Make a List and Check it Twice
The holiday season is in full swing and many of us will be traveling to visit family. Here in Southeast Georgia that can often mean drives to the country house and back roads. During this time of year we are busy making sure that we have all of our Christmas gifts purchased and wrapped, planning who is hosting what, volunteering, and making time for football. With all of the stuff going on we often forget to make sure our vehicle is prepared for the season.
Not too long ago, everything was closed on Sundays and on the holidays. If you are traveling over the holidays, it is still a smart strategy to plan for shops and gas stations to be closed. Speaking from experience, having a tire blow outside of the city on the night before a holiday and finding your spare tire in disrepair makes for a not-so-fun holiday experience.
So, when you are getting ready for the holidays it might be worthwhile to give some thought to making sure your vehicle is prepared.
Gas: If your holiday involves heading somewhere that involves a fair amount of driving, fill up the day before. Start trips with a full tank of gas. If you are around a half tank or so and come across a gas station on your trip, consider topping off versus hoping the next station will be open.
Blankets: Granted, here in the South we are not going to be dealing with negative temperatures but the night time and early morning temperatures can easily be near the freezing mark in December. It’s always a good idea to have at least one blanket in your vehicle. You may need it for warmth if for some reason your vehicle breaks down and you find yourself waiting on assistance.
Snacks: It is a pretty safe bet that we will not find ourselves stranded for days in the case of a breakdown, weather, or other incident. However, energy bars, trail mix, or granola bars could come in handy if you have kids with you and you are stuck on the side of the road for an extended period of time. Water is also a good idea to have on hand so fill the travel bottles up too.
Emergency Roadside Kit: Make sure you have a basic roadside emergency kit. You never know when you will need it. No one ever thinks they will be the one broken down on the side of the road.
Lights: The days or shorter. Maintaining good visibility is important. Be sure to check your turn signals, brake lights, reverse lights and of course your headlights on a regular basis. Although you are likely to catch a headlight that is out, you could easily miss a brake light or taillight that doesn’t function. It might also be a good time to follow our advice on some basic vehicle maintenance as well.
Windshield: Check your wipers to see if they need replacing. Check your washer fluid. Bugs, mud, overspray from trucks on the highway — there are numerous things out there that can affect your visibility. Fill up the washer fluid when you gas up, and it doesn’t hurt to have an extra jug on hand. If you can’t see where you are going, then that’s a big problem.
Take a little time to plan ahead and be prepared and make sure you aren’t one of those people stranded on the side of the road during the holidays. Stay safe and enjoy the holiday season!