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How to Survive Holiday Road Trips

Going on the road this holiday season? Unless it’s just you and your spouse, holiday road trips can be a struggle. Here are a couple tips to make those road trips easier.

1. Prepare for the worst.

The best way to minimize stress is to anticipate what could go wrong and prepare for it. To prepare your vehicle, check your tire pressure, change your oil, gas up, and make sure everything is in working order before you get on the road. The last thing you want or need is to be stuck on the side of the highway in the cold trying to fix a flat tire. With more vehicles on the road than ever and people in a hurry to do their last-minute Christmas shopping, accidents are more common during the holiday season. So make sure and include a roadside emergency kit in your vehicle, just in case something out of your control happens. Be sure to check the weather as well, and if you’re driving, do not use your cell phone. Have someone else use it to navigate and take your calls.

2. Anticipate the inevitable.

Traffic is always worse this time of year, which can make already long car rides even longer. Pack extra snacks for those times you’re stuck in traffic just minutes from an anticipated food stop. Pack extra activities, in case it takes a bit longer than you thought it would to get to your destination. You can even pack them separately and stash them out of sight so that you can pull them out as a treat when everyone’s getting particularly antsy.

3. Focus on the positive.

If you’re impatient, bored, or stressed, your traveling companions will feed off of your emotions, making the trip worse. Impatience and anger could even cause you to drive less carefully and result in an accident. If you’re the one doing the driving, keep your emotions in check. Trade off with your partner if you feel like the traffic and other drivers are annoying you to the point of affecting your driving. And if you’re a passenger, try to be helpful with navigation and keep other passengers entertained.

Staying positive and focusing on something other than the travel will make the time pass more quickly and keep everyone safe. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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