As Thanksgiving approaches, you might be looking forward to being with family that you haven’t seen in a while. If you’re driving out to spend this holiday with them, here are a few tips for a safe trip.

Before The Drive

1. Check If Your Vehicle Is Ready

If your Thanksgiving will involve a lot of driving, better make sure that your car will be ready. Check your vehicle’s tires (including the spare), brakes, fluids, lights, wipers, engine, and battery. If you’re not much of a car person, a quick trip to your local mechanic is all it takes to get this done.

2. Put Together an Emergency Kit, Just In Case

Whenever you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. You never know what can happen along the way. Here’s what your emergency kit should include:

  • First aid kit
  • Extra food and water
  • Warm clothes and other winter gear
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Hazard triangle or any other warning lights
  • Cellphone charger you can hook up to your car
  • Folding shovel

3. Plan around the Holiday Traffic

You’re not the only one who has travel plans. Millions of other Americans will be hitting the road to celebrate Thanksgiving with their loved ones. You can avoid the rush by leaving a day early and heading back a day later. If that’s not an option, just be aware of the peak holiday traffic times and plan accordingly.

4. Watch Out for the Weather

This time of the year is when winter starts to set in. There’s a chance you’ll come across snowy roads that are difficult to navigate. Before you leave home, check the weather reports for the area’s you’ll be passing through. After all, you’ll want to arrive in one piece to enjoy that delicious turkey.

5. Prepare Yourself for the Long Drive Ahead

So everything’s packed and the car’s ready to go. You’ve made all the necessary preparations but there’s one last thing you need to take care of – yourself! Get a good night’s sleep to make sure you’re well-rested for the long drive ahead.

On The Road

Avoid Distractions While Driving

Any time you’re behind the wheel, you should focus on driving. Make sure you do your pre-drive prep before starting the engine, don’t fiddle with your phone, and keep your eyes on the road. If you’re traveling with kids and things get rowdy in the backseat, let one of your passengers handle the situation.

7. Mind Other Vehicles on the Highway

If you get caught in the Thanksgiving rush, keep your cool and drive defensively. Stay within the speed limit, brake slowly and observe the proper distances from other vehicles, especially in less than ideal weather conditions. Remember, everyone just wants to get to their destination safely.

8. Take a Break When You Need To

If you get tired during the drive, it’s all right to take a break. Don’t be afraid to stop somewhere along the way for a quick bite or just to rest. You can also take turns driving with one of your passengers if you want to keep moving. Doing so will keep whoever’s behind the wheel fresh and alert.

Thanksgiving is about looking back and being grateful for the experiences you’ve had. Follow these tips and you can add an enjoyable drive to the things you’re thankful for!