5 tips for traveling smartly this Thanksgiving

5 tips for traveling smartly this Thanksgiving

Photo courtesy General Motors.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and now is the time to start preparing for that long road trip to see the family. We worked with our friends at General Motors to put together these savvy travel tips for Turkey Day.

1) Pre-trip Preparation – Don’t let procrastination get the best of you. When all you really want to do is watch some TV and relax the night before your big drive, record your programs and get to packing. The biggest time-saver (and often headache-saver) I’ve learned over my years of making a 7 hour drive each Thanksgiving, is to pack the night before. Pack your suitcases and any bags of goodies in the car the night before and fill up the car. I’ve avoided both a dead battery and flat tire delay on the day-of thanks to pre-trip preparation.

Photo courtesy General Motors.

2) Save on Gas – The easiest way to save on gas on a long road trip is to make sure your tires are properly inflated. I like to examine my vehicle each time that I walk toward it, making it more noticeable if something is ‘off’ – such as a low tire. Do a full walk around the day or two before to inspect your car and check to see that all fluid levels are properly topped off. Again, doing this before you get ready to hit the road could save you a lot of time and money. You also want to make sure your tires are have the proper tread by placing a penny or quarter in the tread to see if Lincoln or Washington’s heads are covered.

Photo courtesy General Motors.

3) Avoid Traffic – As much as it pains you, and probably the kids, leave early. The I-95 corridor is one of the busiest in the nation during the holiday season, so getting out on the road before most people wake up is the best way to beat the traffic. Plus, you’ll arrive at your destination early enough to indulge in those Turkey Day treats and take a hefty nap.

4) Tech tips – Using mobile apps such as Waze can help you avoid traffic delays and spot out the next gas station. Most in-car navigation systems have an element of traffic alerts as well, but using Google Maps on your mobile device is also an easy way to find a better route if you do get stuck.

Our family pet, Bandito, safely secured in his car harness.

5) Traveling with a pet? Don’t fret. Make sure that your pet and family members are both as comfortable as possible. When packing ahead, place your pet’s carrier or travel crate in the area where he or she will be riding to make sure it fits in with luggage or other items. Have a pet travel harness like this one for dogs who ride “free”, ensuring it’s snug around their shoulders and body. Plan for extra pit stops as well, for pets who need to use the rest room more often.

Those are our top 5 Thanksgiving travel tips to get you to your destination safely and on time. What other tips do you have for the ideal travel for Turkey Day? Share them with us in the comments!

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This article was written by

Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.