If traveling for the holidays, make sure you’re prepared

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Have you packed your list? Checked it twice? Well, what about your four-wheeled sleigh where are your stuff lays?

Holidays send people to the roads. There’s congestion, amateur and pro travelers, and weather you need to be aware of so you don’t unload unwanted emotions on the other drivers says North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Rico Stephens.

“The ultimate message we want to get through people’s head is, we are out here to ensure that people get to point A to point B safely,” said Stephens.

North Carolina Highway Patrol says that includes things like making sure your windshield wipers are working, checking your fluid levels, and ensuring the tread on your tires is safe.

Troopers also want to make sure people are buckling up and steering clear of distractions that could impair their driving reactions.

“This is a time of year people want to get together and celebrate and nobody wants to look over at an empty seat knowing that someone has just gotten killed in a collision. That’s really our goal.. our goal through this holiday season,” said Stephens.

Joanelle Long says she’s on the way to Ocean Isle from Michigan. She says the drive has been long, but she and her family have found ways to keep themselves occupied and having fun while also staying safe.

“Well so far today, it’s been great. It’s been very, very easy traveling, and just enjoying the countryside and seeing the decorations and we are [in Greenville] now for lunch,” said Long.

One other important thing to pack is patience.

“I ask [drivers] to stay pretty calm and look for Christmas decorations or something to keep their mind off it because the end destination is the most important,” said Long.

And making things a little easier for drivers is that gas prices have fallen. Triple A says that 25 states, including North Carolina, have an average gas price under $3.00 a gallon currently.