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Hitting the Road for Thanksgiving? These Tips Will Help


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With AAA predicting a record number of travelers hitting the road for Thanksgiving this year, drivers can expect to see delays both traveling to and from their holiday destination.

To ease the stress of driving over the busy Thanksgiving week it’s important to plan ahead – and have a back-up plan should things go awry.

“With record levels of travelers, and persistent population growth in the country’s major metropolitan areas, drivers must prepare for major delays,” Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX, said in a news release. “Although travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon nationally, travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion throughout the week.”

Follow these tips to help ease travel woes:

Download a Map App

Whether you use Google Maps, Waze, or another app, it’s a great idea to download a map app before you hit the road. These apps can give you real-time information on crashes, heavy traffic, and road works, along with suggesting alternate routes. They are also great for those times when you need to pull off the highway for food, restrooms, or to take in a local tourist attraction.

Bring a Phone Charger

The last thing you need when traveling and relying on a map app is for your phone battery to die! Make sure to pack a car phone charger.

Bring Snacks

Pack a cooler, or bag full of healthy snacks and water. It will help minimize the time spent leaving the highway in search of food.

Service Your Car

Before hitting the road make sure your car has had a full service – oil change, tire rotation, etc.

Be Patient

With AAA predicting this year will see the busiest travel on record for Thanksgiving remember to take a deep breath and pack a little patience. It’s a given you will more than likely witness some crazy drivers out there, but falling prey to road rage is not only bad for your health, it can also be dangerous. Instead of engaging another driver, remove yourself from what could become a volatile situation by letting them pass.

Avoid Certain Travel Days

According to AAA, it’s best to avoid the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to hit the road. AAA, along with Google Maps, predict Wednesday will be the busiest day of the week to travel, with congestion peaking between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Likewise avoid traveling on Black Friday. Google Maps suggest heading home on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

Leave Early in the Morning

Google Maps suggests starting your journey as early as possible in the morning, ideally before 6 a.m. when traffic is lighter.

Pull Over and Take a Break

If you start to feel really frazzled, or lethargic pull over and take a break. Stopping somewhere for food, taking a walk, or simply getting some fresh air can help revive a travel frenzied spirit.

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