You’re exhausted. You’ve been putting in an extra 20 hours a week shopping for gifts. You had to buy a new suitcase to stuff all the new swag for your family and save on shipping. You’ve read ALL the travel DIY tips. If you’re a woman, that means you’ve heard the tip about dipping q-tips in makeup remover for quick fixes about a thousand times now. Well, let’s be honest, the guys have heard it too! Whether you’re flying, driving, boating, cruising, or staying home, here are a few things for the Floridian car owner to think about during the holidays.

Don’t Drive on Christmas Eve

If you’re a procrastinator, you’re well familiar with the imperative your fellow procrastinators feel on Christmas Eve. It’s not your fault. Maybe one of your favorite dishes didn’t turn out, and you need more ingredients. Perhaps a gift you thought would arrive got delayed or cancelled. Or maybe Aunt Mildred couldn’t make it in until Christmas Eve, and you’re forced to drive to pick her up. Whatever the reason, the fact is, Christmas Eve is a very, very dangerous day to be on the road. 

However, we realize that this isn’t necessarily the most realistic advice, so here are some tips for avoiding the danger zones - even if you like to live dangerously.

If You Have to Drive, Here’s What You Do

Avoid major stores. This means malls, outlets, wholesale stores, etc. Its a safe bet that those areas are going to be flooded with last minute shoppers, and the last thing you want to do is be stuck in that traffic or hunting for parking with road-enraged families who are ready to get into a fight over the nearest spot.

Avoid airports and airport access roads. The backups will coincide with these areas, and you’ll be facing more of the same: road rage, flustered drivers, dysfunctional family anxiety, and more.

Look out for sloppy drivers. If someone is driving poorly or looks out of control, there are 2 likelihoods: either s/he is texting, or s/he is drunk. Either way, your safest bet is to stay far away. If possible, get ahead of them on the road so that if there is an accident, you are less likely to be a part of it, and if you have the misfortune of getting hit, it will be a smaller impact with less damage.

Driving for a Long Haul?

If you have a long trip planned, you and your vehicle need to be prepared. First, it’s best if you travel the day of the holiday instead of the day before. The morning is usually the best time - the roads will be free and clear as compared to the mind numbing, bumper-to-bumper experience you’ll have if you dare travel on any “eve”.

Some statisticians have observed that tired driving is worse than drunk driving. That doesn’t mean you should drink and drive - quite the opposite.  You should be well rested and sober when you drive. However, fatigue occurs over any long trip, and one of the best ways you can prevent and manage fatigue is by staying physically active. Take a break every few hours! Increasing your circulation and oxygenation in your blood will help keep you alert for longer periods of time, even if you don’t feel tired.

Snacking regularly and staying hydrated are big helpers for alertness as well. While the inclination may be to drink less so as to take fewer breaks, the simple fact is, hydration will keep your body functioning better and therefore, make the drive more pleasant.

No Matter What, Don’t Text and Drive

Don’t be a part of the problem. Texting and driving is such a bad idea. We don’t mean to preach, but the idea that a human being can operate a 1-2 ton vehicle at high speeds while looking at a tiny screen is pure insanity. If you’ve made it this long without an accident, you’ve been lucky. Do not take a chance, especially when so many families are travelling around you. It’s simply irresponsible. Not to mention, the fact is texting and driving will get you a ticket in most states.

Make Sure All Your Documents Are Up to Date

When you’re traveling, especially out of state, you have no idea how much trouble you could get into if your license is suspended, your vehicle registration expired, your insurance has lapsed, or any number of logistical responsibilities you have when you’re a Florida car owner. Make sure that all your documentation is in order. If you do get pulled over, you don’t want to be looking at additional fines, or worse, holiday jail time.

If your Florida car registration has lapsed, we can help! Contact Auto Tags of Florida or just email us your information, and we can get your paperwork up-to-date as soon as today!