Holiday traffic – two words that can inspire fear in even the most seasoned driver. When it comes to getting to and from your holiday destinations, nothing can put a damper on what should be a fun time with the family like being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Luckily, we’re here to help!  Ford Canada has compiled some simple tips to help beat the highway nightmares and arrive with your wits intact.

Pack early/Leave early.  Don’t start your trip at a disadvantage by having to wait for someone to finish packing.  If you know when you’re hitting the road, get ready the night before.  If there’s anything you can pre-pack in your vehicle, do it.  The faster you can get everyone out the door, the better.

Choose a time to leave that’s not in the middle of peak traffic.  A lot of people are on the road during the holidays, and that’s compounded by the normal commuter traffic.  Avoid the morning and after-work rush, and you’ll be ahead of the game.

Know where you’re going.  Don’t fiddle with maps and avoid stopping to ask for directions.  On-board GPS can be a huge help in planning the quickest, shortest, or the most eco-friendly routes to get you where you need to go.

Keep the kids busy. Holiday driving is stressful enough without an angry, or bored, gaggle of kids distracting your focus. Make sure your kids are loaded up with their favourites: books, movies, toys and some healthy snacks. If you need some tips on planning for a family trip, check out our post on 10 Tips for the Perfect Road Trip.

Keep in touch. When it comes to staying in the loop, your phone can be your best friend. Let those expecting your arrival know of any potential delays. With SYNC you can easily make hands-free calls without taking your focus off the road.

Keep your ride in top shape. Nothing can ruin a road trip like being stranded on the side of the road. Make sure your vehicle is in its peak running condition by having your regular maintenance up to date. Also, check tire pressure and fluid levels before you set out on the trip.

If you drive a Ford, your SYNC system can also provide you with a personalized Vehicle Health Report, letting you know if something needs fixing.

Know what you’re in for.  Is there a storm coming?  Maybe it’s going to be a scorcher? If you know what’s happening, you can prepare.  Help everyone stay comfortable and safe by checking the weather report before you leave. SYNC with MyFord Touch can provide you with a 5-day weather forecast.

Keep alert.  This is the most important tip anyone can follow. Staying alert behind the wheel is vital to your safety and those around you. With the increase of drivers on the road, conditions can change quickly and unpredictably.

Put away any distractions and drive according to conditions.  Stay aware of the cars around you, and always leave enough room to maneuver. Many Ford vehicles offer technology that gives you an extra eye on the road, like the Blind Spot Information System and Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning, but there’s no substitution for your own caution.

Do you have any holiday driving tips? If so leave for us in the comments! Happy holidays from the Ford Canada Blog!