Going home for the holidays isn’t as simple as getting in the car when you live in New York but your family is in Minnesota. But while I won’t be road-tripping home for Thanksgiving, I know plenty of people who are planning on heading upstate to see their families for the holiday. For them, I’ve put together a few tips to help their trips go smoothly. Hopefully, the only thing they’ll have to worry about will be indigestion!
Taking Care of Business
Before you head off for a long weekend, or even just a full week away, make sure that you’ve taken care of all of your responsibilities at the office. Do your best to set all project deadlines for a few days before you plan to leave, just in case there are last-minute complications. If there are necessary tasks that you usually take care of and nobody else knows how to do them, now would be a good time to train at least one of your coworkers to take over while you’re away. And consider what you’ll be returning to after the holiday: If there’s any way to get ahead on your work so you won’t face a mountain of things to do when you come back, do so.
Buttoning Up the House
Take a few measures to keep from unnecessarily running up the power bill while you’re gone. That means raising the temperature on the thermostat and turning off or unplugging any appliances that don’t need to be on when nobody’s home. There is one area where you should go ahead and waste a bit of energy, though: Consider setting up timers for some of the lights in your home as a security measure. Also, if you’ll be away for an extended period of time, think about asking the post office to hold your mail, as a pile of uncollected mail on the doorstep can tip off burglars that you’re not around. Take a moment to think about the well-being of the pets you’ll leave behind, too and set up the necessary neighbors or boarding services to make sure they’re taken care of.
Ready to Hit the Road
The last thing to think about before you leave is where you’ll be spending those hours on the road: your car. Check the oil and tire pressure before you go, and make sure to fill up the gas tank the day before so you’re ready to head out first thing in the morning. If you have kids, make sure to stock the backseat with small toys and games, and bring a few snacks and bottles of water in case they get hungry or thirsty. And while almost everyone has a GPS these days, it can’t hurt to bring a printed copy of the directions if you’re not entirely familiar with your route, just in case the GPS conks out on the way.
With these tips, your Thanksgiving travel is sure to be a little easier. Have a safe trip!