Holiday season is in full swing! According to AAA, an estimated 53.4 million people nationwide will travel for Thanksgiving this year. Are you planning to take a holiday road trip? Whether you’re headed across the country or just across town, check out these tips for getting your ride road-trip ready.

Start with a clean slate

A clean car is a happy car! Your passengers will thank you for vacuuming out dirt, crumbs, and those run-away French fries from your last drive-thru run. Use automotive cleaning wipes and either leather or upholstery wipes to get your ride squeaky-clean and ready to get dirty again. Use glass wipes to clean your mirrors, windows, and windshield. Consider heading to a car wash to make your vehicle shine from the inside out!

Mind the Maintenance

Regular maintenance is always important, but especially critical when you’re planning to drive long distances.  If it’s been a while since your ride has had a good tune-up, consider taking your vehicle to a mechanic for a checkup. You can head out of town with peace of mind that your vehicle is safe and reliable.  If you consider yourself a do-it-yourself mechanic, make a list of components to check. Some important things you should do before hitting the road include an oil change, a fluid inspection, a filter inspection, and a tire inspection.

Take a look at those tires

Before traveling long distances, check the condition of your tires. Try the penny test to check the condition of the tread. Look for strains, bulges, or any other signs of damage. Use a tire gauge to check your tire pressure and add air if needed. Cold weather can impact the pressure of your tires. Check your tire pressure throughout your trip to ensure your tires are inflated to the recommended tire pressure.

Don’t forget the essentials

Make your packing list and check it twice! Not only is it important to bring your signature side dish or your gift for Secret Santa, it’s essential to load your car with any tools and gear you may need in case of emergency. When making your emergency packing list, consider including:

  • A flashlight
  • Electric phone chargers
  • Bungee cords
  • Pliers
  • A tire jack
  • Jumper cables
  • A tire pressure gauge
  • A first aid kit
  • Warm clothing and blankets
  • An ice scraper

Keep in mind that this list isn’t comprehensive and definitely isn’t one-size-fits-all. Depending on your destination’s climate, some gear may not be necessary for your trip. When mapping out your route, research the weather conditions and take them into consideration when choosing what tools to take with you.  

Taking the time to prepare for your holiday road trip is almost as important as the memories made at your destination. Without the proper preparation, your road trip could be less than cheerful! Follow these tips for a smooth holiday road trip- you’ll be thankful!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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