Four Important Thanksgiving Travel Tips
Are you going to be traveling anywhere over the Thanksgiving Holiday? If so, you’re not alone: Thanksgiving is the single largest road-travel holiday of the year, with the day before Thanksgiving being the single busiest road travel day on the entire calendar.
Whether you’re planning on traveling on Thanksgiving day or any of the days leading up to it, it’s important to make the right preparations in order to ensure your trip is safe, stress-free, and has minimal risk of interruption due to road congestion or a problem with your vehicle. To help with your Thanksgiving travels, our auto repair experts cover a few valuable holiday travel tips, including ideas to keep the kids entertained, the best travel apps to use, what to consider in a roadside emergency kit and getting a pre-travel car inspection and maintenance.
Ideas to Keep the Kids Entertained
Ask any parent and they’ll tell you: bored kids can be a disaster waiting to happen. If kids don’t have a form of entertainment, they’ll find one themselves, and that can mean trouble ahead. Here are some ideas we suggest to help keep the kids entertained during your road trip:
- Electronic entertainment: Including tablets, laptops, and phones. Download educational and just-for-fun games, movies, music or audiobooks.
- Arts and Crafts & Busy Boxes: Stock up on baking trays before you hit the road for your kids to use as a table for eating, coloring or doing arts and craft projects. We suggest adding magnets to the trays as well for extra entertainment; Magnetic letters, numbers, shapes or animals are all great options to include. Building portable busy boxes (shoe boxes or another type of container) filled with stickers, toy cars, Legos or other kinds of items that your kids love is another way to help keep your kids busy.
- Travel Bingo: Travel bingo is another easy way to help keep everyone entertained in the car. It’s an easy DIY project that incorporates things or objects you can expect to see while on the road. Kids mark the squares for each thing they see — such as a traffic light, auto repair shop, deer, cow, barn, etc.
- Old Fashion Car Games: Games such as “I Spy” and the “License Plate Game” require no preparation in advanced and can easily customized as your family sees fit during your trip.
The Best Travel and Traffic Apps for Smart Phones:
Using a GPS that can calculate your route and alternate routes can save you time, frustration, and a lot of headaches when getting to your destination, especially if you run into unexpected traffic. Some of the top ranked travel and traffic apps for smart phones include Waze, Google Maps and INRIX, and here’s why we recommend using them for your holiday travels
- Waze: This app is great for navigation because it gives app users reliable driving directions while also serving the latest traffic data. By serving up-to-date traffic information, users can easily reroute to avoid heavy traffic delays. Other great features this app provides includes parking location assistance and scheduled reminders if you need to leave before a time-meter runs out.
- Google Maps: This app is a great resource to use for your holiday trip because of the sheer volume of active users in the app at all times, allowing the app to deliver real time traffic navigation information. In addition to driving navigation, this app also offers directions and trip-time information for biking, walking and using public transportation. If you are short on data, another benefit the app provides is turn-by-turn directions while in offline mode as well. Google Maps can also be used to search for different businesses, as well as other popular locations.
- INRIX: How this free traffic app works is it calculates the time it will take you to reach your destination based on current traffic conditions while also predicting future traffic conditions. Another solid benefit of using this app is it can calculate your future projected travel time if you were to wait a while before leaving to your destination.
What to Consider in a Roadside Emergency Kit
You never know when something unexpected could leave traffic at a standstill, or when a flat tire or mechanical breakdown could leave you stranded waiting for help from a tow truck. It’s important to make sure that you have the supplies to help you when emergencies like this happen. A good emergency kit to have in your car will include:
- Jumper cables
- Blanket or space blanket
- First-aid kit
- Tool-kit with screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench and pocket knife
- Tire pressure gauge
- Tier inflator kit
- Flashlight (and extra batteries)
- Flares or triangle reflectors
- Non-melting, non-perishable snacks (granola bars work great)
Professional Car Inspection and Routine Maintenance
Finally, the most important thing you can do before a long road trip is get your car professionally inspected and maintained. At Christian Brothers Automotive, we offer a complimentary brake check and courtesy inspections for staying safe and road-ready! Our expert technicians offer upfront, honest, and straightforward advice for your car, emphasizing accuracy and practical solutions for whatever issue you might be having with your vehicle. We have over 190 locations nationwide serving communities in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Tennessee, Missouri, North Carolina and beyond. Search our interactive map here to find a location nearest you.
Posted by, Christian Brothers Automotive