holiday road trips
The holiday season is right around the corner, one of the busiest times of the year for travel. We’ve put together a post on holiday road trips to help you survive this hectic season. Whether you’re staying nearby or travelling cross country, these are tips you don’t want to forget.
According to AAA, the most important thing to do is plan ahead and make sure that your vehicle can make it to your destination. Maintenance is key: have your tires and brakes inspected, get an oil change, top off fluids, and replace wipers.
Map routes in advance. With GPS it’s easy to forget that there are better ways to plan ahead. Your GPS will often take you the fastest route, depending on settings, which means that you’re going the same way as other people. Sometimes taking a ten-minute detour might save you hours of being stuck in gridlock. Leave early and look at alternative routes to avoid the rush.
Never leave animals or valuables in the car unattended. If you have to stop, take your pet with you. Cold weather can be especially fatal to small pets. You should also put anything valuable in a safe location, like a locked glove box or in the trunk.
Finally, have a roadside emergency kit and service. Always bring a first aid kit, spare tire kit, and survival kit. Also, make sure to get a roadside service if you don’t already have one.
How to Avoid Family Stress at Thanksgiving
For many families, holidays are a great time to be together and enjoy each other’s company. But for others, this family togetherness can be a source of stress and contention. Here are a few tips on how to avoid some of this family stress at Thanksgiving.
- Pre-plan conversation topics. If you want to steer clear of sensitive topics, like politics and religion, try a conversation game during dinner, where everyone gets to know one another better. Try out these topics and rules from Psych Central.
- Make assignments. If people are busy doing a job, they are less likely to cause trouble. For example, if your aunt always complains about the menu, ask her to bring a special dish she loves, or ask the kids to help set the table or put out decorations.
- Plan entertainment. Boredom can easily cause problems. Have a stack of games ready to go or suggest other activities, like a pre-dessert walk.
- Avoid alcohol. If you have any problem drinkers in your family, let everyone know Thanksgiving will be an alcohol-free event. This might be met with some groans, but if someone who can’t handle a non-alcoholic holiday decides not to come, it might be better in the long run.
- Have a seating arrangement. Have placecards written out and assign seats. Be sure to place those who don’t get along well far apart from each other. You can also assign a “peacemaker” to each “troublemaker” to make sure things don’t get out of hand.
Do you have any tips on how to avoid Thanksgiving family drama?