Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Volunteers of America Southwest! We hope you are able to celebrate joyously with your friends, family, and loved ones.
You're probably traveling at some point this week, so below we've gathered some safe traveling tips to make sure you get to your family safely. Following these tips can take care of not only yourself, but others on the road, as well. We hope you all have an incredible weekend and make it home safe.
Know When People Travel
If you plan to travel by car over the holiday season you may wonder which days are the most crowded. For Thanksgiving, the days people drive depends on how far they are traveling. Those traveling less than 100 miles tend to travel on Thanksgiving day. Those traveling greater than 100 miles are more likely to travel the Wednesday before.
Where Do They Go?
Half of all holiday travelers take same day trips. But, many Americans take advantage of the time off of work to take a leisure trip. Business travel drops during the holiday season compared to the rest of the year.
How Many Travel?
In 2014 AAA estimated over 46 million travelers for Thanksgiving weekend.
Don't Forget Weather
Unfortunately, in November and December the weather often makes the drive more complicated. With flights cancelled some travelers find their only option was driving to their destination. Poor road conditions make travel slow and add potential dangers.
Prepare For Your Trip
If you will be traveling this holiday season you will likely encounter heavy traffic. It may be difficult to get on and off exit ramps. Speeds may be slower than typical. Accidents or poor weather will cause significant traffic jams.
Plan your route. Investigate which roads will likely have extra travelers and try to plan an alternate path. Although the route may be longer in mileage, avoiding heavy congestion could save time.
Consider which days you will travel. If possible, avoid the most popular days for travel by extending your trip a day or two. Traveling on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving may save you a headache and give you an extra day on your trip.
Bring a GPS. This will allow you to re-route your trip. Unanticipated situations, like a traffic accident, could stop traffic for miles.
Toll Booths will have long lines. If your journey uses an EZ Pass or Fast Pass system, consider getting the device to save time. If not, make sure you have plenty of change with you for tolls.
Pack for a worst case scenario. We hope you'll make it to your destination with zero issues. Yet, media stories of people stuck in snow storms should make us all prepare for the worst. In your car pack water, food, blankets, warm clothes, and a small snow shovel. Verify your gas tank is full when you set out.
Pay attention to car maintenance. A broken down vehicle will force you to alter your travel plans. Be sure to make sure your car is in good working order before you leave. Check that your oil level and tire pressure are appropriate. Make sure your headlights, tail lights and brake lights all work. If you suspect any issues have them checked out by a mechanic before departing.