At Pilot and Flying J we love talking about travel and learning how to make the most of being on the road. We know this time of year travel can be tough, so we’ve put together a few tips to help you enjoy the drive as much as you’ll enjoy the turkey when you arrive.

1. Plan Your Route
Holiday travel means traffic—avoid the jams by anticipating congested areas and detouring around them by traveling off of the interstate until you reach an area with clearer traffic. There are several mobile apps available, such as Google Maps, that help you see which areas are experiencing slower travel times.

2. Develop a Stop Schedule
Break your trip up based on the need for refueling stops and restroom breaks. The myPilot mobile app lets you see all Pilot and Flying J locations from point A to B to help plan the timing of stops.

3. Pack with Precision
Don’t get weighed down with overstuffed luggage. Pack smart by planning what you’ll need over the course of your trip. Take a few tips from this helpful video on how to effectively fit all of your things into one suitcase.

4. Make the Most of Meals
Whether driving for multiple days or a few hours, choosing healthy food is a great way to stay focused and alert. Look for meals built around fresh vegetables and lean proteins, like a grilled chicken salad with a lite dressing. Nuts, fresh fruits and string cheese are great portable snacks that will keep your body fueled between meals. Pilot and Flying J stores offer a wide variety of fresh and healthy foods including vegan and gluten free options.

5. Prepare Your Vehicle
Your car will be working hard for you during your Thanksgiving drive. Make sure it’s in road trip-worthy condition before you take off. If you’re behind on an oil change, tire rotation or check-up, take it in to your mechanic for a once over before hitting the highway.

6. Don’t Forget the Pets
Whether you’re traveling with Rover or leaving him at home with a caregiver, take a few extra steps to make sure you and your pets are on the same page about your travels. If you’re leaving your dog or cat at home with a sitter, leave a feeding and play time schedule along with a few of their favorite toys. If your pet is traveling with you prepare a comfortable place in your vehicle and pack plenty of food and other necessities.

7. Take Mother Nature into Consideration
Fall and winter travel can be difficult, especially when the weather turns bad. Plan for traffic delays and other weather-related hold ups by working extra travel time into your schedule.

8. Be Prepared in Case of an Emergency
Stock your car with a few extra blankets, hand warmers, a first-aid kit and a flashlight in case of an unexpected emergency.

9. Stay Alert by Stretching
To stay comfortable and relaxed, incorporate stretching into any of your pit stops. Start by exiting your car slowly, then do a couple of side stretches to begin loosening your muscles. Then lift your hands slowly over your head and stretching toward the sky. Stretch any other muscles that feel tight or sore as well. A brisk walk during your stop can also help keep you feeling fresh and focused.

10. Enjoy the Adventure
We’ve learned that traveling can be just as rewarding as the destination. Build a playlist to sing along to and enjoy the sites and sounds of the road!