7 Essential Things To Have on Your Holiday Travel Checklist

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The festive season is just around the corner, and many of us are making plans for holiday travel. Over the last year or so, we have lived under the threat of COVID, and the majority of us haven’t been able to spend much time with our families, so this Christmas, we all want to have a wonderful holiday season.

If you want to travel to a cabin in the woods or visit your relatives in another part of the United States for Christmas or Thanksgiving, it makes sense to compile a travel checklist to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

#1: Before You Go

If you are leaving your home for a few days over the festive period, ensure you lock all windows and doors, switch off unused electrical appliances, set a timer for a light to come on at night, and activate the burglar alarm. Tell a neighbor or someone you trust that you will be away and to call your cell phone if they have any concerns.

Plan your trip well. Look at the weather forecast, listen to the travel news and heed any alerts about road closures and decide the best route to take.

#2: In Case of Emergencies

Getting your car ready for winter road trips will keep your mind at ease.

Ensure your car insurance policy is up to date as the adverse driving conditions caused by winter weather increase the number of accidents on the roads.

If the manufacturer’s warranty on your car has expired, you may want to consider checking out some used car warranty companies that will offer you a good deal. A warranty will protect you financially if a critical component of your vehicle has a major failure, such as the suspension collapsing or the gearbox breaking.

#3: Good to Go

Before setting off on your journey, you must check your car is road-worthy and will be able to deal with winter weather conditions.

Mix a 50:50 solution of antifreeze and water and top up the coolant in your vehicle. If the car has little or no antifreeze, the solution will freeze, and the car’s engine will overheat. Check the engine’s oil levels and ensure the windscreen wash container is filled with a water/antifreeze mixture.

The tread on the vehicle’s tires should be at least 3mm so that they can grip onto icy, wet roads as well as possible. If heavy snow and treacherous conditions are forecasts, you may want to fit special winter tires to the car, made of specialized rubber that gives a superior grip on dangerous terrain.

Test the heaters, lights, and windscreen wipers are working, and above all, make sure the car battery is fully charged and in good condition. The lifespan of a battery is about five years and should be changed once they exceed that. Because in winter, drivers use the lights, heater, and fan more than in warm weather, the battery becomes drained more quickly.

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#4: Safety First

Safety should be a priority on every car trip. Once you have checked your car over, you can start to load the car up with your belongings and passengers.

Secure roof boxes, trailers, and bike racks if you have any. Pack bags, boxes, and other cargo sensibly so that it doesn’t block the driver’s vision and won’t fall into passengers if the car stops suddenly.

Ensure everyone wears a seatbelt and children are sitting in the appropriate car seats if required.

#5: Furry Friends

Holiday travel with your pets can be simple--if you prepare!

If you are taking your pet with you, ensure they are restrained with a harness and lead on a seat, in a crate, or safely contained in the boot area. Provide them with a non-spill bowl of water and a comfortable bed.

If they get car sick, ask your vet about travel sickness medication. On a long journey, stop for a potty time now and again.

#6: Cozy and Comfy

Make sure you wear and pack comfy clothes for the trip! The last thing you would want on a long road trip is to have jeans that are too tight or freeze from not wearing a few layers!

#7: Are We There Yet?

Traveling with young kids can be challenging.

Holiday traveling with kids can be tricky--but not impossible!

Some children can suffer from travel sickness, and when this is the case, you should give them some medication before the journey or tie an anti-motion sickness bracelet to their wrist. Make sure you have plenty of plastic bags, tissues, and wet wipes in case they do vomit.

Long journeys can be very dull for children, and they may become angry and irritable. It is worth investing in a car DVD player or allowing them to bring along a tablet to play or watch movies on.

Playing games such as I Spy or How Many Blue Cars Can You See may keep them occupied for a while, as will singing some Xmas songs or listening to an audiobook.

And there you have it! A great checklist that you can count on working for even the longest road trip during the holidays!

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