Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips
These 10 Holiday Travel Tips Can Save Your Sanity
Holiday road trips alwayssoundfun in theory, but let’s be honest: The irritation level can get pretty high in there about 30 minutes into the drive (especially if you’re traveling with little ones). Make this season’s car rides your most painless and festive yet with these super simple, plan-ahead tips.
1.Make a good playlist.Were you planning to rely solely on the radio? Please don’t. Not only will it get old real quick (do you really want to hear the same songs over and over again?), depending on where you’re heading, there’s a good chance your fave stations will eventually turn to static. Load up your phone with current songs, nostalgic tunes, holiday favorites and podcasts or audiobooks to keep the energy happy and light during your drive.
2. Pack kits for the kids.Few things are better than surprises when you’re little, so stash a few “road trip kits” to break out when they're starting to get restless. Bags or boxes filled with fun trinkets such as sticker books, crayons and drawing pads, and—best of all—washable window markers are sure to keep the kids entertained for a while. Or, you know, for a few exits.
3. Stock up on the essentials.You'll need food, water, medicine, and plenty of plastic bags for trash. Since you’re spending hours eating packaged pretzels, granola bars, and—admit it—candy in your car, you’ll be happy you have a place to put all those wrappers. A plastic cereal container with a lid that flips open doubles as the perfect portable trashcan—just line it with one of the plastic bags for easy cleanup. Other crucial items? A full tank of gas, a phone charger, a first aid kit, and a few blankets.
4. Make sure your car's road-ready. It's a no-brainer that your vehicle should be in peak condition before leaving the driveway, but connected car systems like Hum by Verizon help make this easier than ever. Hum includes an app, a hands-free speaker for your visor, and an OBD (on-board diagnostics) reader that plugs into your vehicle.
It can help you diagnose issues your car may be having before a serious breakdown occurs. But if the unpredictable happens and leaves you stranded, Hum provides 24/7 roadside help and emergency assistance with crash detection—everything you need to help you drive with better peace of mind.
5. Focus on the journey, not the destination.The holidays are a time to be with family, but the busyness of November and December often leave us feeling like we’ve seen our families less, as opposed to more. Instead of bee-lining it to wherever you’re headed, map out a few fun roadside attractions, and make a pact to stop frequently so everyone can stretch their legs and get out any pent up energy. Think of how nice it’ll be to arrive at your destination merry and refreshed, as opposed to annoyed and frazzled.
6. Make the decision to be a little more lax with screen time.No parent feels good at the sight of their child blankly staring at a glowing screen, but sometimes, exceptions have to be made. If you’ve exhausted all of your options and the kids are still getting antsy and cranky, be OK with letting them indulge in a movie, game, or TV show for a bit. (Make it a holiday movie, if that makes you feel better.) Explain to them that it’s a once in a while treat, and use the peace and quiet to have what may be the first (and last) uninterrupted conversation with your partner since having kids.
7. Have an arsenal of car and travel games ready to go.No road trip is complete without family car games, so be sure to jot down a list of age-appropriate games before you get going. A good idea is to start playing one of these games right off the bat, before the cacophony of “I’m bored” and “Are we there yet?” starts. Your goal is to set the energy and tone of the car as soon as possible—and what better way to do that than playing “21 Questions” before you’re even out of your neighborhood?
8. Clean your car beforehand.It’s inevitable that people are going to get cranky and the car is going to get dirty along the way, but think about how much different you’ll feel at the start of your journey if you’re getting into a super tidy car as opposed to, well, what your car normally looks like.
9. Bring plenty of cash for tolls and an extra car key.Don’t be that person fumbling through their glove compartment while idling in front of the toll both. Have a bag of quarters and singles ready to go in your car console. And no matter how strict you are about making sure you don’t lock your keys in your car, bring an extra set.
10. Make a plan, but don’t worry too much about sticking to it.If you’re going on a road trip that requires stopping a night or two somewhere along the way, have a general idea of where you want to break and when. But go into your trip with an open mind, knowing that best laid plans are often just that. Staying flexible will make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone. And isn’t “pleasant” the whole point of a road trip in the first place?
This article is one of several articles part of a paid partnership with hum. Social media posts promoting the published articles in this series may be accompanied by #sponsored hashtags.
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