If you’re planning a family road trip this holiday season, you’re probably looking for ideas about how to make the drive as easy as possible. Long-distance travel is stressful enough as it is, let alone if you’ll be driving with children. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that your trip is safer and more relaxed.
1. Plan Ahead
The better you know your route, the less likely you are to get lost along the way. Plan ahead by mapping out your directions and deciding where you will stop to eat or rest. If the trip is long, set checkpoints to measure your progress, such as mountain ranges, big cities, bridges or other landmarks. This will make the trip more fun and adventurous.
2. Avoid High-Traffic Travel Times
If possible, plan your trip during a time when there will be less people on the road. Leaving five or six days before Christmas is better than two or three. The attorneys at injurylawyers.com suggest to also consider traveling on the holiday itself, when the roads will be relatively empty. If your job won’t allow you to take off a week early and you don’t want to miss out on any of the festivities taking place during the actual holiday, consider getting up early and leaving before the roads begin to fill up.
3. Guard Against Boredom and Hunger
If you have kids, you already know that they are likely to start complaining about hunger before you even reach the end of your block. You also already know that if the trip is going to be longer than an hour or two, you’ll need a few tricks up your sleeve in order to keep the whining at a minimum. Avoid any requests for unnecessary stops by having each of your kids pack a snack or two of their choice. If they feel excited about their options, they will be less likely to beg you for a bag of potato chips at the gas station.
When it comes to boredom, books, games and toys are always a good idea. If you have an in-car DVD player, a movie is another great way to make the trip go by faster. If all else fails, consider simply starting a conversation with your kids. Much like the dinner table, the open road is an excellent place to connect as a family.
4. Switch Off Driving or Take Frequent Breaks
If you are traveling with a spouse, it’s important that you switch the role of driver every few hours or so. Staring at the road can be tiring, and exhaustion increases the risk of an accident. If you are the only driver, take frequent breaks to stretch, rest your eyes or even sleep if you have to. It’s far better to get a hotel and arrive a day late than it is to push on when sleepy and potentially cause an accident.
Road trips can be stressful, but they are also a once in a lifetime experience that can create lasting memories. If any unforeseen events or delays should occur, try to remember that you only live once, and something that you currently view as a disaster will most likely become a bonding experience that you and your family will laugh over later. Isn’t that what getting together for the holidays is all about?
Nadine Swayne is a freelance writer who contributes this article on behalf of all Holiday drivers. In the event you are involved in an accident over the Holiday season, the attorneys of Steinger, Iscoe and Greene at injurylawyers.com offer a free initial consultation. They have the experience to help ensure you or your loved ones get proper compensation for medical bills, property damage and lost wages due to an accident.
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