Traveling during the holidays can be stressful in the best of circumstances, especially when you’re road tripping. Add in busy roads, cranky kids and inclement weather and things can get pretty harry in no time.
In my experience, it’s much easier to deal with the hitches and setbacks if you’ve planned for them, or at least thought through a few “what ifs?” With that in mind, I’m sharing five tips for traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday.
5 Tips for Traveling during the Thanksgiving Holiday
- Have your vehicle inspected before you hit the road.
If you’ve ever had car problems and have been stranded alongside the road you know how frustrating or terrifying that can be. For peace of mind, I suggest having your vehicle inspected, the tires checked, and fluids topped off prior to traveling.
Also, check to see if you have roadside assistance through your insurance carrier. If not, consider purchasing AAA which can help you with anything from a blown tire to providing assistance if you run out of gas or lock your keys inside the car.
- Keep a bit of money back for emergencies.
Credit cards are definitely handy, but don’t leave home without some cash for tolls, or unexpected surprises.
- Keep a stash of “emergency” gear in your car.
Kids get sick, and so do adults. After an unfortunate incident where my child suddenly vomited in the car while traveling one year, I learned to keep paper bags, a wet washcloth in a bag (or wet wipes), paper towels, a jug of water to drink or clean up messes, a cup, crackers, small first aid kit, toilet paper (you just never know), and a small trash bag handy. In cooler weather, I also make sure we have a couple extra blankets on hand.
- Allow extra travel time.
Nothing is more stressful than running behind. I like to be punctual. If you’re traveling during Thanksgiving, make sure you allow plenty of extra time for heavy traffic or bad weather that can lead to traffic snafu’s.
- Keep the kids occupied.
Let’s face it, it doesn’t take much to start WWIII in the back seat. Before leaving your house, make sure the kids have their iPods, favorite DVD (Redbox is great for swapping movies along the road), audio books, or smartphone.
If you really want to surprise your kids, stop by your local Dollar Store and pick up some fun items that can be distributed along your route. This can be as simple as packing a few pieces of candy or as elaborate as purchasing them monogrammed tote bags filled with easy, car friendly craft projects to make time on the road go faster. After all, when the kids are happy, so are mom and dad!
Finally, remember to be patient with your fellow travelers. You aren’t the only one that wants to reach their destination safely before Thanksgiving Day!
What tips have you learned that allow you to stay sane while traveling during Thanksgiving?