It’s as much a feature of the holidays as candy canes, flashing light displays and Bing Crosby – taking a winter road trip is on many of our agendas at this time of year. Whether its visiting friends or family, coming home from college or driving to the nearest big city to do our Christmas shopping, we all end up spending a chunk of time in our cars, potentially when the weather is at its worst. How do you prepare for a Christmas road trip? Well, it turns out there are a few little adjustments you can make to get the journey much more comfortable and ensure you are prepared for any unforeseen events.

Plan the best route

We all want to get to where we’re going fast, but it isn’t always the best option. Sometimes, opting for a more scenic route off the main roads can make for a much more relaxing and enjoyable drive, as you get to see a little more of the country on the way, plus the scenery is much better. So think about timings – could you allow extra time to be able to take a more relaxed route? Often traffic delays on major routes can become severe, so you may even save time. Use the AAA Travel and Allstate’s Emergency Roadside Assistance app to plan out your journey.

Pick a festive playlist

No Christmas road trip would be complete without a festive playlist, so make sure you have one all loaded up for your journey. There are plenty of themed, pre-selected Christmas playlists on Spotify, or build your own to keep the whole family happy – everything from 50s classics like Rockin Around The Christmas Tree to modern festive hits, and of course you’ll have to include Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home For Christmas’.

Book a servicing check

If you’re planning a long trip, it’s a good idea to book your vehicle in for servicing beforehand, so that you know everything is in tip top condition to get you safely to your destination, with a trusted provider like European auto repair. Basics like tyre pressure and oil levels can make a massive difference to your car’s performance and safety, especially in adverse weather conditions. Check whether you will need snow chains or tyres if needed. Before setting off, make sure that windshield wiper fluid levels are correct, too.

Pack an Emergency Kit

It’s a good idea to keep an emergency kit in the car at all times, but especially before a long journey. You can’t predict road closure or other situations that may disrupt your travel plans, and you’ll need a way to keep you the children hydrated, warm and fed in the event of major delays. Stock up on lightweight sleeping bags or blankets, a collapsible shovel, bottle water, snacks, a flashlight and batteries and a basic first-aid kit before you go. Things like hand sanitizer, bandages, painkillers and more are all good picks – remember that you may not be able to easily access a pharmacy during your journey.

So there you go…are you ready to rock and roll this Christmas? It’s road trip time, baby!

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