Road Trip

Driving over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house can be an affordable way to get the whole family together for the holidays, but if you have no backup plan for cash, your road trip could turn into a nightmare.

Here are 5 holiday road-trip disasters and how to avoid them:

Travel Delays

When it comes to family vacations, Dads usually do most of the driving. In Dad’s mind, navigational skill comes with the Y chromosome. However, if your head-of-household is more like Moses than Magellan, you might wander awhile before he’ll admit fault and ask for directions. GPS devices can help, but they’re not infallible.

Before you leave, print or purchase a map and highlight your route with a marker. Avoid random advice from truck-stop strangers who may embellish when they really haven’t a clue. Some are professionals with years of road experience – others go the wrong way at the salad bar.


Don’t find yourself caught like a June bug in a hurricane. Phone ahead for highway and weather conditions to avoid hazards that could leave you stranded. Pack a cell phone and charger, plenty of drinking water, a blanket, an extra quart of oil, a can of fix-a-flat, a spare tire, a jack and a flashlight.road trip to the mountain

Check your tire tread, particularly if snow or rain is in the forecast. Place a penny in the tread. If Lincoln’s beard isn’t covered, better install a pair of all-season radials on your car’s “drive” end.

A bag or two of sand in the trunk can significantly improve traction. On the road, take notice of mile markers so if necessary, you can tell first-responders where you are. A 2-lane highway may be “the road less traveled by”, but if your vehicle isn’t up to it, consider a rental instead.

Nevada’s highway 50 is dubbed “the loneliest stretch of highway in America” for good reason. Could your car’s fuel capacity go the distance between fill-ups?


Even good kids get grumpy with nothing to do. Slide a cloth grocery bag over your headrest as an activity pouch they can reach. Load it with books, games, and healthy snacks to make the time fly. Sing songs on the radio, or pop in a comedy CD. Jeff Foxworthy can put a smile on all of your faces. When you stop for gas, have a group stretch or toss a Frisbee.


Road trip disastersEver hear the old adage; “When packing for a trip, take half the clothes and twice the cash”? Towing and car repair can be pricey off the interstate. Carry extra cash or deposit money in a prepaid account for emergency credit, just in case.

Impaired Driving

Always drive sober, and be fully rested. Never surrender the wheel to an inexperienced driver late at night. Falling asleep at the wheel is a leading cause of highway fatalities.

These examples of 5 road trip disasters and how to avoid them could save you time, hassles, and more, and make your biggest holiday disaster Aunt Bea’s jellied cranberry sauce in the shape of a can!

About the author

Jessy is a travel writer who loves family trips to Europe. She blogs for Dobovo, the free tool to pick great apartments in Kiev on your way to Eastern Europe.