The holiday season is nearly upon us, and with more and more people gearing up this year to travel during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, the thought of doing so yourself can be a daunting prospect. Fortunately, if you can keep a few things in mind, the upcoming holiday travel season doesn't have to be quite as overwhelming as in years past.
Directions Are Everything
Sure, there are all the stereotypes about men not wanting to ask for directions, and the validity of those stereotypes is for another time. That being said, getting quality directions that you can trust and that you know will get you there is paramount to making your trip as smooth as possible. Calling your destination, be that a brother, grandmother, uncle, or hotel, for directions is a good first step. Not only will they more than likely know the best way to get you there, but they will also probably know go detours in the event of traffic, accidents, or construction.
In the event that your destination doesn't have good directions for you, there are seemingly endless websites online that will give you turn by turn directions, distances, times, and even maps. Take those with a grain of salt as they may not be completely up to date due to construction changes to traffic patterns, addition or subtraction of exits, or the addition or removal of traffic signs saying which roads you're allowed to travel on.
Games, Movies, Books, and Snacks
The kids don't like the 13 hour drive any more than you do, but at least you get to drive. Video games, card games, personal video players, even books (if motion sickness isn't an issue) are a great way to help make the drive pass for kids. Many of your local electronics stores sell VHS and DVD players that have small monitors already attached for a very reasonable price and allow you to avoid having an entire home entertainment center installed into your car just for road trips.
Make Sure Your Car is Working Fine
Checking your tires for air pressure and tread and checking the oil and coolant in your engine is an easy way to make sure that you're not one of those families on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. Every year families find themselves on the side of the road with flat tires from worn tread or bad air pressure or with engines billowing smoke from something that would have cost next to nothing to have checked and fixed ahead of time. Spending a little bit of time and effort up front can save you spending a lot of time and money later.
Check Your Insurance
While you certainly don't want anything bad to happen, in the event that something bad does happen, it helps to have your insurance information with you. Pretty much any state you're travelling through will require you to have some sort of car insurance, even if it's just cheap car insurance. Making sure that you have your insurance information, whether it's North Carolina car insurance, Virginia car insurance, or another state, is a good way to make sure that if the worst happens, you know what you're covered against.
Before you set out you should also check to see what your insurance covers in the way of towing, roadside assistance, and rentals in the event something does happen to your car and you need help or another way to continue your vacation. Getting stuck at Grandma's house because your insurance doesn't cover a rental and your car exploded is no way to spend the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday.
This is the holiday driving season, when the seeming entirety of the United States driving population will converge on the roads at the same time. Plan ahead to give yourself plenty of time, factoring in stops for food, gas, and just to stretch your legs. Leave early and expect to get to your destination early. Remember that for every great driver out there that will let you merge in front of them there's somebody that will cut you off and cause an accident if you're not paying attention. Stay on your toes, relax, and enjoy your vacation this holiday season.