Tips for holiday family road trips


(StatePoint)The holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year, which means congested roads under potentially difficult driving conditions. Here are some tips from Autotrader editors to reduce the stress and strain.

• Tune up. Do a quick check on the essentials before you head out. Check the wear and pressure on your tires, and be sure your fluids (oil, coolant and wiper fluid) are topped off. For do-it-yourselfers, you can perform these quick and easy inspections on your own. For added peace of mind, visit your local mechanic or dealership where you can have your car serviced by an accredited technician. Tend to potential issues proactively.

• Avoid “are we there yet”? Technology features like built-in screens and DVD players can be saviors on the road, but if your car doesn't come equipped with these, consider bringing along a handheld device so kids can play games or watch videos. And if technology isn't your thing, remember that magnetized board games and word games can work just as well. You can also encourage kids to stay occupied by having them help you navigate and by playing DJ.

• Have patience. These days, your car’s navigation tools can offer realistic travel times, but be prepared for the unexpected. Inclement weather, traffic and bathroom requests can set you back. Give yourself extra time to reach your destination.

• Have fun! Holiday road trips can be a great pastime for the whole family while creating wonderful memories. Enjoy the adventure of it.

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