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Tips for a Safe Holiday Road Trip

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Driving in the snow (Photo: Bill Grove/iStockPhoto)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on November 24, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: family travel, holiday, Kate Hamman, roadside assistance, road trip, weather, winter.

Before you go over the hills and into the woods, here are a few helpful tips to make your holiday drive a safe and enjoyable experience.

  • Getting caught in a storm is a nightmare, but you can feel safer by preparing a winter emergency kit for your car, which includes a sandbag, shovel, blanket, first-aid kit, flares, flashlight, waterproof matches, chains, food, and water.
  • On a similar note, be sure that your car is equipped with a spare tire and jumper cables.
  • It's important that your vehicle is in tip-top shape before you hit the (possibly icy) roads. Make sure to get the oil changed, add snow tires, and have a complete run-through of brakes, ignition, and battery systems.
  • Check the interstate weather forecast on weather.com to avoid any possibly dangerous storms on your travel route.
  • Get roadside assistance such as AAA for emergencies, and program the number into your cell phone. This way if you do require towing or a jumpstart, you have somewhere to turn.
  • If you're worried about the price of gas, you can calculate the cost online before you leave.
  • Slow down and be alert. Make sure that you are well rested and that you keep a steady pace, so you arrive at grandmother's house in one piece.

Do you have more tips on how to prepare for a holiday road trip? Share your suggestions by submitting a comment below!

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