Top Automotive Travel Tips for Thanksgiving 2020

2020 has thrown a wrench into everyone’s Holiday plans, with many people opting to stay home to avoid the possible spread of COVID-19 to family members. Still, it’s expected that as many as 50 million people are still planning on traveling to visit family according to AAA. Consumers that Openbay has spoken to suggest a lower number. However, if you’re one of the travelers, there’s a lot to take into consideration that you never had to before—least of which is making sure your car is ready for travel.

AAA is predicting a 10-percent drop in the number of people traveling this Thanksgiving, with roughly 5 million fewer people on the roads and in airports. That doesn’t mean the roads will be empty, however. More prospective Thanksgiving travelers this year are opting to drive, if for no other reason than it’ll be easier to cancel plans at the last minute.

If you’re contemplating a long drive to see relatives and you haven’t taken care of important car maintenance, here’s your last chance. Check out some of our helpful tips and recommendations for things to do before you hit the road.

Vehicle Readiness

  • Check your engine fluids, including engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid. Don’t forget to top off your windshield washer fluid and fill your gas tank!
  • Make sure your tires are inflated properly by checking your tire pressure against the recommendation you’ll find on the sticker located on the inside panel of your driver’s side door.
  • Inspect all of your car’s exterior lights, including your headlights (both low- and high-beam), brake lights, tail lights, blinkers, and reverse lights. This will be made much easier with the help of another person standing at a safe location behind your car.
  • Pack a first aid kit and a flashlight with working batteries (bring along an extra set just in case).
  • If you’re running around too busy to perform any of the above checks, Openbay can help you find a qualified mechanic near you who can run a multi-point inspection to ensure your vehicle is road ready.

Before you go…

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, local and state travel restrictions are in place across the country. These can and likely will impact your road travel plans, so do your due diligence before sliding behind the wheel and heading out to Grandma’s house.

  • Know what route you’re taking so that you can stay updated on developing situations on the way to your destination.
  • Follow all public health rules and recommendations to lower your risk of contracting and passing along COVID-19. This includes the consistent use of face masks and keeping a social distance of at least six feet in public, plus frequent hand washing.
  • Pack a plentiful supply of masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. 
  • Bring along a thermometer to monitor your health.
  • Pack a sufficient amount of food and water to prevent from having to make too many stops on the way.
  • If you’re staying at a hotel or motel, call before you go to make sure they’re open and operating safely. Ask what sanitation and health protocols they have in place to keep you and other guests protected.

Refer to the AAA COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map to keep up on travel restrictions and public health requirements.

Finally, in the event you need to find and book an appointment with a trustworthy automotive service center, give Openbay a try.

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Openbay Staff