If you’re packing up the family car to go over the river and through the woods this holiday, be prepared with these tips.
- Make sure your vehicle has been properly maintained and that it is ready for winter. If your maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before embarking on a long road-trip. If you’re like me and need a little help keeping track of your vehicle’s maintenance needs, check out the Auto Care app.
- Use Google Map’s traffic prediction system to map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads. Once you enable traffic, you can select “typical traffic” to get an idea of what the roads will be like ahead of time.
- Don’t let one wrong turn make you hours late in reaching your destination. Bring a dedicated GPS unit or load a navigation app (one that preferably works offline) on your phone, even if you’re sure you know the way. Need an offline navigation app? I like Navigon’s “My Region” app because you only pay for the maps you need. There’s a version for the east, west, and in-between.
- Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area and out of sight.
- If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers during your trip. Load up their tablets with games and movies that will work offline, so they will be entertained when cell service is non-existent. The SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive can come in handy in this situation.
- Have roadside assistance contact information on hand (store the number in your phone’s contacts list and keep the number in the glove box of your vehicle), in case an incident occurs on the road.
- In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. Don’t forget a car charger and external battery backups. If you have an older phone that is no longer in service, you may still be able to call 911 if the phone can get a cell signal, so consider keeping it in the glove box.
With a little prep, you can leave the road-trip stress at home and enjoy your holiday with family and friends.