Packing Your Car for a Thanksgiving Holiday Road Trip
Packing your vehicle for a Thanksgiving holiday trip can be an art and a science in itself, because often it not only means loading your vehicle with suitcases of clothes, snacks, and entertainment for the kids. After all, an Iowa Thanksgiving isn’t complete without bringing a favorite homemade casserole and a salad or side dish, or maybe a pie or other kind of dessert.
The safest place for almost everything is in the trunk, of course. If you pack a cooler, strategically place it in front and not buried among the suitcases, or it will be hard to get to when your passengers are thirsty. Better yet, have some water bottles and healthy snacks like trail mix, protein and granola bars or fruit and veggie chips within easy reach.
Stability is a number one concern when packing items. Loose objects can be a safety issue especially if you come to a sudden stop. The pie won’t look beautiful if it tumbles and flops on someone’s lap. Hard work will go down the drain if any liquid spills from a casserole. Make sure you strap down everything securely.
You want your passengers to be comfortable, so if a casserole needs to be on the floor of the back seat, make sure it is positioned out of the way so it won’t be stepped on by a passenger. Keep water bottles from rolling on the car floor. Never place anything on the floor of the driver’s seat. That would definitely be a danger.
If you start your road trip early in the morning with a cup of coffee, secure your coffee container in your vehicle’s cup holder with a cover. Many close calls have happened when hot coffee is spilled on a driver’s lap.
Pack car games or a new video to entertain your children. Include a playlist with songs everyone can enjoy.
Don’t forget it is still the era of COVID-19. Your health and safety and that of your passengers is a top priority. Every stop, whether it is for gas, using the restroom, buying food or having a meal is a potential risk of infection. Have an adequate supply of face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers for everyone. When inside a public place, wear a mask and clean anything you touch with sanitizer wipes.
Last, but not least, make sure you drive safely. According to the Iowa DOT, next to Independence Day, Thanksgiving is the holiday with the most highway traffic deaths in the state. In fact, the night before Thanksgiving is referred to as "Drinksgiving." Drunk driving, drowsiness and distractions are the causes of many holiday accidents, so get plenty of rest before you hit the road, don’t drink and drive, and stay alert on the road.
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