Instead of the joy of the season when the Holidays come around, many people focus on the negatives. Holiday travel is among the most stressful things the season brings, but minimizing your worries and being prepared is the way to make that trip to Grandmother’s house part of the fun– or at least not part of the angst. Here are seven things to keep in mind as you prepare for your trip.
Condition Of The Car
If you’re driving, the most important thing to do is make sure your car is in tip-top shape. Nothing spoils a trip like finding yourself stranded on the side of the highway with a car full of crying kids and delayed Holiday pie. A thorough tune-up several days in advance of your trip will make sure your car gets you to your destination without any trouble. Be sure to go to a mechanic you trust– you’re not interested in someone inventing or exaggerated mechanical problems, what you want is an honest appraisal of what your car needs to run smoothly and without incident. Also be sure to have your tires checked. If you’ll be traveling where there’s snow and ice, it’s essential that your tires possess the proper traction and proper inflation. Experts at simpletire.com suggest considering a set of all weather tires and making sure the tire pressure is at optimal levels before you leave.
Entertainment For The Kids
If you have kids in the car, prepare for the regular quarter-hour chime of ‘Are we there yet?’ Or consider the bevy of options available to keep them entertained. Affordable dual screen DVD players can be attached tho the backs of headrests so the tots can watch their favorite movies and TV shows. Portable video game systems, tablets, and well-charged smart phones can also distract the kids from the seemingly endless miles of highway. In short, modern electronics have transformed the brutal realities of long distance travel into much more bearable experiences.
Lots Of Headphones
Don’t forget the headphones, though. Everyone who has ever traveled with anyone knows that musical and entertainment tastes vary wildly. Nothing ruins your copy of Simon and Garfunkle’s Greatest hits like the kids blaring Insane Clown Posse from the back seat.– or vice versa for some families. Noise canceling headphones all around will keep the peace so that everyone arrives at grandma’s tired but in happy moods.
GPS Navigation System
Next on the list, a GPS navigation system. These are one of the most amazing and affordable tools for happy travelers to have come on the scene in a century. You don’t even have to purchase a dedicated Garmin or Tom-To anymore, as your smartphone can double as a voice guided map. Not to mention there are apps that will tell you where the nearest burger joint is for when everyone’s hungry, or where the nearest pizza place is for when everyone suddenly hates hamburgers. Need a bathroom in a hurry? There’s an app for that too. Prepare your smart phone ahead of time and get to know the various apps that will help make your journey more bearable. Or, if you do have a dedicated GPS system, get to know it before you set out, as you don’t want to be driving and struggling with unfamiliar technology at the same time.
A list is an essential part of getting ready for holiday travel, if you want to make sure you don’t have to return to the house after making forty miles down the road. Begin your checklist well ahead of time so that you can add things to it as you think of them. That way, when you’re actually packing the car, you can check off every item and feel less anxiety about what you may be forgetting.
Even if traveling by car, consider a ‘carry-on’ bag. This is for items you may need to reach while traveling, or for overnight items you’ll need for those one night road motel stays. Unpacking and repacking the entire car every time you need to get to your toothbrush or headache pills is a headache easily avoided when everything you need for the trip itself is tucked in a handy little duffel bag on top of the luggage.
Batteries and Chargers
Lastly, extra battery and electronics chargers as well as car chargers will keep all those indispensable electronics charged. Affordable emergency chargers that you can fill with power and carry with you everywhere will ensure that even if your phone goes dead because the kids had to play five hundred games of Angry Birds, you’ll have plenty of power for emergencies– like five hundred more games of Angry Birds.
Author Bio:Jayla Barnsen is a freelance blogger from Eugene, Oregon. She writes on a variety of topics, including cars, saving money and the great outdoors. She spends her spare time hiking with her two dogs. This article was co-authored by Rhett Stone (https://plus.google.com/104678423830148198211/posts)