Are you going on a Thanksgiving weekend road trip? Lucky, you! Let’s look at some tips to keep everyone cozy while you're going over the river and through the woods.
This may seem obvious, but if your car needs anything from an oil change to a tire rotation to someone to double-check that funny noise, schedule an appointment a few weeks ahead of your trip. Not only will this give you a good car to drive, but it will also give you peace of mind. The last thing any of us need on a holiday weekend is a surprise breakdown. Also, gas it up the night before you leave. That will be one less thing to do on the day of your road trip.
Even with the most reliable car, be sure everyone has outerwear for any possibility. If you are traveling to or through warm climates, consider items like kids’ rain jackets and umbrellas. Men’s and women’s fleece jackets are a great idea, even if the weather predictions are favorable. If there's a chance of Wisconsin-level cold weather, you'll want a down coat with you just in case.
In addition to cozy outerwear, make sure that you'll be comfy while driving and visiting, too. Dress comfortably and in layers. A flannel shirt is one of the most comfortable and practical garments you can bring on your Thanksgiving weekend road trip. You can wear it by itself with women’s jeans, layer it over a cotton tank top or wear it under a jacket or coat.
Unless you'll be driving alone on your road trip, consider bringing a fleece throw and a pillow, too. It’s nice to be able to nap in comfort as the miles go by. It’s a great idea to always keep a throw or stadium blanket in your car. That way it will be there when you need it to add another layer of warmth regardless of your plans.
Make sure to have your favorite tunes, books, and movies available, too. With a bit of planning, you can have all of these ready to go on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. It’s a great idea to pack your backpack or carry-on as you would for a plane when you go on a road trip. Make sure to have everything you'll want at your fingertips.
Have a variety of audiobooks handy. Sometimes lighter “reading” like mysteries are good as they'll keep your interest while driving or riding, but still be easy to put down when you need to make a stop or change drivers. Regardless of the media you choose, if you'll be riding in the passenger seat part of the time, it’s a great idea to bring earbuds. That way you can listen to your music or book or watch a video while the driver concentrates on the road and listens to their music.
Road trips are fun! One of the best parts is that you get the opportunity to do things like check out local shops and restaurants on the way there and back. Unless you're pressed for time, consider treating the trip itself like a mini vacation. Are there interesting sites along the way (or close to it)? Some of the best parts of road trips are the little surprises along the way like that great place you stopped for lunch or the hour or two that you spent antiquing.
In addition to outerwear, make sure that you have the right footwear for your adventures. You'll want to wear comfortable driving shoes and have anything necessary from rain boots to women’s snow boots at the ready. For the little ones, always have kids’ sneakers in addition to any other footwear they'll need like something dressy for Thanksgiving dinner.
Focus on fun and flexibility for the best results. Make sure to pack a “comfort packet” with items like Kleenex, wipes, band-aids, and OTC pain relievers. Set a schedule, but don’t expect everything to run exactly on schedule. Unless you're traveling by yourself and have good weather, chances are there will be a few delays. Expect this and laugh along the way.
Remember that the best holiday stories don’t happen when everything goes right. They usually start with something like, “Remember that Thanksgiving that we forgot the…”. By taking a Thanksgiving weekend road trip, you're making memories. With a few ingredients like staying hydrated, packing your favorite flannel pajamas to keep you comfy when your head finally hits the pillow and smiling at your family member's idiosyncrasies’, you'll be well on your way to a great holiday season.
Have a great Thanksgiving weekend road trip!