The holiday season is almost upon us, and people from around the world are planning to drive home for the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas vacation. The idea of holiday travel can be a daunting prospect, especially this year.
Luckily, if you can keep a few things in mind, the coming holiday travel season doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it used to be. Just read the tips below and apply them for both international and domestic travel.
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Sure, there are all those myths of men who don’t want to ask for directions, but we’ll speak some other time about how true or false they are. That being said, getting proper directions that you can trust and that will get you to your destination is crucial to making your trip as smooth as possible.
Whether it’s a pal, a family member or the hotel reception, calling someone at your travel destination is a good first step. Not only will they know more than certainly the fastest way for you to get there, but they will also give you advice to avoid traffic, accidents or road works.
In the event that the person you called couldn’t help you, there are now infinite websites and apps that come with maps, directions, distances, times, etc. Always take those with a grain of salt because they might not be entirely up to date due to changes in traffic patterns, the addition or subtraction of exits, or the addition or removal of road signs that signify which roads you are permitted to drive on.
Games, movies, books, and snacks
If you’re traveling with kids, remember that they don’t like a 13-hour drive any better than you do. But you at least get to drive. Playing games on a phone/tablet, travel board games, even books (if motion sickness isn’t a problem) are a great way to help make your drive entertaining for the kids. Investing in a tablet with YouTube Kids on it will get you an entire home entertainment center mounted in your car just for road trips.
Check your car before you hit the road
Checking your tires for air pressure and tread and checking the oil and coolant levels in your engine is the least you should do before a long drive. This way, you can reduce the chances of being one of those families on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck.
Every year, families find themselves on the side of the road with flat tires from worn treadmills or poor air pressure, or with engines smoking from something that would cost more than nothing to be tested and patched ahead of time. Spending a little bit of time and effort before leaving home means you won’t resort to desperate solutions in unfortunate circumstances. So it can also save you a lot of time and money later.
Check your insurance before holiday travel
Although you definitely don’t want anything bad to happen, in the event that it does, it helps to be prepared. Almost any place you’re driving through would require you to have some form of car insurance, even if it’s an inexpensive one. Make sure you have your policy details: that way, if push comes to shove, you’ll know for what you’re covered.
So, before you leave home, you should check and see if your insurance covers towing roadside assistance, or rentals in the event that something happens to your vehicle and you need AAA assistance or some other vehicle to continue your holiday. Being trapped in Grandma’s house because your insurance doesn’t cover the rental and your car has exploded is no way to spend this holiday travel season!
If you’re planning to drive across the border this holiday travel season, I recommend also having active travel insurance (including medical insurance). We’ve signed up for SafetyWing, have been very happy with them, and recommend them to everyone planning to travel abroad.
Check out Safetywing‘s travel insurance.
This is the holiday travel season when Americans and people from all over the world will be hitting the highways at almost the same time. Prep ahead to give yourself plenty of time, make stops for food, gas, or just to stretch your legs. Leave early and plan to arrive early at your destination. Keep in mind that for every great driver out there who’s going to let you merge in front of them, there’s someone who’s going to cut you off, so pay attention to the road. Stay on your toes, then relax and enjoy your holiday season!
Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.
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