driving home for Christmas

Driving home for Christmas

Christmas is about spending time with your beloved family; but unfortunately for some, that means a hefty drive on hazardous roads, at one of the busiest traffic times of the year.

driving home for Christmas

On average, Brits travel over 200 miles during the Christmas period; so if you’re making a pilgrimage to see your family, make sure that you are fully prepared before setting off, with CDG’s guide to all you need to know before driving home for Christmas…

Plan your route

Take a look at your journey before setting off, making note of traffic hot spots and potential grid lock areas; keeping an eye on your route while travelling could also save you from getting stuck in a jam, allowing you to alter your route. Allow for poor weather conditions; make sure you know what the weather plans to do…

driving home for Christmas

Don’t forget to pack a map for when technology fails you

If you can, try not to travel at peak hours; while we don’t recommend driving through the night, setting off a little later or a little earlier could mean the difference between a stressful drive and a hassle free journey.

Take a break

Make sure you stop and rest every few hours; driving on busy roads can be draining, a quick pit stop might be all that is needed to revive tired eyes.

Share the drive

If you’re planning on covering a lot of miles, get yourself a driving buddy. Sharing the load with another driver will make for a safer, less stressful journey, and you will arrive at your destination feeling a lot less tired and a whole lot more festive!

Distraction techniques

driving home for christmas

Keep little ones happy with an iPad

Travelling with little ones? Pack plenty of treats and entertainment to occupy their minds. Audio books, games and toys are a great way of keeping the kids at bay and saving you from their bored cries of despair!

If you’re lucky enough to own a tablet, load it with DVDs and cartoons and the passengers in the back seat will remain as quiet as a mouse.

Allow yourself time

driving home for Christmas

Roads reach breaking point at this time of year, with all the extra traffic out and about and the weather not playing ball, so remain calm if you do get caught in a jam.

Allowing yourself plenty of extra time for your journey will help keep your stress levels low, as running late on top of a stressful journey is enough to tip even the calmest soul over the edge…

Take charge

Don’t forget to give your phone, tablet and sat nav a good charge before leaving the house, as running out of juice will always happen at the worst possible time. Invest in a car charger for your devices and you will never find yourself stranded without power again!

Pack a bag

Make sure you have plenty of blankets, lots of drinking water and a torch should the worst happen and your car gives up the ghost. Breakdown cover is also a must; breaking down on unknown roads in the pitch black can be a truly terrifying experience without anyone to come and rescue you, AA, RAC and Green Flag all offer comprehensive breakdown cover.

To make sure you’re fully prepared invest in an emergency breakdown kit from Halfords. This handy kit is only £29.99 and features a hazard warning triangle, a tow rope, foot pump and hi-grip gloves, along with a torch complete with batteries.


Car checks:

Before any long journey you should carry out the following checks, but these are even more important during the wild and wet months of winter.

driving home for Christmas

-Take a look at your tyres, make sure they are in good condition and have plenty of tread, and don’t forget to check the spare too. Remember to adjust the tyre pressure for your loaded up car.

-Check the oil levels in your car

-A scraper and some de-icer can get you out of many a scrape, so make sure you have some onboard.

-Top up your screenwash with anti-freeze

-Check the wiper blades for condition and replace any ripped or torn blades

-Don’t forget your lights; make sure these are working properly and clean off any grime before setting off.

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