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Have a Happy and Uneventful Holiday Trip

One thing is for certain. You won’t be alone on the road on this holiday season. The AAA reports that 90 percent of Americans will be traveling during the holidays – and most of them will be driving. Which doesn’t really mean more than road congestion, unless the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Snowy conditions can make roads turn treacherous in a short amount of time. Combine that with plummeting temperatures and perhaps limited or even no cell phone coverage and it could mean trouble if you’re stranded. And that’s assuming you’ve got emergency blankets, food or other protective gear in the back of the car somewhere. If not, it could spell disaster.

AAA of Southern New England has a few last minute tips to make your holiday travels safe and uneventful.

File a driving plan. Too many families pack up and take off without letting others know their route of travel -- the times of departure and expected arrival. If your vehicle is stranded, having others know your travel plans gives searchers (dramatic, but possible) at least some place to start looking for you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just provide other family members with some basic information about your travel plans.

Let them know when you arrive. Make a point to say you’ll call someone when you get there – and do it, so they don’t worry. This is something you do when your kids are on the road, and it’s good practice when you’ve got the whole family in tow.

Don't rely only on a GPS. If you do, you’re asking for trouble. Take -- and use -- good, old fashioned maps. A navigation system is a great tool but anyone who’s used one off the beaten path can attest to the fact that it’s not invincible. GPS only sees the road – and possibly the shortest route – but it’s not able to see the road and weather conditions. Always use a map in combination with GPS.

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