safety belts and follows the laws on child seat requirements.
-Do not allow any smoking or drinking of alcoholic beverages on the trip. Nothing is worse than an inebriated passenger who throws up down your back.
-Bring a map if you will be traveling to a new area.
-Be alert when stopping at rest areas, stores and gas stations. Particularly in big city areas, criminals often plan their activities around holiday crowds.
Entertain the Masses During the Holiday Road Trip
If you will be traveling with children, here are some suggestions.
-Be sure to bring games, coloring books, crayons and books.
-Comfortable pillows and blankets will encourage napping.
-Bring snacks and drinks, but administer them sparingly to avoid frequent stops.
-For very small children, don’t forget that favorite toy, blanket or pacifier.
-When all else seems to fail, try a group game or sing-a-long.
Other Ideas for a Successful Long Drive on the Holidays
Make sure the driver is well rested and an alternate driver is in the vehicle for more than a three hour trip. It is easy to become drowsy on a long monotonous drive.
Take frequent stops to stretch your legs and keep alert. Though it will lengthen the trip slightly, it breaks up the ride and keeps riders from getting too cramped and uncomfortable.
Know the trip, including where you are going, how long it takes to get there, and bring a reliable map and directions. Sometimes the directions from Mapquest, Google maps and other online sources, are not precise enough, so always check before departing. Use a GPS if you have one available, but again keep in mind that these are not infallible either. A good up-to-date, detailed road map is the best back-up.
Avoid driving directly into the sun or during bad weather whenever possible.
Avoid taking medications that may cause drowsiness, irritability or the need to use a restroom. Even if you take prescriptions, it may be advisable to wait until you reach your destination before ingesting them. However, this is an individual matter and should be discussed with the prescribing doctor or the pharmacist. Do not reschedule medications without such a consultation.
Traffic on holiday trips is inevitable, so time the trip to travel other than the prime holiday travel times.