With Thanksgiving next week, a number of people are making their travel plans to visit family. Spurred by cheap gas prices, millions of Americans plan to travel away from home by driving.
Traveling by car remains the preferred mode of travel for Thanksgiving. Even a slight increase in people on roads might wreak havoc on families’ holiday plans — even Google Maps is trying to help travelers reach their destinations. The organization released travel tips Tuesday using data from Thanksgiving 2014.
So what are travelers to do this busy time of year? For starters, keep track of traffic trends. Google Maps can report to you which day of the week is the worst traffic day, and you can plan your travels on the other days or at times when traffic will be the least crowded.
Here are a few more tips for families planning to travel for Thanksgiving.
– Don’t overpack. Most travelers know not to haul too many belongings with them — but that doesn’t mean they won’t. The more weight you put in the truck of your car, the harder your car has to work to get you where you are going.
– Utilize apps. You never know what you might encounter on the road. Apps aid in booking hotels, checking finances and keeping track of scheduled events.
– Be an early bird. Not all people have the option of kicking off their Thanksgiving break early, but those who can avoid issues. Not only should you think about getting on the road early in the morning, but if you can consider traveling a few days early.
– Consider alternative routes. There aren’t really any undiscovered shortcuts during the holidays – at least none that we know of. But those routes of the “alternative” sort might be the next best thing. Here’s where those Apps could come in handy. Use an App like Waze to get you moving on a new, less trafficked route.
– Think strategy. Always have a plan B. There might be an accident ahead of you and you need to be prepared to possibly be stuck in traffic. Have a stash of necessities ready in the car with you.
– Keep your wits. People might forget potential dangers like identity theft during the holiday bustle. That’s why safeguarding devices before traveling, making sure passwords are unique and avoiding public Wi-Fi should remain top priorities even when arriving at a destination on time seems most important.
– Account for the kids. Snacks go a long way in keeping kids from getting cranky. If treats fail to keep youngsters calm, you might need to pull to the side of the road and just take a break. Be sure to choose a state rest area or safe exit, don’t pull onto the side of an interstate.
– Keep pets hydrated. Families taking furry friends on trips don’t have to worry about summer heat, but they should pack a cooler, blanket and harness.
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