It’s Christmas time, which means on top of spending a fortune on presents and food and tying yourself up in tinsel trying to make your home look festive, you are probably bracing yourself for that annual commute to see the relatives.
We all love our families but the thought of spending hours driving through Christmas traffic at an already stressful time can make the festive commute daunting. You’re often sat in your car in gridlocked traffic, crawling along at 5mph, worrying about arriving too late to join in with Christmas dinner.
We understand that commuting can be a completely miserable experience, especially during the winter months. With our handy advice you can make your Christmas commute that bit more bearable and arrive full of Christmas cheer.
5. Listen to a podcast or an audiobook
Gone are the days where the radio, with its depressing news and constant traffic updates, was your only distraction from the dread that lies in front of you on the road. There are thousands of interesting podcasts on pretty much any topic, from TED Talks to the latest football news. You can’t read a book when you are stuck in gridlock, it’s not legal – or sensible, so take advantage of audiobooks, which are exactly what they say on the tin – a book you can listen to. Find ones that genuinely interest you and you’ll arrive at your family’s home stimulated and raring to go.
4. Listen to great music
Most drivers will have a collection of CDs in their car but more often than not they don’t ever get rotated, meaning they can easily get sick and tired of listening to the same music. Once you’ve listened to an album put it back in your CD rack at home and put a different one in your car – this will not only keep things fresh but you’ll soon rediscover your love for your music collection. There’ll be albums that you might not have listened to in over ten years and the waves of nostalgia will soon shake off those early morning winter cobwebs. If you’ve got a portable music player like an iPod then invest in a cable that connects it to your car’s stereo and use the shuffle mode to really mix things up. Unpredictable yes, but come on, it’s time to walk (or drive) on the wild side.
3. Get up earlier
You are already cursing at this idea, aren’t you? Whilst the thought of getting up out of your warm, comfortable nest of a bed an hour earlier may send shivers down your spine, once you’re awake, showered and caffeinated you’ll feel right as rain. Only now your commute will be made much shorter because of the reduced traffic on the road. If you’re worried about a lack of shuteye then adjust your sleeping pattern and go to bed a bit earlier. Carpe diem, and all that.
You’ll probably find that many of your moments of profound wisdom occur when you’re driving. The likelihood is that when you’re commuting you’re going to be on your own, free to ramble on about pretty much anything. You can do your best brainstorming, analysing and scheduling just by thinking aloud. You can go over your presents list to ensure you haven’t missed anybody else, or think about how you are going to fill the silence when sitting in a room with a relative you don’t really get on with. Don’t get too distracted though, remember to keep your main focus on the road – even when in gridlock.
1. Get your car regularly serviced at a Trust My Garage member
Your family lives on the other side of the country but you have said you will arrive in time for Christmas lunch. You wake up early, make yourself look prim and pristine and you head off, confident that you’re going to arrive on time. Suddenly a little red light starts flashing on your dashboard and makes you panic. You’re forced to pull over on the hard shoulder. Your car has broken down and needs to be towed to a garage. Sound like a nightmare? It absolutely is, but it’s one that can be avoided by getting your vehicle regularly serviced at a Trust My Garage member. Regular services will ensure your car will run smoothly and without catastrophic breakdowns, meaning you make it to see the family on Christmas day – not Boxing day. Remember; don’t just rely on your annual MOT check as it’s a safety check, not a substitute for regular servicing. Find out more on that here.
To find your local independent garage for a service ahead of your Christmas commute, visit the Trust My Garage website and insert your postcode into our garage finder.