The best laid plans can go awry – and frequently do when they involve a road trip for the much-anticipated Christmas holidays. When the beach beckons and you need a change of scenery, it’s time to swap the routine of the office for some rest and relaxation. Get approval for your annual leave before you finalise your plans!
Your holiday road trip will stay on track with these 10 tips for smooth travelling:
Check your car. Book your car in for a service in November so you know it’s in top condition for the drive. Motor mechanics and maintenance workshops will be fully booked just prior to the holiday break, so get early to ensure you get any repairs done in time.
Plan your itinerary. It sounds unnecessary if you are just heading up the main highway to the beach, but it’s worth planning your fuel stops. Maximise the use of a prepaid gift card, for fuel and snacks at the service stations on the way. If you are travelling with children, plan short driving stints between breaks where they can stretch their legs and use the restroom.
Time your departure. Wherever you are planning to go, avoid the traffic jam on the main highway on Christmas Eve by travelling either a few days before, or after Christmas Day. The NRMA predicts the busiest days on the roads to be the last day of school (in NSW this is December 21), two days before Christmas (December 23), the day after Boxing Day (December 27), and January 4.
Keep safety top of mind. Double demerit points apply throughout the Christmas and New Year period, from Friday December 21 to Sunday January 6 2019 inclusive. Don’t lose your licence for:
Drink or drug driving
Failing to wear a seatbelt and child restraint
Running a red light
Illegal use of a mobile phone while driving
Get plenty of sleep. Fatigue is a major cause of road deaths and serious injuries and Australian national data indicates a significant increase in fatigue-related crashes in holiday periods such as Christmas. Don’t leave straight after the office Christmas party or a night shift.
Check the road conditions. Just before you leave check your state’s live traffic website so you know the latest conditions on the road.
Take an old-school map. If the route is not familiar, don’t rely entirely on mobile phones or GPS to find your way. You may end up out of coverage area or out of battery.
Don’t go on a mystery trip. It may sound exciting to head off without telling anyone where you’re going, but it can be tricky if you have any problems on the way. Tell someone – friend or family – when you’re planning to leave, where you’re going and when you intend to get there. And let them know when you arrive.
Pack the car the night before. An esky with snacks and drinks can be last to load.
Relax and enjoy. Don’t let the stress of planning and packing make you too exhausted to enjoy the trip. A break from work will see you back in the office refreshed and ready for the new year.
If your employer has given you a prepaid gift card as an appreciation at Christmas, your holiday is the time to use this anywhere VISA or Mastercard are accepted.
When using a prepaid card to buy fuel, pay at the counter after filling your tank to ensure you have the full value of the card available. You can stock up on snacks and other essentials as well. If you use the card at the pump, it will be subject to an authorisation that may reserve more than the actual value of fuel purchased and this sometimes takes a day or two to be reconciled.
Using a gift card on holiday is a great way to enjoy your reward. Gift cards are the most popular incentive for employees and a branded prepaid card from your employer will be a reminder of where it came from, who gave it and why.
Employers interested in rewarding and incentivising staff are invited to contact Corporate Prepaid Cards, the specialists in custom designed gift cards.
A selection of Mastercard, VISA and eftpos cards are available with themes reflecting Christmas and holidays. The range can be viewed on the website.
A gift card presentation wallet comes with each card, including detailed information on how to activate the card, check the card balance and view transactions online.
Gift cards can be personalised with a company’s logo and once a design is finalised they can be ordered in small runs of up to 200 cards and be delivered within 10 business days.