A Simple Driving Guide to Thanksgiving Travel

Thanksgiving Day is one of the busiest travel days of the year, with some 50 million Americans planning to take to the roads. 

More drivers mean more hazards as you deal with tailgaters and speed racers on your way to pumpkin pie. Throw in bad weather, and you could wind up white-knuckling the steering wheel the entire way. 

Let’s face it — a Thanksgiving road trip can be hard on your vehicle. And don’t forget the wear and tear it puts on your budget. 

To make sure you arrive at your dinner plans safely, keep scrolling. The tips below will prepare your vehicle and finances for every potential danger that lies in the road ahead.

toy car

Check-In with Your Budget

Although driving might be cheaper than flying, it isn’t free. You’ll be paying for gas and any toll roads you can’t avoid on the big day, and let’s not forget the hidden cost of mileage. 

According to the AAA, routine repairs and maintenance costs roughly $0.09 for every mile you drive. Your Thanksgiving Day round trip could end up increasing your usual bills, especially if you’re motoring across the entire country.

To make sure you’re ready for these added costs down the road, sit down with your budget and figure out what your travel plans will be once all is said and done. Remember to include the following expenses when you do:

  • Fuel
  • Parking fees (if necessary)
  • Tolls
  • Wear and tear

Inspect Your Vehicle

What shape is your vehicle in? Is it ready for a long-distance trip through inclement weather? Giving it a tune-up can help you handle anything on the road. This simple diagnostics check involves a hood-to-bumper inspection that can catch small problems before they escalate.  

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Have a Backup Plan

Fixing these issues before you hit the road could save you a potential breakdown on the side of the highway, but there could always be an emergency — whether it’s a fender bender or a blown tire. 

Do you know how you could cover this surprise repair? Having an emergency fund helps you cover these small, unexpected costs, but same day cash loans may work as a close second.

Same day cash loans work as an emergency backup when you’re facing unexpected auto repairs and your savings are empty. You can find out what you need to apply for a same business day online loan by checking the websites of certain financial institutions from your phone. 

Follow Safe Driving Tips

While you can’t always control what happens on the road, you can control how you react to it.  Defensive driving is a strategy that helps you avoid bad drivers and hazards by being mindful of the road and thinking ahead to anticipate any threats. 

Here’s what you can do to make safe choices behind the wheel:

  • Set your GPS to hands-free navigation
  • Obey the speed limits and adjust to weather conditions
  • Give any nearby vehicle a safe cushion of space 
  • Don’t text and drive
  • Never drive tired or under the influence
  • Make sure everyone buckles up
  • Be patient about holiday traffic
  • Install winter tires if you live in a colder climate

Bottom Line

A little preparation can go a long way this holiday season. Check in with your budget and your vehicle to ensure they’re both up for the challenge. 

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