Ah, the holidays.

They are filled with joy, family, food and fun. Often, families aren’t all in one region of the country, so inevitably, there’s someone flying or driving in to join in all the festivities.

Word of advice: Leave political, religious and other hot-button topics (whether to go vegan or not in 2020) at home. Movies show idyllic families gathered ‘round and smiling. I don’t know about your house, but someone at some point is going to tick someone off.

Ah, the holidays!

For those of us who take a drive during one or both of the major holidays coming up, here are my top three picks to get you there – in style and comfort.

1. The Cadillac Escalade

Hands down my number one pick. This luxurious, huge vehicle is so choice. We rented one last year to drive about 10 hours. It was so worth it. The leather seats warm, hug and soothe. The sound system is kick-it cool. The backseats are roomy – plenty of space for the pooches (or kids) and so much room to pack in presents, load luggage and then bring it all back, with more stuff. It also has all the bells and whistles, multi-zone cooling and heating, Bluetooth connection, wifi hotspot (that’s extra if you rent it), a navigation system. We drove a big, black beauty with tinted windows. Yaas, it was awesome – like having a big-daddy house on the road. Rent early for the best prices. If you’d rather buy yourself a Christmas present, you can pick up a 2019 Escalade for around $80K or so.

2. Chevrolet Traverse

Taking it down a few notches from the Escalade, but no less a smooth ride the Chevrolet Traverse is my second pick. We rented one of these one holiday (the Escalade admittedly spoiled me), but this one has a five-star overall score for safety. That always makes me feel better, especially on those road trips when everyone else is on the road, going too slow or driving far too fast. It maneuvers seamlessly from one lane to another and it seats up to eight. The leather seats are comfortable and roomy and some come heated. There’s little nooks and crannies for storage and it has a hands-free lift gate. A bit more budget friendly, but oh-so comfortable for long trips. The 2020 Traverse has a starting price of $29,930.

3. Toyota Sequoia

My third pick, the Toyota Sequoia, is one I’ve not experienced yet. It does have great safety ratings and the 2020 model has reclining third-row seats. Driver and passenger front seats are heated in the “Platinum” model. There’s room for eight people and in case you need to tow a separate trailer to sleep in (and get away from the holiday festivities for while), this large SUV tows up to 7,400 pounds. As with most premium SUVs, there are a myriad of safety features including pre-collision with pedestrian detection. The 2020 model starts at about $50,000.

Here’s to safe roadtrips during the holidays – no matter what you drive or how far the distance.

Be safe out there.