(BPT) - Holidays bring loads of obstacles, from finding the right gift to cooking intricate meals and, perhaps most stressfully, holiday travel. Holiday travel is a necessary expense for over 130 million Americans, according to NerdWallet's 2023 Holiday Travel Report.
If you fall into this group, we are here to help prepare with tips and tricks from none other than Daniel Ricciardo, a professional Formula One driver for Red Bull Racing who is accustomed to traveling all over the globe from race to race. He shared his favorite insights to help make sure your car is prepped and ready. 'As an F1 driver, I have encountered every type of terrain and weather you can imagine and have shared the track and the road with some pretty wild drivers. Here are five things I always keep in mind and encourage others do as well to make their holiday travel as smooth and safe as possible.'
- The first recommendation from Ricciardo is to skip out on taking your car and get a rental car for the trip. Rentals come with plenty of benefits. By using a rental, you're not putting loads of miles on your car, and you are often driving in a new model that offers features your cars at home may not have, like a large on-screen GPS navigation, remote start or heated seats. You can also choose a vehicle that's as big or small as you would like to help make travel comfier or more fuel efficient, depending on what you want to prioritize.
- If you don't plan on taking a rental car, Ricciardo recommends that you take yours in for a tuneup. While your car should always be getting regular tuneups, it is important to prioritize them before big trips. Make sure that the tires are checked, oil levels are ideal and that there is enough windshield wiper fluid to prepare you for any weather ahead. Something as small as a worn-out windshield wiper can become a big issue on a road trip, whether it is an hour-long drive across town or a cross-country road trip. If your car is properly prepared it will save you money, stress and energy.
- Another great way to save money on the road is by fueling up at Exxon or Mobil stations across the country with your Exxon Mobil Rewards+ app. 'Having just wrapped up the ultimate road trip, the Grand Tauro, filling up with the Exxon Mobil Rewards+ app was smooth and seamless,' Ricciardo explains. 'The app also offers indoor payment, so I was able to go in and grab my favorite road trip snacks and get out quickly, all while earning points towards savings on fuel, snacks and more!' Plus, you can also take advantage of the Exxon Mobil Rewards+ app's birthday reward by getting 100 points after you make a purchase in your birthday month using the app at your local Exxon or Mobil station. Just add your birthday in your profile to gain access. You can learn more about the Exxon Mobil Rewards+ app by visiting https://www.exxon.com/en/rewards-program.
- Always be prepared. Make sure that you and your car are ready for any situation that might come your way. Ricciardo suggests packing an emergency kit in your trunk to keep you safe in those worst-case scenarios. The emergency kit should have water, blankets, snacks, a first aid kit, jumper cables and a flashlight. All these items can help you and your loved ones stay safe if something were to happen to your car during your journey.
- Whether you're driving around the block or across the country, drivers should always be paying attention to their surroundings - especially when difficult road conditions, like ice or snow, present themselves this holiday season. Make sure your driver stays alert and aware of other vehicles around them. Plus, if they start to feel tired or distracted, they should pull over to take a quick break or have another person in the car take over driving until they are mentally prepared to drive again.
If you follow these five tips while prepping and executing your holiday travel, you will set yourself up for a safe and relaxing holiday trip. That way, you can stress less about your travel plans and more about your gift giving skills.