Safe Travels Are the Perfect Gift This Holiday Season
Holiday movies are rarely relaxing. Home Alone involves a young child, inadvertently abandoned by his family, battling hardened criminals using vicious booby traps to make up for a difference in size and physical strength. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer features terrifying sequences of escape from an abominable snow monster and existential despair over an elf's failure to become a dentist. Even The Santa Clause raises the dreaded specter of holiday weight gain.
If there is a source to this hidden angst that runs through our holiday films, it must stem from a very serious problem indeed. In fact, our yuletide cheer is very nearly overshadowed by this same problem, which affects anyone who does not shut themselves inside and bolt the door for two months: holiday traveling danger, the phantom of the hap-happiest season of all. Call it the Ghost of Christmas Crash.
Alright, so maybe you haven't been in an accident over the holidays. Perhaps you've never been in an accident at all. So, as long as you keep to your normal routine you should be fine, right? Not so fast, Tiny Tim. You see, the holidays are particularly dangerous for even safe, attentive drivers. The problem isn't so much you as...all the other people driving everywhere around you.
What's that mini-van doing in the left lane two car lengths back? They are going way too fast. Is this person in front of me asleep? Is that Christmas tree tied down with dental floss? Is that an actual reindeer in that trailer? When you start watching other drivers, paranoia begins to seep in. Pretty soon you may start wondering if you're on Santa's Naughty List for being such a cynic. Worse yet, what if you're not on any list at all? What if Santa delisted you?
There are times when you have to travel and there's no way to stay underground in a bunker until the new year. Relax. It's not all bad. There are things you can do to make your holiday travels a little safer. You just need a handful of smart tips. Lucky for you, here are a few wrapped up. You don't even have to shake the box to try and guess what's inside.
Rapid-Fire Holiday Travel Tips
Never drive sleepy, even if you have to go to three different family events in a single day because your family doesn't believe in consolidation or efficiency. If someone puts mistletoe on their trailer hitch, do not under any circumstances try to kiss them while leaning out of your car window while the vehicle is moving. If you see someone with a bunch of crazy holiday stuff poorly secured in a backwoods trailer with a wooden tailgate, definitely do not drive behind them.
Eggnog is good, but don't drink a bunch of really boozy kind and then operate a motor vehicle. Police lights are definitely not the kind of Christmas lights you want to see. If you're traveling with children, pacify them with classic holiday-themed children's books or bribery. Don't argue with family members while driving; keep your brainpower focused on the road and save your best arguments for the dinner table, where they belong.
If your vehicle isn't winter-ready, take care of necessary preparation now so you don't have to worry about it later. If you live in Florida, go ahead and cut the sleeves off your sweaters and crank your car's AC. Be aware that alcohol consumption increases over the holidays. Watch for erratic drivers and don't be afraid to contact the police if you see someone endangering others on the road.
When flying or taking a train, be sure to bring along hand sanitizer. Getting sick is one surefire way to ruin your holiday fun. Watch out for your valuables in public spaces, and be aware of any unsavory characters trying to sell you tickets to the North Pole.
With these tips in mind, you'll feel safer and more confident when traveling this holiday season. Making sure that you get where you are going safely is the best gift you can give to yourself and to your loved ones.