Before You Go On a Holiday Road Trip

Before You Go On a Holiday Road Trip by North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

The holidays are one of the most popular times of the year to go on a road trip. Summer may have more travelers overall, but those people in cars are spread out over a period of a few weeks and months. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, you can run into major traffic issues starting a few days before each holiday, and the huge number of cars on the road doesn’t really ease up until a few days after each holiday. Yes, air travel can also be busy around the holidays, but research shows that the majority of people still get to their holiday destinations via car. According to AAA, nearly 90 percent of people traveling for Thanksgiving last year made the trip by automobile. If you’re planning a road trip to see friends and loved ones this holiday season, there are some things you need to take care of before you go.

Check your insurance

Before you go, you want to make sure that your car insurance is up-to-date and stored safely in your vehicle’s glove compartment, or in another part of your vehicle where you can easily find it in case of a traffic stop or accident. If the trip you’re taking is long enough that multiple people will be getting behind the wheel, make sure every single one of them is covered by your policy. If you’ve given someone permission to drive your car, that’s usually enough, but it can’t hurt to call your car insurance agent and make sure. He or she should be happy to answer any questions you have.

You also want to make sure your car insurance meets the minimum coverage requirements for the state you’re living in. If it doesn’t, you can be ticketed and fined, and on your driver’s license could even be suspended. And this should go without saying, but if your car’s registration is about to expire, renew it before you go on the road. You don’t want to try to explain to a state trooper that yes, technically, your car’s tags are expired, but only by a couple of days, and you’ll be taking care of that as soon as you get back home.

How are your tires?

 A few days before you leave, swing by your local tire and auto service center for a pre-road trip safety check. Your tires should be properly inflated with plenty of tread left, and your battery should have enough juice to get you where you’re going and back again. Does your left front turn signal seem to burn out every few months? Then now is a great time to get a fresh new bulb installed. Make sure to go to the service center a few days before your trip. Waiting until the morning of your trip is playing with fire. If you need new tires, then that’s probably going to delay you at least a couple of hours. If the technicians have to order a specific part of your car, then you might be forced to cancel the trip entirely. So get your car checked out three or four days beforehand. You’ll sleep a lot better the night before you leave if you know your car has gotten the all-clear.

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