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Top Three Tips for the Best Thanksgiving Road Trips  

  • Holiday Travel Tips
  • Celine Jerly
  • 5 minutes

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Headed to grandma’s or cross-country fall adventure, the best Thanksgiving road trips need a good plan and some fun for backup. So, before you hit the road, check out these top tips to avoid all roadblocks to a memorable road trip during Thanksgiving.   

Holiday lights, family feasts, gift shopping, and a new year around the corner – it’s everyone’s favorite season of all time. But first, Thanksgiving! After last year’s fiasco, we’re sure you are not planning to spend it all at home. Do we see a road trip for Thanksgiving on the cards? While you figure out whether it’s going to be an adventure or a good old family get-together, here are a few tips to make sure your road trip during Thanksgiving goes without a hitch.   

Road trip prep for your car  

“What’s that sound? Why does my car smell strange?”   

Catching yourself with these thoughts often? It’s time to investigate and fix the problem before you hit the road again. Don’t wait till you’re stranded on the highway with an ill-timed breakdown. Before you even start planning the destination or route, make sure everything is shipshape. If it’s already a smooth ride, no need to pay the mechanic a visit – here’s the only car maintenance checklist you’ll ever need.   

Once the lights, fluids, and tires are prepped and ready, it’s time to equip your car for any emergency on the road. Even the best Thanksgiving road trips fall through due to unexpected weather. The festive season is also an unpredictable time for traffic – you can never be overprepared for delays on the way. A good car emergency kit should contain everything from flashlights to non-perishable food. Here’s all that needs to go in your car emergency kit.  

You might want to start thinking about road trip insurance too. Here’s why you need it.   

Bonus Tip: Cables, chargers, backup battery – these long road trip must-haves are essential to keep the holiday spirit alive inside the car. No one wants a fight to break out over who would charge their phone first. Power banks and inverters can come in handy on and off the road when you’re away from home. Add a magnetic smartphone mount and dashcam to the list.   

navigation on phone during road trip fall season

Plan your route and rest  

Start off by checking the forecast. Erratic weather is the norm these days, and getting stuck in a blizzard isn’t the best Thanksgiving road trip story to tell. If it’s a long drive, get a good look at the weather on your route. Plan your stopovers to maximize safety and comfort – driving non-stop in a hurry to reach your destination is not a good idea. Even when taking turns behind the wheel, make sure everyone gets to stretch their legs regularly.   

Staying off the road during the night is also highly recommended. And if you do, sort out parking along with the room or rental. Hotel garages are usually expensive, and if complimentary parking isn’t available, it’s better to pre-book a spot at nearby garages using apps like Way.com. Overnight street parking might be tempting, but make sure you are not breaking any parking rules. Most cities have parking tickets that’ll make premium garage spaces look like a cheaper deal.   

Finally, remember that packing is an art. Spend some time figuring out what to keep in your bags and what to leave at home. There’ll be more room in your car, especially when road tripping with pets or kids. Think about how you’ll load your car too – essentials should always be within easy reach to avoid last-minute hunts on the road.   

bags in trunk of a car

Add fun to the best Thanksgiving road trips  

Road trips are all about the journey, and journeys are all about making memories. So, whether you are hitting the road with friends or family, get ready to have some fun. Make sure no one gets a chance to ask, “Are we there yet?” with these cool road trip car games for all. Kids deserve an extra treat, so we got you five fun and free road trip games for your curious kiddos right here 

How about some good music too? Here’s our ultimate guide to road trip playlists for every mood.   

Now that entertainment is sorted don’t forget the munchies. Pulling over for fast food is cool and all, but eating healthy is important during a road trip. Pack some trail mix, protein bars, fruit, or veggies to snack on while you are on the road. Staying hydrated is also a top priority – carry enough drinking water to avoid stopping unnecessarily for restocks.   

Comfort is as important as fun during a road trip. So, here is what to wear on a road trip without giving up on style.   

 Traveling during Thanksgiving week can be quite challenging. Tuesday and Wednesday are the busiest. The weekend after Thanksgiving also sees heavy traffic. The best day to travel is Thanksgiving Day itself. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also good picks for road trips. Start early in the morning or late afternoon to skip the worst of Thanksgiving traffic in the cities.   

Wherever you are headed, make sure to download the Way app and find the lowest rates for parking at a garage near you.   

Affordable city parking on way.com


Check out more blogs for info on finding top-rated airport parking, the most affordable insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.


 

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