By Sam Banai – Some great suggestions for everyone planning to travel next week for Thanksgiving, or later on, Christmas.

Everyone loves to travel on the holidays, but not everyone is willing to deal with the stress and hustle of flying on a major airline.  Choosing to drive to your holiday vacation spot can cut down on the bothers of airports and even create a little adventure in your life, especially if you have someone to keep you company and a good mix to drive to.  There are some added safety issues though that you must deal with if you’re driving long distances.  Keeping these precautions in mind before and  during your trip can make the difference between a festive vacation or one that spells disaster.

Funds For the Road

When embarking on a long journey through the country, make sure you have enough money.  Imagine driving down the highway and narrowly running out of gas about two miles from a station.  You walk the two miles in the cold — it is winter after all — and you arrive at the gas station with no cash and all your money in savings and not checking.  This might seem rare, but the vacation frenzied and excited mind will do silly things sometimes.  Just make sure you have emergency funds for those times that you run out of something that you will need in the middle of nowhere: gas, food, oil, payphone calls — when reception is elusive.   

Proper Rest is Best

Driving on slick roads is dangerous; driving on slick roads when you’ve been driving for 10 hours, or through the night, is suicide.  Pick out spots along the way where you can rest or even sleep.  If you’re really driving through nowhere, or if you just want to save some much needed cash, switch off driving with your road trip buddy.  You would be amazed how even a 30 minute nap can revitalize your awareness.  

Have a Clear Mind and Few Distractions

Music is great, but make sure it’s not distracting you from signs, lights, and noises of the road: horns, sirens, and railroad gates.  If you take medication, make sure it’s non-drowsy.  If it is, have someone else drive when you feel the effects, or don’t take it at all.  Nothing ruins a vacation like driving through Florida on the holidays and getting a DWI Charlotte officer pulling you over for swerving.  Just be responsible; don’t drive if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.      

Have a Backup Plan

It might be worth investing in a service like AAA to give you peace of mind and security during the holidays.  If you can’t afford a service like that, or if you are Mr. or Mrs. Self Sufficient, make sure you have a spare of all major car elements.  The main ones include tires, windshield wiper fluid, and oil.  Also, make sure you have the tools and knowledge to use these things.  You need to have a car jack for changing tires and a working understanding of your engine in case something goes wrong.  And, please bring a windshield scrapper; it’s winter, and it tends to snow or get icy.

Keeping all of these things in mind will dramatically increase the chances that your holiday road trip goes well.  Be aware of the weather, supplies, your state of mind, and the route that you’re taking.  It may seem like a lot of work, but it can be a lot less stressful, more fun, and more rewarding to take a road trip with a loved one than fly to your holiday spot.

Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor.  He contributes this article for Powers & McCartan PLLC, a firm with experience in DWI Charlotte based crimes.  If you have been taken in for a DWI in the State of North Carolina, you should quickly contact a defense attorney who knows this area of law.

 Thanks, Saam, for another great article! Travelers may also want to pack supplies, as you mentioned, such as blankets, water, snacks, fully-charged cell phone, and always carry a first aid kit.  Pat


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