Keep yourself sane for holiday drive
Updated On: Nov 22 2010 06:50:12 AM CST
It's that time of year again, and the long drive to see family and friends is just another part of the annual ritual.
Unfortunately, the holiday cheer doesn't always extend beyond the rear-view mirror. So before you gear up to get a move on, consider these holiday tips to help ease the in-car cabin fever.
Vehicle Vitals: As the temperatures drop, cars begin to behave a little differently, and nothing deflates holiday cheer like waiting for an overloaded towing company to come. Before you leave, have your mechanic do a winter check-up on your car by taking a look at the brakes, tire pressure and balance, fluid levels, spark plugs, battery, and any other parts that may be due for maintenance.
Plan Ahead: It's the little tasks that can add up to big annoyances on departure day, and they only add stress and time to your trip. You can streamline your take-off by gassing up the night before, planning your travel snacks into this week's grocery list, and swinging by the mall after work for those last-minute gifts. Then get the crew to pack up the car the night before so all you have to do is hop in, buckle up, and roll out.
Prepare For The Worst: It's not a fun thought, but this little bit of pessimism could be a life saver. Whenever you embark on a long-distance road trip, you should always let loved ones know your travel plans, and bring emergency equipment. Basics include a first-aid kit, drinking water, snacks, jumper cables, extra antifreeze and oil, and maybe a set of roadside flares. If you will be traveling in the snow, you'll also want to add blankets and an ice scraper to the list of essentials, just in case.
In-Transit Entertainment: The long haul will be a lot happier if everyone is occupied, so bring some toys and treats that everyone can enjoy. Whether you're reminiscing about holidays past, caroling along with the radio, playing an in-car trivia game or playing family favorite DVD on the portable player, these activities will help keep your mind active and fend off the driving doldrums.
Travel can't always be avoided this time year. However, with a little bit of luck and some careful planning, you'll have a safe and satisfying trip.
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