With more travelers than ever setting out on holiday excursions this year, mistakes are bound to be made. If you plan on hitting the road this season, steer clear of these five, courtesy of renowned map and atlas publisher Randy McNally:
1. Putting Safety Last (Minute)
Always put safety first. Schedule a tune-up to give the car a thorough check, and get an oil change, tire replacement or rotation if needed. Make sure the lights and windshield wiper blades are working properly, and that the spare tire, jack and jumper cables are in the trunk for emergencies. Other must-haves for the car include a first-aid kit, shovel, broom, scraper, deicer, bag of kitty litter or sand, blankets and flashlights.
2. Not Delegating
Preparing for a road trip should be a team effort. For example, one person could handle the holiday tasks, and the other could make sure the car is ready to go. Families can assign older kids and teens to wrap gifts, and help younger siblings pack and load the car.
3. Chaotic Packing
Time is so short around the holidays that it's tempting to wait until the last minute to scramble and pack your bags. Create a list of all the items you need to pack. When packing the car, take care to separate items you'll need on the road from what you'll need only after you arrive, and load the car first with the least essential items.
4. Being Worried about the Weather
Planning is all about balance. Before and during the trip, check the weather for any sign of treacherous weather. Adjust your plans as needed.
5. Making Haste
Hit the road as far ahead of the holiday and return as late after it as possible. This will not only prevent traveling in heavy traffic, but it will also allow more flexibility in case the weather turns bad.
Source: Rand McNally