What may be the most wonderful time of the year for everyone else is certainly the busiest time of the year for truck drivers. Santa and his elves rely on the trucking industry to help all the important gifts, holiday decorations, and the food ingredients needed for holiday feasts and festivities arrive on time for everyone’s celebrations. Trucking this time of year can be unusually stressful and exhausting as you spend much of the holiday season away from those you love the most. Here are some of our favorite tips for truckers driving over the holidays. We hope these suggestions bring you a little extra cheer and make your lives just a little bit easier.

Stay flexible
Not only is this the biggest time of the year for shipping goods around the country, but you also have to factor in weather delays and a lot of extra holiday traffic. Ensure you’re budgeting in time for unexpected delays. If you’re feeling extra frustrated, take a breather before getting back on the road.

Be safe
Safety should always be your top priority, but you’ll need to be extra prepared during the holidays. Think about what you’ll need for freezing temperatures and if you get caught in a snowstorm. Keep your winter emergency kit stocked and don’t forget to pack extra food and water in case you become stranded somewhere. Keep it all in your cab so it’s easily accessible and doesn’t require you to go outside to retrieve it. Periodically check your favorite weather app for changes along your route and make sure you’re prepared for winter driving (https://carter-express.com/make-safety-a-priority-when-driving-in-winter-weather/).

Create new holiday traditions
Not everyone is able to be at home with their families over the holidays. There’s truck drivers like you, of course, as well as many military members, first responders and healthcare workers, to name a few. Use this as an opportunity to create new holiday traditions with your family. Celebrate a few days early or late, whenever you can all be together in person. Remember, a holiday is more than just a date on the calendar. It’s about how you celebrate it with the people most important to you.

Find ways to stay connected with friends and family
Time with your loved ones is a big part of what the holidays are all about. Being on the road this time of year means you need to get a little creative with how you spend the holidays with those most important to you. Check in on social media and share about your travels over the holidays. Use those same social media platforms to touch base with your friends too. Gather with your family via FaceTime to share in opening presents or reading books at bedtime. Want to get together with extended family spread out around the country. Video chat platforms like Zoom and Webex are great for larger group chats with multiple users logging in.

Celebrate with other truck drivers
You’re not the only one spending the holidays on the road. Share a meal or a cup of coffee with some fellow truck drivers or truck stop employees you’ve gotten to know along your route.

Spread holiday cheer
There are lots of opportunities to spread holiday cheer if you’re looking for them. Commit to doing random acts of kindness as you’re out and about. Gather some drivers together to sing a few Christmas carols at a rest area or terminal. Donate your pocket change to a Salvation Army red kettle. Volunteer some time at a local food pantry when you’re not driving.

Decorate your truck
One great way to keep up the Christmas spirit is by making your truck a little more festive. Add some lights, put a wreath or a bow on the front of your truck, and don’t forget to decorate the inside of your cab too. Get a small tree to decorate and blast some festive Christmas music from your radio.

Plan ahead
You’ll find that many places are closed on holidays so that employees can celebrate with their own families. Most supermarkets on Thanksgiving, for example, will have limited hours and often close sometime in the afternoon. If you like to cook your own meals, shop ahead of time so you have everything you need prior to the holiday. If you’re planning on eating out instead, choose your restaurant and location in advance, calling to make sure they’ll be open. Chain restaurants like Chili’s, Cracker Barrel and Waffle House are generally open on Thanksgiving while Denny’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and IHOP locations are also open on Christmas Day.

As you get ready to head on the road this holiday season, the Carter Express family wants you to know how much we value your hard work. You are the ones who truly bring the magic to this holiday season and it just wouldn’t be the same without you. We wish you the most wonderful holiday season this year!

Is a new company to work for on your Christmas list? We’d be happy to make that happen for you! Give us a call today to learn more about becoming a Carter driver this holiday season.