With just about a week until Thanksgiving, we are officially approaching the holiday season, also known as one of the busiest times of year to travel. Friends and families come together to spend quality time together while enjoying a thoughtfully-prepared meal and exchanging gifts. While there are several positive aspects to the holidays, many people dread the process of getting to and from their destination. In New England and other regions of the country, Thanksgiving week is consistently ranked as one of the worst times of year to travel. While the day (Wednesday) before Thanksgiving Day has historically been considered among the worst days to be on the roads, recent studies by AAA have found that Thanksgiving itself has seen heavier traffic. In any case, if you’re traveling this Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s, you will want to keep the following tips in mind.
Check the Forecast
November is an interesting month weather-wise in New England. Temperatures can fluctuate quite frequently and snow is not out of the realm of possibility. Before planning your holiday travel, be sure to check the forecast for your departing location and destination. Allow yourself extra time if there is inclement weather in the forecast. Be sure to check the forecast for your return trip as well and plan your travel accordingly.
Utilize Mobile Apps
Most drivers are likely to encounter at least some periods of traffic during their holiday travel. Smartphone owners can save time by utilizing navigation apps like Waze to help find the quickest route to their destination, taking into account traffic and road closures. If you choose to use a navigation app, be sure to hand the phone to a co-pilot or make sure the volume is turned on to avoid distracted driving.
Bring the Essentials
In order to make the holiday travel experience more enjoyable for yourself and loved ones, it’s a good idea to pack the car with some basic essentials. Pack snacks, bottled water, headphones (for passengers who’d like to listen to music or watch a movie), portable phone chargers, and a pillow and blankets for passengers who’d like to take a nap. Stocking up on these items will help you avoid the rush at rest stops, shortening your travel time. If you’re traveling with young kids or infants, make sure to pack toys, games and anything else that will keep them occupied.
New England is notorious for being home to some of the most aggressive drivers in the country. The holidays seem to only make things worse. With more drivers on the road who are eager to reach their destination, there is typically an influx of accidents during the holidays. Additionally, many drivers are navigating to destinations that they have not been to before, and a hesitant and confused driver is a dangerous driver. This holiday season, make sure to keep your calm and allow yourself more time than you think you’ll need to reach your destination. While it’s easy to lose your cool, there is nothing that can put a damper on your holidays like a fender bender. Stay cool, calm and collected
Above all, use common sense and good judgment while traveling this holiday season!