Top Automotive Travel Tips for Thanksgiving

Not hosting Thanksgiving this year? Invited to dinner a distance from your home? Using your car, truck, SUV, Minivan or your desired 4-wheel vehicle to get there? Well, it’s time to start thinking about a little preventative vehicle maintenance before hitting the road. The last thing you want is to be late for dinner or miss out on the apple pie.

According to a report by AAA, more than 54 million Americans will journey more than 50 miles away from home. Last year, AAA estimated 51.8 million traveled during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 4.8 percent increase. And prior to last year, in 2016 more than 49 million cars were on the road. This upward trend has continued as far back as 2005.

The report says the majority of this year’s travelers, or 48.5 million will hit the road using an automobile for travel. Traffic congestion will start to increase on Monday, especially in the evenings when travelers leave after their workday and increase through Wednesday. Sunday will be the busiest day of the holiday when travelers return home.

How can you best get your automobile prepared for your roundtrip road trip? Here are tips plus a few other goodies:

Vehicle readiness

  • Check engine fluids and levels to include engine oil, engine coolant, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, and power steering fluid. And of course, gas.
  • Check tire pressure on all wheels. Inside the driver’s door there will be a stamp indicating tire pressure for front and rear tires.
  • Exterior lights; Turn on headlights and high beams to make certain they work on both sides of vehicle. Check tail lights and brake lights, both sides. You may need two people to check brake lights.
  • First aid kit to include flashlight – check the batteries.
  • If you don’t have the time or not capable of performing the above, have a automotive service professional check out your vehicle by performing a multi-point inspection. Openbay can help find a trustworthy automotive service professional nearby.

Trip readiness

  • Get plenty of sleep the night before
  • Have a few road snacks, drinks (water) handy
  • When traveling with kids, have plenty of games and different types of entertainment (books, toys, etc.) to keep their minds off the potential of spending hours in the car. Baby wipes are a must no matter the age of the child.
  • Power cords for your mobile device


  • Never drink any alcohol before getting behind the wheel
  • Always wear your safety belt – a must for all passengers
  • Adjust all mirrors
  • Headlights on at all times
  • No texting while driving – a given but someone has to say it
  • Always obey the speed limit and traffic signs
  • If you feel yourself getting tired during your trip, pull off an exit and find a safe place to park for a while. A 15-minute rest will help you stay alert and fresh behind the wheel.
  • If you gas gauge gets below a 1/4 tank, fill up at the next exit.
  • A healthy car is a safe car

The entire team at Openbay wishes you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Openbay Staff

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