Holiday Travel Survival Tips

Thursday, December 11 at 08:20 AM
Category: Personal Finance

"Why aren't we flying? Because getting there is half the fun. You know that."

That's what Clark Griswold, the lovable character from the movie “Vacation,” said when he piled his family into the station wagon to take them on an ill-fated road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. Clark had to learn the hard way what many parents already know — traveling in such close quarters for long periods of time isn't exactly restful. Throw in extra holiday traffic and the excited frenzy of the holiday season and traveling by car can be especially stressful for parents.

Ways to Make Your Journey a Little Less Bumpy This Holiday Season
Before you head out on the road with your family to visit loved ones or take a much-needed vacation this holiday season, be sure to read these important survival tips.

  1. Take a reliable vehicle. Your old minivan might be comfortable, but it also could break down leaving you in a worse situation — stranded with cranky children. Even if you have a newer car, it's important to have routine maintenance done before you leave.
  2. Join a travel club. In the unfortunate event your car breaks down, you'll be able to get roadside assistance.
  3. Map your route in advance. Today there is no shortage of online tools to help you map out a route. Give your route to a family member so they know how to locate you.
  4. Plan your travel times. If you have younger children, plan your travel around their sleep schedules. Traveling at night is a great way to avoid heavy rush hour traffic.
  5. Pack healthy snacks and refreshments. Bring along a cooler with water, fruit and other refreshments, and pack other healthy snacks. Avoid unhealthy sugary foods.
  6. Stay connected. Charge your cellphone and bring along your car charger. Also be sure to charge electronic games and music players in advance.
  7. Play family games. There's nothing like a good old fashioned game of license plate to engage children.
  8. Dress comfortably. Dress kids in loose comfortable clothing or even their pajamas for nighttime travel.
  9. Play good music. Bring along relaxing music for the ride. Be sure to select songs your children enjoy.
  10. Keep your sense of humor and a positive attitude by channeling your inner Clark Griswold (well at least before he loses it).

Before you go dashing through the snow, remember to review these travel survival trips to help keep your season jolly.

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