The holidays are a time of year meant to be celebrated with those closest to us. For many, this requires traveling by plane or automobile to be with family and friends, whether they are a few or hundreds of miles away.
Traveling can quickly take the merry out of the holidays, though, especially since you’ll be sharing the road with an estimated 49.3 million motorists this Thanksgiving. That is according to AAA. All of whom would like nothing better than to reach their destination on time. An additional 5.7 million people will use an alternate form of transportation.
For those hitting the open road, here are some holiday travel tips to help make your road trip a positive, fun experience.
Calculate Your Trip
Calculating your trip will give you a much better idea of what you’ll spend on gas. You can add as many stops for fuel, food, or restroom breaks as you’d like. Fueleconomy.gov provides a “Trip Calculator” that allows you to input your specific vehicle (year, make, model, and options) and then map out your trip.
Clicking on “Calculate the Trip” provides you with directions and a map as well as a percentage of city driving and your total fuel cost. Multiple this to get your round-trip fuel cost. The site allows you to print the provided information for future reference. If you’d like to make edits, like adding another stop, you will need to recalculate.
Prepare Your Vehicle
You can make a list and check it twice, but nothing can throw a monkey wrench into your plans as quickly as a flat tire or worse, a vehicle breakdown. To help prevent problems, check your fluid levels, including engine oil, coolant, brake, and power steering, and top off as needed.
You’ll also want to replace worn wiper blades and replenish windshield washer. Have a certified mechanic check your alignment, tires, and brakes. Consider buying a roadside assistance plan or, if available, adding this type of coverage to your auto insurance policy. The peace of mind these policies provide is invaluable.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Experts strongly encourage carrying a well-stocked emergency kit in the trunk of your vehicle. Ensuring your spare is properly inflated and safe for the road should you need it is equally essential. According to the National Safety Council, vehicle emergency supplies should be routinely inspected and restocked, as well as all expired items replaced.
A basic kit should include:
- Duct tape
- Rain poncho
- Jumper cables
- Fire extinguisher
- Multipurpose tools or kit
- Wheel wrench and tripod jack
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Reflective triangles or LED road flares
- A fully stocked first aid kit and reflective vest
- Nonperishable food and bottled water (enough for all passengers)
- Additional items for when the weather is frightful (e.g., blankets, snow brush/shovel, cat litter for traction, etc.)
Be Flexible with Your Holiday Travel
The day of, as well as the day before and the Sunday after, are the busiest times to travel. You can visit Google’s Mapping Thanksgiving site to find travel recommendations. The website shows the best and worst times to leave and how traffic changes on different days. You can use the dropdown to select your city.
Book Your Stay at Holiday Inn Victorville
You’ll find all the comforts of home at Holiday Inn Victorville right off Interstate 15, such as spacious guest rooms, an outdoor pool and spa, along with complimentary WIFI and morning newspapers. Make sure to begin your mornings with wholesome food from The Community Table Restaurant.
You can download the IHG App to get exclusive member and mobile rates, book your stay at Holiday Inn Victorville, and explore dining options and local information around your hotel. The app can also be used during your visit and to check-out of your room. It is available for download from both the App Store and Google Play.