Driving long stretches in your Volkswagen to the turkey and cranberry sauce? It’s a great way to save on airfare, especially when traveling as a group, but the busiest travel day of the year coupled with icy patches can be a recipe for disaster—one that rivals your aunt’s (in)famous Jell-o mold. The good news? You’re already ahead of the game. You’re behind the wheel of your trusty, German-engineered gas saver. You already know your ride’s safety ratings are top notch and everyone will be literally in the lap of luxury. But have you made an effort to really maximize comfort this holiday weekend?
There are a few things you can do to ensure the smoothest Thanksgiving drive ever. There’s no need to go full Griswold when traveling with the family. A little prep work can help you avoid in-car arguments, close calls and the epic battle over which Sirius station to listen to. Here’s how:
1. Give Yourself an Extra Prep Day
You’re in charge of the mashed potatoes, but you also need to make sure the kids pack correctly, the oil change gets done in the car, the dog is kenneled at doggie daycare and all your work emails are taken care of before T-day. If possible, give yourself an extra day of prep work so you’re not rushing as the turkey’s roasting.
2. Let Everyone Chime In on the Playlist
If the whole family can’t decide on a station, welcome the whole family to suggest songs for a playlist. Welcome everybody to include a list of songs or artists, then take charge of making sure the count is even and songs are appropriate. Who said clean versions of Kanye can’t go with One Direction?
3. Get the Car Detailed Before You Go (and After)
Traveling in a clean car is akin to enjoying a clean home when you’re not feeling well. It naturally relaxes you, encourages calmness and is more likely to promote harmony amongst everyone in the car. If you’re on the road with kids (also known as messy eaters), you might also want to schedule a detailing upon your return.
4. Spring for a Tune-Up for Peace of Mind
You car should get annual tune-ups, and right before the holidays is the best time to take care of this. Checking the fluid levels, tires, lights and general functionality helps prevent unnecessary pit stops along the side of the road. Plus, it de-stresses you and allows you to focus on pumpkin pie in T- “just a few more hours.”