Ah, the season of excess is upon us. Had the pilgrims known that the Horn of Plenty would eventually morph into gorge fests followed by food comas and naps and then more binging, they may have thought twice. However, we are glad they didn’t because as American’s, it’s our duty to expand our stomachs to maximum capacity—and we wouldn’t have it any other way. From Mom’s perfectly golden-brown turkey right down to Grandma’s to-die-for apple pie. In the spirit of the season, surround yourself with friends and loved ones, and take a little extra care while traveling with millions of Americans out on the roads. With this, we leave you with our favorite 5 safe Thanksgiving driving tips.
1. Plan Your Route
Buckle up. It doesn’t have to be a bumpy road. With a little time spent in advance looking at the roads, you can plot out the most righteous adventure and time it so you don’t get stuck in any bottlenecks. Well, we can’t predict everything that will happen on the roads, but the more prepared we are, the better the results may be.
Give Thanks: Driving Navigation apps
How did we survive without these back in the day? How inconvenienced we must have been to not have access to traffic data in real time. What kind of barbarians were we with our flat, paper maps and asking for directions at gas stations.
Bonus points for taking the country roads and enjoying the journey.
2. Prepare Your Car
Prepare your car. Of course you want to show up your cousins when you roll up in your new whip, but don’t just have it cleaned and waxed. Bring your car in for service. Get an oil change. Top off all fluids. Check the tire pressure or get winter tires if you’re driving into the mountains. Make sure your car is in tip-top shape and be prepared for potential breakdowns by subscribing to emergency roadside service. Most car insurance comes with it and many auto manufacturers have emergency assistance options available or included with new and pre-owned cars.
3. Secure and Entertain Your Little Ones
As the responsible adult, you owe it to the passengers who depend on you to cover all bases. Your children will need the usual assortment of nutritional goodies and entertainment. Bring plenty of water and vitamin-dense snacks like granola bars and fruit. Keep an arsenal of electronic devices so your brood has a variety of media choices for all inclinations: video games, music, and movies, but don’t forget good old-fashioned hand-held books and coloring books.
More and more Americans are traveling with pets—so of course you should plan ahead for your furry family members as well. They’ll also need the litany of toys and snacks, kibble and water.
Tip: use an app that lets you plan your route based on available rest stops and other accessible areas where it’s easy to stop off and let everyone have a good stretch.
4. Pack Your Car Sensibly
When traveling with the whole family, our vehicles tend to fill up with all the stuff we require (see above). Check the maximum weight load capacity of passengers and gear/cargo for your model to make sure you are not overdoing it. Also, we know the more the merrier, but don’t let your car’s contents deteriorate into chaos and disorder. The best-packed cars are models of organized disorder.
5. Don’t Drink and Drive
We had to save the PSA for last. You already know this. You also know police officers are out in full force during holiday weekends. The night before Thanksgiving, for instance, is the biggest bar night of the year. Drive responsibly. We know Thanksgiving is all about going BIG, but don’t make this gigantic-sized mistake.
Give Thanks: To Uber. Use this service for more bonus points.
That about does it for us and for our top 5 safe Thanksgiving driving tips. Don’t forget to make extra room all around for the season of excess that is upon us.