This blog post is sponsored by by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FallforPennzoil #CollectiveBias
Is it just me, or did 2016 go by in an absolute blur? I can't believe that the holiday season and all that comes with it is already here. Of course, one of the main parts that makes of this time of year for many of us is holiday travels. Road trips to visit family and friends or other loved ones are apart of almost everyone's agenda for the upcoming weeks. Some "road trips" might only be a few exits up the interstate, and others might be the more typical full-on adventures that cross state lines. Although I always flew home for Christmas break in college, I only was able to get home for Thanksgiving once in the last four years! Two of my years in college were spent at classmate's houses who lived outside of Charlotte, so road-tripping I went to get back to their family's houses. You definitely get to know your road trip travel companions very well, and car ride memories are always made!
My work schedule has me staying in Charlotte for Thanksgiving this year, but I do have a small weekend road trip getaway to look forward to in December with my parents during the week that I'll be back home in New England. Today I'm sharing five holiday road trip tips to help you feel prepared for travels in the upcoming weeks!
1. Prepare a great road trip playlist: I might have a different perspective on scrolling through radio stations in a new area than most... where I'm currently in broadcasting school and am hoping to someday soon work in this specific industry. However, I know that most people who don't have the same interest in radio that I do generally do not enjoy when they drive far enough away to lose the signal on their beloved preset stations, and have to start scanning around for new channels. So in that case, prepare your music selections early! I started subscribing to Spotify Premium last year, and it's one of the best decisions that I ever made. I love being able to listen to my favorite playlists without using my cell phone data when I'm on-the-go. Spotify actually offers a student rate for anyone with an .edu email address, so any college students should definitely take advantage of this! If you're roadtripping with a whole group of family or friends, it can be really fun to create a playlist for your trip, where everyone contributes a few songs that are special to them. Or even kick it old school and burn a CD for your trip!
2. Make sure your car has an emergency kit: Whether we like it or not, life's little (or sometimes large) emergencies can happen! And timing so often has it that these usually strike at less than opportune times. Should something of this nature happen while you're out on the road, it can do wonders to have an emergency kit with some basic items waiting to go in your car! Make sure that this is ready with all of the items that you think are necessary before you leave for your trip. If you've never made a car emergency kit before- check out this blog post that I wrote this summer with some tips about how to make one, and what I include in the one that's in my car!
3. Familiarize yourself with reading maps: I am constantly blown away by how many people in the millennial generation are unable to read maps! It is a skill that is still so necessary to have, despite living in the age of GPS technology being accessible almost everywhere. As great as GPS and iPhone maps are- technology can crash or fail sometimes. And sometimes it does screw up. Nothing beats a good old fashioned paper map for back-up. While I do love the convenience of my iPhone's map app, I still always carry a paper atlas and a few maps in my car as well, and do use them from time to time.
4. Decide to take the direct route or the scenic route: In 2015, almost 50 million Americans were on the road for Thanksgiving, according to AAA! That means that regular roadways and interstates can become overwhelmingly backed up with accidents or just overflow holiday traffic. If possible, do some road trip research before hitting the road. And figure out your schedule for your travel days as well. Is your mission solely to get to your destination as quickly as possible? Or do you want to build in some time for scenic and fun rest-stops? On the road trip that my mom and I did this summer from Maine to NC, she opted to take a slightly longer scenic route through the majority of Pennsylvania. I was against this at first, as it wasn't on interstates, and it was different than anything my dad and I had done on our many drives up and down the East Coast. However, it ended up being a fine route! It was a beautiful drive through a part of PA that I had never seen before, and we discovered the cutest bumper boats park that we took a rest stop at on our way. Sometimes the scenic route does pay off!
5. Get an oil change at your local Walmart Automotive Car Care Center: It's recommend that all cars get oil changes ever 3,000-7,000 miles. Sometimes it's easy to put this car maintenance task off to the back burner on our to-do lists. But did you know that skipping an oil change can cause all sorts of engine problems- such as corroding overheating, or locking up, or even more serious problems? For real! If you're headed out of town for the holidays, make sure that your oil changes are up to date. It could be one of the easiest ways to later avoid further car problems!
Walmart Automotive Care Centers are one of the most affordable and convenient places to get an oil change! I actually have childhood memories of going with my parents to our nearest Walmart back home in Maine to get an oil change with them, and doing some shopping in the store while our car was being worked on. The great thing about Walmart Automotive Centers is that the whole Walmart store is right there- which is actually perfect if you need to stock up on some last minute road trip essentials such as snacks or toiletries!
Right now Walmart Automotive is offering a special on oil changes with
Make sure to take advantage of the discount on Pennzoil Plantinum Full Synthetic oil changes at Walmart- now through December 27th. If you live in the Southern states of
I've shared my top holiday road trip tips... what are yours? Do share in the comments! And safe travels to all those who are going on road trips this week (or flying!).
xoxo Miss ALK