The holiday season is upon us, which means spending time with loved ones, eating some great food, and lots of travel. If you’re going to be hitting the road this winter, you need to make sure both you and your vehicle are ready for the journey. We’ve compiled this list of tips to keep your family safe and happy during your holiday travels.
Bring an emergency kit
No one likes to think about getting stranded on a road trip, but that possibility is always there. However, if you make sure to pack an emergency kit before you head out, you’ll be much more prepared for whatever the road at you. Some essential items for your kit, especially when traveling in winter weather, include jumper cables, road salt, a blanket, and flares. If you have a newer vehicle, it may already have a first aid kit, which is super helpful at any time of year!
Check your tires, wipers, and brakes
Keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance schedule is the best way to ensure it’s ready for the road ahead. It’s also a good idea to do a once-over before any major road trip. Make sure all your tires are properly inflated and that the tread isn’t too worn. Check your battery level to help ensure you won’t get stranded without power. You’ll also want to make sure your wipers are in good condition and that your fluid levels are where they should be. We recommend scheduling an appointment with your mechanic or your dealer to make sure everything on your car is in tip-top shape.
Stay well rested and alert
This advice is obviously applicable all year long, but with bad weather and heavier traffic during the holiday season, it’s more important than ever to stay alert behind the wheel. Try not to stay up too late if you plan on driving a lot the next day. (Don’t worry, Santa will still drop off your presents while you’re asleep!) Keep your phone on silent while you’re driving, or hook it up to your car’s infotainment system for hands-free use. And although this may go without saying, we always want to stress: DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. If you dip into that adult-friendly eggnog, stay in the passenger seat.
Drive cautiously and defensively, especially in bad weather
We know you’re in a rush to get to Grandma’s house for a slice of that pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce, but you still need to be extremely careful when driving during this time of year. Icy roads, low visibility, and strong winds increase the risk of an accident, but if you stay alert and cautious, you can keep your family safe. Drive slower than you normally might, as snow or ice on the road means your car will have less traction than usual. Keep a large enough distance from the vehicle in front of you in case of a sudden stop, and don’t stop while going up a hill if you can help it.
By following these holiday travel tips, and using your best judgment, you and your family can have a safe and joyous holiday vacation. If you’re concerned about your older vehicle handling a long road trip, and you’re thinking about an upgrade, BestRide is here to help. We have thousands of vehicles and a search function so you can find exactly what you’re looking for, whether that’s all-wheel drive for extra traction or heated seats to stay toasty.