Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving. Turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie and time spent with family. It’s something many of us wait for all year but you know what they say, you can’t have sunshine without rain. Enter the dreaded holiday traffic. If you are staying home for Thanksgiving, lucky you. If you are driving home or somewhere else for Thanksgiving, here are some tips for making the trip a little easier.
1. Utilize Traffic Apps
Traffic apps such as Google Maps and Waze are great to use because they have real time traffic updates. Getting stuck in traffic is one of the worst parts of traveling and using a traffic app can help you avoid traffic jams altogether. They will tell you where the delays are and can be useful for finding an alternative route.
2. Don’t Forget the GPS
Detours and alternate routes can easily get you lost causing even more stress on the journey. Whether it’s a GPS you sit on your dash or an app on your phone, having a GPS can be a lifesaver. If you are using an app on your phone, make sure you download the app over wifi before you leave home. Downloading apps will eat up your data.
3. Stop for Gas Often
Especially on Highways. Idle cars burn gas too. The last thing you want to do is sit in traffic for two hours and run out of gas in the middle of the road. There is no need to go overboard and stop at every gas station (unless you are traveling through the midwest, in which case you should most definitely stop for gas as much as possible), but it is a good idea to never go below a half tank.
4. Make Sure Your Phone is Charged
The last thing you want to do is run out of gas or have an accident and not have a phone to call for help. If you have a car charger, don’t forget it.
5. Avoid Being on the Road between 3pm and 5pm on Wednesday
According to Google, this the busiest time on the road meaning massive delays and an increase in accidents are possible.
6. Leave on Tuesday
If possible, leave on Tuesday. Traffic heavily increases the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving through the following Sunday.
7. Forget the Flight and Take a Train
If you must fly to reach your Thanksgiving destination, consider taking a train instead. There are train stops virtually everywhere you wish to go, or at least somewhere close. Train stations are often less congested than airports because most people fly. There are rarely any delays, and some even argue that it is safer than both flying and driving.
8. Plan Road Trip Costs to Save Money for Black Friday
Take time to create a budget for your trip and stick to it. The last thing you want to do is miss all of the Black Friday deals because you spent all of your money on the road. Allow an emergency fund in your budget in case something happens. That way your shopping money will not be affected.
9. Pack a Snack
Especially if you have kids. Sitting in traffic can make you really hungry, particularly when it is almost dinner time and you have been sitting in traffic for an hour. Or when your handy traffic app tells you that you are in for a long ride. Always have a snack to get you through.
10. Reserve Your Rental a Week in Advance
The majority of people travelling will rent a car. Waiting til the last minute could leave you without one.