Today’s headline read “1 Million More to Travel on Holiday”. AAA’s travel forecast projects that 48.7 million travelers will travel at least 50 miles to visit friends and family over the Thanksgiving holiday.
With gas prices approaching their lowest levels since 2008, the overwhelming majority of travelers — almost 90 percent (43.5 million) — will be driving.
That’s a lot of company on our highways as we head for Grandma’s house. So here are a few suggestions on how to make the drive go a little smoother.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Problems
Make sure you check traffic and weather conditions. The worst days to travel in terms of traffic volume are the Wednesday prior to and the Sunday following Thanksgiving Day. If you can leave a day early or avoid Sunday, you won’t be sharing the road with so many other travelers anxious to get to their destinations.
Load Up On the Necessities
Having enough drinks and snacks is essential. Make allowances for delays when determining how much to bring. To avoid the proverbial “I’m bored” claim, bring a variety of items to entertain your family including music, movies, books and games. Don’t forget power cords and batteries for your electronic devices. Family fun activities can include playing “I Spy” and singing your children’s favorite songs.
Consider an Alternate Route
With all the road construction and high volume of traffic, the most direct route may not be the best or fastest way to get to your destination. Use this opportunity to explore some less traveled roads that may meander a bit, but may just get you to your destination in comparable time, but with a lot less stress. And just think of what you might see when not driving down the interstate highway.
Use GPS Apps to Find Your Way
GPS apps like Google Maps, Waze and Here Maps (which are all free) offer accurate maps, voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions, and traffic and safety alerts. They can help avoid construction delays, heavy traffic congestion and accidents. One cautionary note: GPS apps can take a heavy toll on your smartphone battery, so turn them off when you know where you are going.
Service Your Vehicle Before You Hit the Road
Having car trouble when on a family trip can ruin an otherwise great time. Before heading out get your vehicle in and have the oil changed, the tires checked, and potential problems identified. Take advantage of Beck’s Special Thanksgiving Coupon below.
Enjoy the Journey
All of us at Beck’s Auto Center wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Be safe in your travels and remember to slow down and enjoy the journey.