Useful Car Tips

6 Tips for Surviving Holiday Traffic

December 14, 2018
Driving during the holiday season can be a real pain. Whether you’re heading across the country or just need to make it to the other side of town, dealing with holiday traffic can be stressful and even downright dangerous. Want to avoid ruining your holiday season with a fender bender—or worse? Keep reading for a quick look at six tips that will help you arrive at your destination safely and happily.

1. Be Prepared

Driving—especially in heavy traffic or for long distances—can be stressful. While we can’t avoid all the silly things other drivers do on the road or the inevitable delays due to construction, wrecks, or other issues, we can prepare for them. As much as you may not want to land in traffic for hours or stuck behind a slower driver, these things happen. Prepare for them mentally before leaving home and your drive will be much more enjoyable. Drive calm and expect delays. Also, Make sure you have everything you need before leaving the house (mainly car charging accessories)

2. Check Your Vehicle

Along with preparing your mind and attitude, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is up for the trip. Make sure you check tires, fluids like oil and engine coolant, and any other areas of your vehicle that you’re comfortable inspecting. The last time you want to do is stop and waste time for something that could have been avoided if checked days earlier. Making sure the interior of your vehicle is safely packed and organized is another important item to check. Everything must be properly secured and important items should be easy to get to.

3. Skip Rush Hour

If you want to avoid traffic and delays, it goes without saying that you should avoid rush hour and other high-traffic times in the areas you’ll be traveling through. If possible, you may even want to get a head start and leave a day before everyone is expected to travel. For example, if there is a long holiday weekend approaching, you may want to take an extra day and start on Thursday, especially if it is a cross country trip. Sometimes, you may even want to alter your route so that you can skip highly congested areas entirely.

4. Check Your Route and Know Your Options

While navigation apps can be powerful tools that can make driving a whole lot easier, they can sometimes become a crutch that could end up making your drive more difficult and stressful than it needs to be. Even if you’re planning to use your phone or other device to navigate your route, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with the route and plan any detours you may want to take in advance. You can also try using multiple apps and see how they compare in route times. make sure that your apps are on the specific settings you want as well. You may be stuck in traffic just because you left your setting on "shortest distance" as opposed to "fastest time."

5. Keep the Kids Happy

If you have kids, you know how much stress they can add to a given situation—and a long drive is no different. Instead of just reacting to any problems they might present, try being prepared with activities your kids can do in the car. Don't forget their favorite snacks, electronics and toys. Your attention has to be set on the road so you have to make sure they are occupied and content while in the car. Setting your kids expectations for the drive is never a bad idea either. Just let them know they’ll be in the car for a while and what to expect along the way.

6. Stay Connected

Before you head out, take a look at some of the latest travel apps. Besides GPS Navigation, there are many other apps from finding the cheapest gas like GasBuddy to making a road trip out of your journey with the Roadtrippers app. You can easily save some money while making a couple stops at some fun, interesting locations along the way. Holiday travel doesn’t need to be stressful. Just make sure you and your car are prepared and your trip will be much more enjoyable.
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