The holidays are here and like so many of you, Ja’Vonne and Gene Harley and I all went to our hometowns for the holidays. Ja’Vonne and Gene are from D.C. and flew out on different days headed east after the big snow storm. I am sure Ja’Vonne will blog about her trip east for the holidays. My hometown is Champaign, Illinois so I planned to pack up the car, hit I-57 and head home for Christmas.
My plan was to leave the evening of the Wednesday before Christmas Eve and be home in an hour and a half. Mother Nature had other plans and Chicago was hit with freezing rain (which I learned is different from sleet and snow) so it wasn’t safe to head out.
What do you do when you plan to drive out of town for the holidays? Here are some tips that I take when I plan to drive anywhere in the winter months.
Winterize the car – I usually go the to good old neighborhood car shop to get my oil changed, fluids, and pressure in the tires checked. Speaking of tires, make sure the tires are in good condition. Don’t forget to check the windshield wiper blades.
In the trunk of my car I have my winter pack together. I test things to make sure everything works. I have jumper cables, flares, a blanket, flashlight, a jug of water, kitty litter, windshield wiper solution, and a shovel. In my glove compartment I have a couple of granola bars.
When I get on the road I usually put premium gas in the car, however, whatever grade of gas you use, make sure you begin your trip with a full tank of gas. I find it helpful to fill up the tank along the way when the tank is half full.
With the icy rain in Chicago I postponed my trip until Christmas Eve but before I set out on the road I watched the weather reports, called my uncle in Champaign to ask what the weather conditions were there and I called the Illinois Department of Transportation (800 452-4368) to check the road conditions on I-57. IDOT’s recording said that there wasn’t any ice or snow on the I-57 from I-294 to Carbondale. GREAT! I felt safe to load up the car and head home for the holidays.
Remember, the best way to travel during the holidays is to do it safely.
What are some of your helpful travel tips?
Until next time, keep you EYE to the sky and Happy Holidays!
Co-host The Traveling Eye