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It’s that time of year for travel to see family and friends. I have compiled some items on a list as a guide for safety and comfort. Please be careful and have a wonderful time of memories and joy. I look forward to many years of our friendship – so be safe out there!

Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained.

  • If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
  • Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
  • Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area.
  • If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated.
  • Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road. Check with your insurance agent. Many companies have roadside assistance as part of your policy .
  • In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. AAA and many other companies offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without making a phone call. (AAA)

Pack car the night before so your travel is not delayed, making you feel rushed and need to speed. Plan foods so you don’t have to eat fast food/drive-thru. Buy healthy snacks in bulk and prepackage in baggies for easy use during the trip. Pack along power foods such as cheese sticks, nuts, dried fruit, and store cold items in a light cooler. Don’t forget the water. Every 2 hours or so stop, stretch and walk around the car a few times to avoid the possibility of deep-vein thrombosis which is a condition that occurs when leg circulation isn’t very good. Everyone in the car, whether driver or passenger should walk, flex ankles and shake out the kinks. Programming or checking gps, phone calls, etc. make driving a hazard for everyone. Plan ahead to know the route, or have another rider navigating the trip. I read that glancing at a map while driving is SEVEN times more risky than texting! Take along games, cds, travel games and holiday songs to help entertain and pass the time.
Car Care:

  • Keep gas tank at least half full. Ask your mechanic if you will need fuel de-icer if traveling to a much colder area than where you start from.
  • Have the oil changed if close to recommended milage.
  • Have the battery checked on professional equipment.
  • Check lights to make sure they are lighting bright, or if any lens need cleaning.
  • Have your vehicle checked out: belts, brakes, air filter, hoses, fluids, complete look over and don’t overlook the wiper blades. Invest in really good blades for best visibility and safer driving.
  • Tires: Have them rotated and checked carefully for wear and tear. Make sure they are properly inflated, and it will increase the fuel efficiency by ten percent or more.

A basic list for safe travel: Carry gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter (to help get car out of slick or muddy conditions), tire chains, a flashlight, and a cell phone. Put a few “high-energy” snacks in your glove box and water.
Plan, prepare and enjoy the ride!
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.


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