Every year, around the holidays, something goes wrong. The turkey doesn’t get cooked all the way through. Someone hates their gift. One aunt isn’t talking to another. Of all the things that can go wrong, holiday travel can be the most expensive and frustrating problem you’ll have.
Because it’s such a busy time for travellers, it’s important to be prepared so that the trip can go as smooth as possible, even if your time with family and friends is as hectic as ever. Here are a few holiday travel tips to make sure you get to where you’re going without as much hassle.
When You Drive
Accidents, missed turns, and exhausted drivers are just some of what can happen when you pack up the car with luggage, kids, and the dog to visit Grandma. Make sure you follow these tips to make it an easier ride for everyone.
- Know your route before you get on the road. Use GPS while you’re driving, but take a look at the map online to get a general idea of where you’re going before you leave.
- Drive when you’re most alert and take breaks every couple of hours. If possible, switch drivers every 100 miles or so.
- If you’re a night owl or have another driver, consider hitting the road at night to avoid traffic.
- Check your car before you leave. Adjust your mirrors. Position the seat the way you want it. Make sure you have gas. Check your tire pressure and windshield wiper fluid.
- Pack a road safety kit in your trunk in case you find yourself on the side of the road. Include a first aid kit, a flashlight with batteries, jumper cables, reflectors, a tire jack, and anything that may help you if you’re stuck on the side of the road.
- Try to avoid driving at peak times. During Thanksgiving, that’s the Wednesday before and the Sunday after. For Christmas and New Year’s, try not to travel on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve or the day or two after the holiday.
- Give yourself plenty of time to arrive. If you feel rushed, you may speed or drive recklessly.
When You Fly
Sometimes the trip is so long or the price is so good that flying just makes sense. There’s plenty of travel frustration to be found at the airport.
- Get to the airport early so you have plenty of time to get through security. It’s better to sit around for an hour than to miss your flight by a minute.
- Have all the phone numbers you need with you - the hotel, your car rental company, your family or friend you’ll be seeing - in case you experience delays.
- Don’t overpack your checked luggage or you’ll be charged an extra fee. Plus, you’re the one who has to carry your heavy bag from the luggage terminal to your rental or the cab and into your hotel.
- Print your boarding pass even if you use your phone. This gives you a backup in case you have a phone or battery emergency before you board.
- Check your tickets and your flight information the night before and the day of your trip, even if you’re sure you know what time your flight leaves.
- Don’t pack wrapped gifts. There’s a good chance security will unwrap them to inspect them. Instead, ship them to your destination ahead of time, and it will be one less thing to worry about.
The holidays are supposed to be a time of family and fun, but when you travel, they can become chaotic and stressful. Plan now for your travel needs so you have one less thing to worry about. It’s also a good idea to check your auto insurance coverage to make sure you have collision and comprehensive coverage in case of an accident out on the road.
Contact us at Charlotte Insurance, and we’ll be happy to look over your policy and help you find the right coverage to protect you and your family this holiday season!