’Tis the time of year when everyone piles into the family vehicle to bounce from house to house and stuff their bellies full of seasonal favorites. The holidays present blessings of love, cheer, and joy with friends and family. Unfortunately, holiday travel often comes with physical, mental, emotional, and financial burdens (and mandatory bonding with the in-laws).
We all know how this scene plays out: passengers are packed tighter than sardines amongst luggage, toys, and fast food garbage. One parent tries to talk over the childish cat fights in the back seat. The other grips the wheel for dear life in bumper-to-bumper traffic. You want to know how to reduce travel anxiety? Don’t go. It’s the only sure fire way to avoid the mayhem. Since that’s not an option for most us, Plan B goes into effect.
Pressed for Space
Invest in cargo management that actually allows drivers to maximize storage capacity. Consider splurging on interior amenities like video headrests to keep the kids amused. And most importantly, remember to pack ear plugs to drown out the whining.
Perhaps the biggest problem when loading up the car, truck, or SUV for holiday travel is that lack of cargo room. Fitting passengers, luggage, presents, food, and (in some cases) winter gear can make a spacious vehicle seem lacking. Luckily, there are extra storage solutions in the form of roof racks, roof-mounted cargo boxes, roof baskets, and trailer-hitch-mounted cargo carriers. Industry-leading storage accessory manufacturers like Thule, Yakima, Surco, and Rightline Gear offer a wide variety of choices.
These add-ons can sometimes be seen as overkill by the uninitiated. Rest assured, though, a cramped and overfilled interior can be made quite comfortable with the addition of just one extra cargo storage device. For travelers with small children, seat-back-mounted storage bags and kick protection mats from Prince Lionheart prove invaluable.
Baby, It’s COLD Outside
Since most holiday travel is done in cold weather, another comfort booster comes in the form of heated seats. While “butt warmers” are a popular option on new cars, there are plenty of older vehicles that lack the upgrade. Climbing into a warm car and sitting on a toasty seat immediately decreases stress and bumps up the cozy factor.
Aftermarket companies offer two varieties of add-on seat warmers. Cover-like ones easily slide over a seat and plug into a car’s cigarette lighter, while factory-like ones need professional installation. The latter has a cleaner look, but it also comes at a greater cost and requires shop installation (Cha-Ching for you!). Either way, it’s an easy sale that, regionally at least, retailers can push with relative ease.
No Need to Lose Any Sleep Over Holiday Travel
Road trips are often long and tiring. While stopping at a hotel for a good night’s sleep is ideal, that’s not always an option. But what if you could have a bed in your car or truck? AirBedz, an inflatable mattress made by Pitman Outdoors, is sized to fit in the bed of a pickup truck or the back seat or cargo area of an SUV. And since these mattresses are collapsible, they don’t take up a tremendous amount of space when they’re not in use.
Having greater cargo storage capacity, nice warm seats, and a portable comfy place to take a nap are three easy ways to make the holiday travel season more pleasant. So stock your shelves accordingly! And help your customers beat the stress with gifts that keep on giving.