Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Christmas family road trips can be challenging. You’re not only dealing with winter weather in many parts of the country, but the roads are often crowded with families hoping to get to their destinations ASAP. Although you are likely busy planning lots of other elements of your family road trip, there are plenty of things you should do to to prepare for your road trip.
Here are some important tips for staying safe during family road trips.
Get your car checked
Before any family road trip, it’s important that you get your car checked out. Not only is it essential that you make sure that your car doesn’t have any issues, but there are a few things that will make your journey better (and safer). Top off all fluids, and replace your windshield wipers if you need them. I remember going on a road trip with my parents where it started raining heavily, and our windshield wiper flew right off the car. You’ll appreciate having brand new ones if snow or rain hits. You’ll also want to make sure your tires are property inflated which is important for safety as well as fuel efficiency.
Check the weather forecasts along your journey
Don’t make the mistake of only checking weather at your destination. If you are taking a road trip, be sure to check the forecast all along your journey so you don’t get caught in an unexpected storm.
Try to leave at an off-peak time
Sometimes you don’t have the option, due to work and school schedules. But if you do have some flexibility, consider leaving at an off-peak time so you don’t deal with extra traffic.
Make sure your car is properly packed
State Farm recently did a survey and learned about all of the random crazy things people carry in their trunks – things like watermelons, VCRs, and astronaut suits. Regardless of where you are traveling this winter, there are things you should have stocked in your car for emergencies. Here’s what State Farm recommends:
- Hazard triangle (with reflectors) or road flares
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Windshield scraper and brush
- Spare tire (many people actually don’t carry these)
- Blankets and extra warm clothing
- Cell phone and charger
- High-calorie, non-perishable food
- Road salt or cat litter to help with tire traction
- Brightly colored distress sign or “Help” or “Call Police” flag
- Candle/matches, lighter, and/or flashlight
- Tarp for sitting or kneeling in the snow for exterior work like a tire change
Despite living in New England, I don’t always carry these things in my car, so it’s a great reminder.