Been driven to tears driving home for Christmas? Make this year more bearable
Avoid maps, keep on top of unexpected delays and ensure the kids are fed with when driving home this Christmas with a TomTom satnav...
Christmas is all about being at home and seeing family, but first we have to get there.
The song Driving Home for Christmas is warm-hearted and sentimental, but anyone who's actually completed such a trek knows it can be far more trying than Chris Rea would have us believe.
Bored, moaning kids, a wife in a mood about being late to see her parents, missed motorway junctions and the realisation you passed a McDonald's five minutes ago and another isn't coming up for five junctions. However, things could be so much different with a TomTom Go satnav to guide you home.
1) Avoid rows over map reading
Bored kids in the back; boot and any spare seat and floor space taken up by bags over-spilling with presents; two parents who have been at work all week and spending evenings wrapping into the wee small hours and a 200-mile car journey in its first five minutes. If you're going to have a row, it's likely to be now.
Arguing over directions is a massive cliché - make sure you're above such trivialities things by having your route mapped out with a TomTom Go satnav. Type in your destination or tap the map on the touchscreen and away you go - a voice will guide you through every stage of the journey, from the minute you start the car to the in-laws' front door. You'll never miss a junction again, but only thing is, what will you argue about now? Hopefully not the in-laws.
2) Stop the kids moaning with a well-timed burger
You've been in the car for a couple of hours and still have a couple to go. The kids have been good so far, but unsettled fidgeting and arguing in the back tells you they're about to go off Outnumbered style. They've watched a DVD, read a magazine, listened to their iPod - now they're really starting to get bored, and you're the number one target.
What you need is intervention; a distraction - and there's no better distraction than a burger and milkshake. But finding one in the dark on a packed motorway is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. However, if you have a TomTom Go satnav you can plan your route to include such stop offs - as well as a cash machine and petrol station. No more driving around in the dark while the kids get on your back for being an unprepared idiot.
3) Keep the in-laws happy by letting them know when you'll arrive - even after delays
When your better half asked you how long it would take to drive back to her parents you gave her a rough estimate. You were trying to slurp a cup of tea before dashing out to work, and forgot about rush-hour traffic and other unexpected delays.
However, you've now been hit by both. You blew the target arrival time half an hour ago, and now you don't have a clue at what time you'll finally rock up. The missus' sighing is becoming more contrived, the checking of her watch more frequent.
If that sounds familiar make this year different. The TomTom Go range factors in roadworks when planning your route, while you can connect it to your smartphone for real-time updates on traffic jams, accidents and other delays.
This means you can let the in-laws know pretty much when you're going to arrive even if your journey is hit by delays, as it uses real-time info to give accurate arrival times.
Pick up a TomTom GO400, GO500 or GO600 and you'll be singing along to Chris Rea in no time at all.
With no rows over directions, kids that have had a feed and it looking like you're on schedule to hit your arrival time target - you've really got this driving home for Christmas lark sewn up.