The holidays are here, and while we are THRILLED, we understand that not everyone feels the same way. Taking into consideration the amount of family commitments, errands, and work obligations – the holidays can be one headache after another. Add to that the prospect of traveling over the holidays, and it can be downright stressful! To help ease some of the mental load, we put together our top five tips for travel during the holiday season.
You don’t have to drive around Texas long to see that the construction never stops. Just when you learn an alternate route to avoid construction traffic, another work zone pops up. If the idea of delays or getting off schedule stresses you out, then we suggest that you plan your route ahead of time and set yourself up for successful holiday travel. Of course, you cannot eliminate unexpected delays entirely, but avoiding popular travel times or choosing an alternate route can minimize the delay as much as possible, and help you avoid work zone accidents.
Planning your route is especially important if you are traveling with children or pets. They will likely need more frequent stops to stretch their legs, use the restroom, and get some fresh air. A 10-minute break at a rest stop or gas station can do wonders for everyone’s mental health – as do road snacks!
There are significantly more people on the road and in airports during this time of year. Depending on when you leave, the usual travel time might be extended 2 or 3 times the normal length. If you have plans to arrive at a certain time, it’s best to leave earlier to give yourself ample time. In that same vein, take a second to check and prepare for the weather during your trip. If you’re driving, it will be helpful to be aware of any upcoming storms so you can change the time of your departure or plan an alternate route.
Unfortunately, you have less control over your travel plans if you are flying, but there are still things you can do. Parking garages and lots will be full, so save yourself the headache by reserving a parking spot before you leave home so you’re not stuck driving around in circles trying to park. Also, remember that airport shuttles and security lines will be moving extra, extra slow this time of year, so the more time you give yourself to get to your gate, the better!
If you are traveling by car – especially through potentially dangerous weather – make an emergency car kit before you leave. Of course, your kit should be tailored to where you are going and who is with you, but we took the liberty of outlining some essential items below:
It is also a good idea to have family and emergency numbers in your phone such as your auto insurance provider, roadside assistance, towing company, and trusted accident attorney – cough, cough.
If a road trip or two is in your plans this holiday season, take your car to a trusted automotive shop to check your tires, fluids, and get an oil change if necessary. We recommend a shop you’ve been to before, one that is recommended by friends or family, or one that has good reviews online. With the stresses of holiday travel on your mind, the last thing you want to deal with are unexpected “needed” vehicle repairs. With a trusted business, you know the recommendations are well-founded.
We know this tip isn’t technically a travel tip, but it absolutely applies! No matter how well you plan, things may – and if you’re traveling with kids or pets – most likely will come up. Most of what determines our experience is not what happens, but how we react to it. Maybe you’re late to your holiday dinner, or maybe you miss it altogether and arrive a day late, but what is MOST important is that you are safe and get to spend time with and connect with those you love this holiday season – even if it is not exactly how you planned.
The attorneys at McKinney Vos PLLC wish you and yours a happy holiday season! While we will be enjoying our time with friends and family as well, we are ALWAYS here to help you. If you find yourself in an accident during your holiday travel and need to speak with an attorney, please don’t hesitate to contact our office for a free case evaluation.