Many of us take to the highways and byways for our annual holiday travel. Along with all your presents, cookies, and that festive ugly sweater, make sure you remember to be safe as you travel this season!

Tips for keeping your road trip a smooth ride:

  1. About a week before you leave, check your vehicle’s fluid levels, brakes, tires, and spare tire. Make sure you’re equipped with jumper cables and extra washer fluid, as well as an emergency kit.
  2. Make a plan of the route you’ll be taking, including alternate options if you hit any major accidents or construction, and where you may plan to stop and rest if needed.
  3. If you plan to take any scenic routes off the major highways, enjoy it! However, look into these roads before you go – some of the less-traveled roadways are now full of stoplights and strip malls. Some maps note scenic routes with specific icons.
  4. Plan your timing as best you can – hitting the Tappan Zee Bridge at rush hour would not be good! The same goes for other large cities at that time. Try to avoid the busiest spots at the heaviest travel times.
  5. Preload your phone – smart tip for anyone traveling with kids, especially. Download movies, music, and games to keep the entertainment going.
  6. Know your travel companions. Don’t make the person who can’t read a map the navigator. Don’t let the person who considers a granola bar to be a full meal pick the dinner spot.
  7. Consider AAA membership if you’re a regular road-tripper. That 800 number comes in handy if you hit a deer 50 miles from anything but a small town.
  8. Make sure you have up-to-date documents in your glove box: insurance, registration, license. Lacking these can be a big deal if you’re pulled over, even for something routine.

As you prep for those days away, make a list of everything you need to do so you’re not stressed out. Then you can enjoy the holidays with friends and family!