The only thing better than the endless cookies, festive music and general sense of cheer that this time of year brings is a good old fashioned holiday road trip to see the family! But before the fun begins, run down this quick travel checklist to help keep your trip merry and bright:

  1. Check Your Tire Pressure – The cold weather and fluctuating temperatures are notorious for making your tire pressure drop. Having tires that aren’t properly inflated can reduce traction, worsen gas mileage and increase the chances of blowing out a tire in some circumstances. Before hitting the road, be sure to check the pressure on all tires and add air if necessary.
  2. Fill Up on Windshield Washer Fluid – ‘Tis the season for dirty windshields! It’s always important that you can see clearly while you’re driving. However, this time of year when black ice and potential hazards are more imminent it’s even more important. Make sure you have a clear line of sight for your whole trip by filling up your windshield washer fluid.
  3. Pack the Essentials – Of course you have your clothes and gifts and favorite electronics on board. We’re referring to your snow brush, ice scraper and a phone charger. You never know when winter weather will strike, and you never know when you might need to make a call or check for directions.
  4. Give an ETA – Check the trip length ahead of time and let whoever you’re going to visit know when to expect you. Plus keep them updated if it changes. This way if you run into bad weather or a breakdown, they’ll know something is up based on the time. It will also give your Aunt Suzie a heads up about when she should plan to have that roast out of the oven!
  5. Check the Weather – Winter is certainly a time for fickle weather if there ever was one. It’s a good idea to check the weather multiple times before leaving for your trip. Best practice is to check before scheduling your trip to gauge when the best time to leave is, and minimally the night before leaving so that you can make any appropriate adjustments before hitting the road.
  6. Leave Ahead of Schedule – Always hit the road before you need to. Giving yourself extra time will come in handy if a breakdown occurs or if you run into inclement weather. It also gives you some breathing room to avoid driving in a panicked or rushed state should something set you back.

Have a holly jolly road trip!