5 Tips for Families Traveling on the Roads for Thanksgiving

If you are traveling to visit your family this Thanksgiving with the whole gang, you might want to be prepared for a long car ride. Let’s dive straight into the necessary precautions concerning what you can do to make a couple of hours fly by!

1. Make sure your car is properly serviced.

thanksgiving car

With chillier weather drawing near, it is definitely time to give your car a full check-up. This will only take about ten to fifteen minutes out of your day and can save you some major dollars in the long run. I know every gets annoyed by servicing their car, but my Express Lane guy just reminded me of how important it is.

It’s easy to forget that your car is a machine sometimes that requires maintenance. Regardless, it’s still a fact of life. Keep those service stickers up to date or you’ll be potentially harming your car and putting yourself in danger.

It’s always a great idea to have your car inspected before you go on a long trip and rack up some miles on the road. You don’t want to be stranded on the side of the highway halfway through your trip. Take preventative measures to ensure that you won’t be trying to catch a lift from a truck driver at some point.

2. If you have children, keep them occupied.

thanksgiving car

Kids are notorious for using the infamous words: “Are we there yet?” There’s just something about that phrase that makes time go by even slower. The more comfortable and entertained that they are, the more that you are going to be able to make it to your in-laws in one piece.

It might not be a bad idea to pack up some early Christmas presents for this trip.

travel car headphones


If your kids are on the younger side, try checking out parenting.com‘s guide to awesome travel accessories for your youngsters. You want something that is going to keep them focused on everything except for the long trip. This list features anything from cute headphones to interactive books. Kid-friendly tablets are also a gift that will continue to be in high demand.

A portable DVD player is something the whole family can enjoy during a long trip. Ones with built in headphone jacks allow for those wanting to watch the movie to tune-in, while the adults might enjoy a Podcast. Check out the one by RCA for under $100.

3. Invest in some extra gadgets before you leave.

thanksgiving wifi car


Wireless routers are also becoming a popular addition to a lot of cars. People want to be able to access a WiFi connection if they are traveling on the road for several hours.

These little devices come in handy for nearly every family. This is a great idea if your significant other is a workaholic and wants to work during the road trip. You might even have a son or daughter who wants to research for a college term paper while they are away for the holidays. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Getting a Wifi connection in your car has never been easier. There are tons of devices listed on Amazon that will get you up and running in no time. One of my favorites is the HooToo which is only $39.99, plus free shipping! This product has great reviews and is relatively inexpensive. It also serves as a phone charger, so you won’t need to fight over one during your trip!

4. Bring healthy snacks to cut down on stops.

thanksgiving snacks

Although stopping is inevitable, you can cut down on time by preparing meals and packing away drinks before you leave. This is great for family trips because one person might be hungry, while the others really aren’t.

I recommend always packing up some healthy snacks and meals before leaving for any trip. It will allow you to save money and keep every one healthy, less cranky, and altogether happier.

Making a grocery store run for some fruits, veggies, nuts, quick sandwich materials, and salads will only take a minute. Pack everything away in a cooler with ice and put in the back of the trunk for whenever someone starts to feel snacky.

5. Download different sources of media to keep the trip interesting.

thanksgiving car

Downloading an audio book is a great idea for a family who wants to do an activity together while driving. This is only recommended for people with older children, because more than likely a 5-year-old isn’t going to want to listen to Gone Girl for five hours.

Audible.com gives you a list of best selling books that are audio-ready. There’s hundreds of books to sift through, so download a couple that peak your interest.

Podcasts are also a great idea for long trips. I listened to an entire season of Serial this year on a long road trip across the South. Be sure to also check out:

  • Unfictional
  • The Memory Palace
  • Ask Me Another
  • PodQuiz
  • The Stuff You Missed in History Class
  • Criminal

Remember to bring an auxiliary cord for your road trip! This is probably the most important take away from this entire post.

This will work to bring all of the media you want to listen to through your speakers, whether it’s music, Podcasts, audio books, or YouTube content.

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