Tips for enjoying Thanksgiving while on the road
Thanksgiving is often viewed as the start of the holiday season. For some, it’s a time to relax, slow down and reflect on all the year has brought to them. But for the trucking industry and owner operator’s in particular, this is often the busiest time of year. The holiday season often means long hours and increased workloads for many truck drivers leading up to Thanksgiving weekend and black Friday sales events. So if that is you, you many be asking yourself, how can I have an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday while out on the road?
Here are some suggestions:
Good Food – The good news is that many restaurants will provide the favorite traditional Thanksgiving dishes, so you don’t have to miss out on a delicious feast while you are out on the road. Many of your favorite truck stops along the way will offer a Thanksgiving meal as well, and some stops will even offer it for free with proof of CDL license.
Good Company – To help fight the loneliness on the road, consider stopping into a local church. Many churches often provide a Thanksgiving meal to those in need, but some also have ministries that cater to those who are working or out on the road by providing a welcoming meal and a warm, community atmosphere. Another option is to stop at a hotel, many will also be offering up a special holiday meal and you are likely to find others away from home as well.
Friendly Connection – A great way to stay connected with loved ones while on the road is by planning a time to call, Skype, FaceTime or Messenger with family members or friends on Thanksgiving. Ask family members to set up the computer at the table so that you can jump in on the conversation during dinner.
If you are flying solo on the road this year and cooking your own meal, cook up something special! You can easily find instant mashed potatoes, cooked turkey breast or rotisserie chicken, and all the other sides you need at the grocery store. Make some extra and share your meal with other drivers that are stopped in the same area. You might make a new friend, and everyone will appreciate spending the holiday with someone rather than alone.
For those seeking some spiritual comfort while on the road, Transport for Christ is a mobile chapel community that has placed truck stop chapel locations all across North America.
Thanksgiving Shopping & Finance Tips
Shop Ahead – Since you’re in a big rig and the parking lots for many stores may be packed full of shoppers,
rather than trying to compete for space. Shop earlier in the week and stock up on food items.
Credit Card Rewards – If you use a credit card while on the road, plan ahead and take advantage of cash back rewards points and other discounts and savings. Many credit cards offer special rewards for certain categories of purchases during certain months. Some credit cards increase the percentage of cash back rewards from 1% to 5% during certain months.
Avoid fees, Pay Cash – If you plan ahead and save for the holidays, pay with cash and avoid paying interest on credit card balances. If you do use credit cards, be sure to pay it off each month.
Thanksgiving Traffic and Safety
You can view current traffic conditions on Google Maps or other smartphone apps. When you pull up a map, click on the box in the upper right hand corner.
AAA’s estimates that this holiday weekend over 43.4 million motorists are expected to travel over 50 miles between Wednesday and Sunday.While traveling, allow plenty of distance and anticipate the moves of other motorists.
Wherever you park, be aware of the potential for slick spots at freezing or near-freezing temperatures, for both you and your truck. Sometimes leaves that fall can cover a slushy or icy spot that, when stepped on, can slip right out from under your feet. Unless the ground is perfectly dry in freezing temperatures, there is always a potential hazard.
Use three points of contact when getting out of or into your truck. Flatbed drivers need to be especially careful when getting up on their loads in cold weather.
Wherever you are this Thanksgiving, make the most of what you have. No matter what your situation, there are plenty of ways to keep your holiday traditions alive even when away from home.
A special thank you from us all.
Trucking is a mainstay and crucial part of our economy, transporting products all across America. The men and women that tirelessly drive these vehicles could easily be considered American icons. Despite their long hours and loneliness at times, they press on to deliver goods to our stores and markets through all hours of the day and night, in all kinds of weather.
We as a society, as consumers of all that they bring should be thankful for these truckers. They drive and drive to provide us with anything and everything we could need in our stores. They face brutal weather at times, endless traffic and tough regulations. They are a brave community and even selfless at times to leave behind their families and friends and even their lives to be gone weeks at a time sometimes. We go about our busy lives, often not even thinking about what it takes to get all those products in our local stores.
This Thanksgiving when we are all sitting at our beautiful and bountiful tables filled with every holiday food you can think of, surrounded by loved ones that we get to see regularly, let us try to remember the many men and women out on that cold and lonely road with no Thanksgiving feast and no loved ones around them. They are out there getting a job that only they could do. Maybe even take a few minutes to say thanks the next time you see a truck driver at a gas station for all they do and all they face in their line of work.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!