Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for road trips. Whether you’re driving over the river or through the woods this holiday season, here’s what to know to safely (and sanely) arrive at your destination.
BEFORE THE DRIVE
Get your car in gear. Now is the time to make sure you’re on schedule with oil changes, wheel alignments and any other services your car manufacturer recommends. Also, make sure your tires are properly inflated — cooler weather can make the pressure drop more than usual.
Master the art of not getting lost. Have all your addresses handy, and consider inputting them into your GPS before you set off. If you plan on using Internet-based map services like Google Maps, make sure to save the maps to your device — you never know when you’ll enter an area without service.
Related: Is your high-mileage car on track with this maintenance schedule?
Bring backup chargers — and lots of them. Things can quickly go south when devices run out of power. Bring extra chargers — or, even better, invest in a multiple-port car charger.
Stock your emergency kit. To quote your mom, safety first. Even if you’re only traveling to the next town, it’s essential to have a fully stocked emergency kit, just in case.
Related: What to include in a car emergency kit
Prepare for, “Are we there yet!?” Road trips with kids can create lasting family memories… but also test a parent’s patience. If you’re traveling with kiddos, make your trip more engaging with these 4 brilliant ways to keep kids occupied on road trips.
Don’t forget your furry friends! Traveling with Fluffy or Rover? Then make sure you have a safe pet harness and/or pet carrier and a pet kit full of food, bottled water, toys and any necessary medications.
HELPFUL WEBSITES AND APPS
Here are five apps travel gurus rely on:
1. GasBuddy to locate the cheapest fuel wherever you are.
2. Roadfood to forgo rest stop food in favor of memorable small-town eats along the way.
3. Sit or Squat to learn which public restrooms are clean—and which aren’t.
4. iExit to find out what kind of food, fuel and lodging is available at upcoming exits.
5. Waze to get real-time traffic updates along your route.
EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICE: A TRAVEL ESSENTIAL
Picture this: You get a flat tire… but there’s still 200 miles to go before you’re home for the holidays. Do you know who to call for help?
A flat tire, lockout or a dead battery is a major hassle anytime, but especially during holiday travel. Fortunately, ERIE offers 24/7 Roadside Assistance that pays for reasonable auto towing and required labor costs at the site of your vehicle breakdown. (Yes… even at 2 a.m. on Black Friday.)
Emergency Road Service* is an optional add-on to your auto insurance policy that’s available with the purchase of comprehensive coverage. Better yet? It only costs about $5 per vehicle per year.
Find an Erie Insurance agent to ask about adding it to your auto policy, or learn more about how Road Service works.
From the simple pleasures of being together to time-honored family traditions… Thanksgiving is about making memories with the people you love. Enjoy yours, and travel safe!