Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel times of the year, is just a few days away. According to AAA, this year 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more to visit friends and family which is the largest number since 2007. No one wants to spend their precious holiday time in a car, especially when there’s the promise of good eats at the end of your journey. So for those of you who are driving to celebrate Thanksgiving, here are some ways you should prepare before you head out, and to help you along the way.
Have your car serviced. If you’re driving long distances or through inclement weather, you’ll want to make sure your brakes, fluids, lights, etc. are all in working order.
- Check the coolant (antifreeze); coolant should be flushed and refilled every two years in most vehicles.
- Check the battery and exhaust system.
- Be certain the heater and defroster are working properly.
- Keep the gas tank at least half full, decreasing the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
- Check tire tread depth and tread pressure; consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.
- Check to see that lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
- Check wiper blades and consider special now blades before winter weather hits.
You have enough to worry about, like deciding on which pies to bake and bring, or deciding on deep fried or oven roasted turkey, let Osceola Garage take care of your car worries with our Winterize Maintenance Package, we’ll change your oil, and check all the essentials for you, at a great low price of $69.95
Traffic & Routes – Keep in mind that Wednesday will be the worst day for traffic. One way to combat this is to leave early in the morning and keep some driving apps handy to help you plan an alternate route. Apps such as Waze and Google Maps can help you find routes with the least amount of traffic—but keep in mind that they can only do so much when there are a lot of cars on the road. Don’t forget your E-ZPass ( and it’s loaded) for toll roads.
Watch the weather. Bad weather can delay a holiday—or create difficulties in getting home. Keep an eye on weather reports, but make sure you have everything you need in case you have to drive through a storm.
Load your Car Safely. If you bring luggage, make sure to check your car’s weight limits and load your car properly so all windows are still visible. Also, check the load range for your tires, this is a common cause for roadside blowouts. If you’re bringing prepared dishes, secure them inside box or/and use bungee cords. If traffic comes to a halt, the last thing you want to be thinking about is your sweet potato casserole spilling all over your cargo area.
Keep a cell phone car charger handy. Apps for gas, traffic, directions, and music can make a road trip a lot easier—but they can also drain your battery. Make sure you bring along a car charger.
Pack snacks and beverages. If you have a long drive ahead and don’t want to stop frequently, pack some snacks and water. If you get stuck in traffic or have a weather delay, you’ll have some food on hand—and it won’t be whatever you can find at a gas station.
Pack Activities for Kids. If you’re traveling more than 30 minutes with kids, especially little kids, make sure to have activities, movies, or toys on hand and within their reach. Traffic is stressful enough without adding upset children into the mix. Here are some printable Thanksgiving coloring pages you can print and take with you.
Fuel up before you leave. To further avoid traffic or delays, fill up your car in advance—at least the day before.
Be prepared for an emergency. Keep the following items in your trunk: jumper cables, road flares, ice scraper, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, candle/matches, bottled water, snacks, necessary medications and a first-aid kit. Read our previous blog post for more information on Emergency Roadside Kits. Share a picture of your emergency roadside kit with us on Facebook.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Osceola Garage. We hope you and your family have safe travels and enjoy lots of turkey and family time. It’s not too late to have us service your car before your road trip, and remember as an Osceola customer, you’re automatically covered by our nationwide roadside assistance. Please use common sense while driving; don’t text, obey traffic laws, and be patient. Did we miss any tips for holiday traveling? If so, please share with us on our Facebook page.