November 22, 2011

Tuesday Tip of the Day Travel Safely

The busiest travel day of the year will be upon those of us in the United States tomorrow as we dash to and from the homes of loved ones to spend some quality time together on Thanksgiving.  All that travel means we have the ability to enjoy each other's company but also that our senses should be heightened to avoid any major issues as we make our way around town.

For those of us on the road, there are some things we can do today to make sure tomorrow's travel goes as smoothly as possible.

Check tire pressure and tread wear - A tire pressure gauge is inexpensive, easy to operate, and can be picked up at most convenience stores or pharmacy type locations.  Consult your owner's manual for the correct pressure rating for your car and inflate/deflate as necessary.  Use the old penny trick to determine the tread wear - If you can see Lincoln's head then its time to get new tires.  Better to buy them today than be waiting for a tow truck tomorrow!

Make sure your fluids are full and fresh - In my Toyota the suggested oil change interval is every 5,000 miles and I'm usually pretty good about sticking to that schedule.  Getting the fluids in my car turned over and refilled at that rate means the car will be running at its best.  A cur running that well gets better gas mileage and saves money overall.

Keep things squeaky clean - There's nothing more distracting than trying to drive for hours on end with a car full of hungry, screaming family members who can't stop talking about the smell of the apple pie in the back seat.  And those are the grownups!  Changing lanes with people pining away over cranberry sauce is difficult enough but if those windows and mirrors are grimy it sure won't help matters much.  Grab some old newspaper and a spray bottle full of a vinegar and water solution for the cleanest possible glass surfaces inside and out.

Plan in advance - In today's day and age everyone seems to have a GPS device either in the car or on their phone and we rely on these tools to get us to our destinations safely and efficiently.  But what if we get rerouted and left to figure it out on our own?  Those of us in the northeast understand because it happens more often than not.  Best plan of attack is to map out the route and review exactly where you're going before ever getting in the car.  Make a mental note of the major roads/freeways along the way and any surprises that come up in route can be handled with no worries.

Fill up - You may be thinking of nothing more than filling your belly on Thursday but make sure to fill up your car's gas tank now just in case there isn't an open station where you thought there might be.  Freeways and major interstates are likely to have open service stations along the way (even on Thanksgiving) but lines could be long so why wait if you can get it out of the way beforehand?  That's ten minutes sooner you can be eating mashed potatoes and gravy!

And there you have it! Just a few quick things we all can do when traveling by car on our way to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends.  I hope these tips help you stay safe and secure!

What are your tips for smooth and easy holiday travel?

No comments: