Read our tips for making sure your Christmas journey home stays merry

If only the Great Christmas Getaway really was like it is on telly – singing along to festive favourites  that you can hear from the local christmas market whilst the traffic flows freely along well-lit motorways and not a pothole or roadwork in sight. Meanwhile back at base camp, the tree is trimmed, the nibbles are warming and the mulled wine is flowing – and everyone is waiting with open arms, for you. Of course, the reality is that you’re stuck in a 10-mile tailback, low on fuel and you’ve still got a five mile stretch of roadworks to get through. And base camp? No doubt a row has already broken out over who’s doing what on the day itself. But it’s not all doom and gloom (really) so chin up and stay safe with these top driving home for Christmas tips:

  • Check your car – make sure tyres are pumped up and in good condition, windscreens are clean and that you have enough washer fluid in reserve. Check your oil levels and make sure your lights are in tip top condition.
  • Plan your journey – sounds simple, but even if you’re off to mum and dads and you know the route like the back of your hand, always check road works and the latest travel update. Diversions can add miles, minutes and even hours to your journey so it’s worth knowing what’s in store.
  • Don’t drive tired – it’s been a long year and you can finally look forward to relaxing, but make sure you’re not too tired to drive. Take regular breaks or pep yourself up with a coffee stop – even better would be to make sure you got a good night’s sleep.
  • Make sure you’re covered for all eventualities – check your car insurance, a dark and freezing cold winter night is not the time to realise you have no breakdown cover or that your insurance needed renewing the week before.

But the Great Christmas Getaway isn’t really that bad and rows are all just part and parcel of a family Christmas – afterall, if you can’t argue with your nearest and dearest then who can you? And back at the ranch, you know that all misdemeanours are forgiven and forgotten as soon as the Quality Street comes out.

If you’re leaving your own home empty over Christmas, then make sure you beat the burglars and connect timers to lamps and radios to make your house looked lived in. The last thing you want is to come back to a ransacked home – always make sure you’re covered (just in case).

And if you’re just popping over to the relatives on Christmas or Boxing Day? Well you should still lock all your doors and windows of course. Needless to say, you should keep your valuables out of sight and if you’ve got a garden shed, then keep that locked too because bikes, power tools and garden equipment make good presents for the light-fingered.

So, pack the car, load up the presents, get ready for some carpool karaoke and decide which one of these festive classics is your favourite sing-a-long song:

  • Driving Home for Christmas – this Chris Rea classic is for the literal minded and what better way to drive home than by doing it to a song of the same name?
  • Last Christmas by Wham! – nothing sums up Christmas, the 80s, bad hair and snow fights quite like this song.
  • All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey – just because it’s good to be reminded that even a millionaire doesn’t want a lot for Christmas and therefore neither should we.
  • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee – because that’s we’ll all be doing when we crack open the sherry.
  • Or you can check out our 10 Alternative Christmas Songs if you’re sick of the same old tunes this year and fancy a bit of a change.

At comparethemarket.com we hope that the festive season is less about being In the Bleak Midwinter and more about having the most wonderful time of year – so make sure someone’s got your back and that your home, contents and car are covered – otherwise it might end up being a Blue Christmas and that’s no fun at all.