Tis the season..for car repairs? Nothing says holiday time like traveling to be with family and friends. But wintertime travel can come with costly repairs that put a damper on the family fun, especially if you’re not prepared for them. If you’re one of the 50 million people traveling during this holiday season, keep the following travel tips in mind so you can make the most of your holiday adventure.
Tip #1 Always Service Your Vehicle Before Heading Out
Routine maintenance is always a must. This is especially true before traveling away from home. If maintenance is not up to date on your vehicle, have a qualified shop inspect your vehicle before you take a long drive. Have your tires checked, oil changed, and a full examination completed a few days before leaving. This way, any problems that need immediate attention can be addressed prior to hitting the road. This is also a good time to get any vehicle recalls taken care of. So, ask the mechanic doing the evaluation to check for recalls as well.
Tip #2 Gather All Needed Information
Almost all drivers know to have their insurance information with them on a long trip, but there is other information that should be gathered too. Because there’s always the possibility of breaking down or being involved in a collision while on the road, drivers should have roadside assistance contact information on hand. If you aren’t sure who your roadside assistance provider, contact your insurance provider.
Also,map out your route ahead of time and account for heavy traffic and detours. With the increase in technology and GPS use, this is a step that most drivers bypass. However, in instances where cell service isn’t available, having a physical copy of directions/map can be a lifesaver. Also, have an extra charger and list of emergency contacts with you at all times.
Tip #3 Check the Weather
Simple right? Surprisingly, checking the forecast is a step that many drivers forget before they head out. Though a small storm or bad weather might not be a reason to cancel your Thanksgiving or Christmas visit, you definitely need to prepare. This is especially true of drivers who will be traveling from one type of climate to another. For example, Arizona drivers who will be heading into areas with especially wet or icy weather will need to prepare both skill and vehicle wise. For example, you can bring chains for your tires or invest in rain ponchos. Or you can watch a video on driving in downpours before you leave the house. The Federal Highway Website is a great place to start for up to date weather alerts that can help you finalize your travel plans.
Tip #4 Prepare an Emergency Kit
Preparedness is key when it comes to long-distance travel and having an emergency kit is one of the things that adds to readiness. An over-the-road emergency kit is something that you can purchase on Amazon or you can get creative and create yourself. Whether you buy or make it, a good emergency kit will include the following:
- A flashlight with batteries
- Booster cables
- An extra cell phone charger
- A screwdriver
- An emergency poncho
- Towels and duct tape
After purchasing or creating a car safety kit, make a personal one as well. It could include extra medicine, clothing, and other needed supplies in case of emergency.
With your car ready, trip mapped out, weather accounted for, and an emergency kit in the trunk, you should be ready for the road and holiday adventure that awaits.
We at Orlando Auto Body wish you nothing but safe travels and happy memories. But should you find yourself in a bind because of a Christmas collision, please give us a call at 481-844-4858.