Thanksgiving travel tips to stay safe on the road

Thanksgiving travel tips to stay safe on the road

When it comes to Thanksgiving travel tips, the most important one is to pack a happy, relaxed attitude. However, there are other things you can do too. Keep reading for eight more Thanksgiving travel tips from the experts at Drive Smart Georgia.

As posted by SmarterTravel.com, the three heaviest Thanksgiving travel days in 2017 will be Sunday, November 26 (#1), Wednesday, November 22 (#2), and Friday, November 17 (#3).  The lightest travel day will be Thanksgiving Day itself.

Due to higher wages and increased consumer confidence, more people than ever will make family road trips during the 2017 Thanksgiving travel period.

Time to hit the road!

Automobile transportation remains the most popular travel mode, with 90% of travelers opting to hit the road as opposed to flying. Close to 45 million people will be traveling on America’s highways this Thanksgiving. Yes, it will once again be one of the most challenging times to travel.

If you’re one of the 45 million people getting behind the wheel this Thanksgiving, be aware that driving may be difficult with packed roads and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Plus, weather conditions may be less than ideal.

Before loading up the car and heading out, the experts Drive Smart Georgia recommend the following Thanksgiving travel tips for safe road trips to Grandma’s house.

Thanksgiving travel tips –
#1: Make sure your vehicle is road ready

Thanksgiving travel tips mechanic

Our first Thanksgiving travel tip is to make sure that you’re car is ready for the road. If it’s time for an oil change, make sure to get one before heading out on a long Thanksgiving car trip. Also, check the pressure in all four tires and make sure the windshield fluid is full.

Give your vehicle the once over, or have it checked out by a local and trustworthy mechanic. It’s absolutely no fun being stranded in an auto shop in a strange locale. Plus, many are closed over Thanksgiving, so the ones that are open are likely to charge a pretty penny for any repairs.

Thanksgiving travel tips –
#2: Plan your route (and a Plan B too!)

Plan A and B

Make a Plan B is our second Thanksgiving travel tip. Map out your route beforehand, but make sure you have a GPS, smartphone or a map in the car in case a road is blocked. If this happens along your journey, activate Plan B to avoid unnecessary delays.

Thanksgiving travel tips –
#3: Be aware of changing weather

Thanksgiving travel tips snow

November weather can be tricky at times. While it’s sunny and warm in one place, it can be bitterly cold with snow or ice in another. If you’re traveling to a colder climate, be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out.

Thanksgiving travel tips –
#4: Avoid the most congested highways

Thanksgiving travel tips traffic jam

Navigating the highways presents challenges during the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Traffic can choke heavily traveled routes, like the I-95 corridor on the East Coast, adding hours to generally speedy trips.

Try to avoid the busiest highways, especially on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday. Back ways and side roads may be quicker.

Thanksgiving travel tips –
#5: Practice safe driving

Safe driving

Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and don’t forget to buckle up. Observe the speed limit, be well rested and alert, don’t follow cars too closely, and make frequent stops or rotate drivers.

Thanksgiving travel tips –
#6: Limit the distractions

Distracted driving sign

One of the most dangerous distractions is using your cell phone while driving. Give the phone to a passenger and let them do the talking, or wait until you make a travel stop for gas or to use the restroom and make your calls then.

Don’t eat in the car to save time. Instead, enjoy your meal in a restaurant for a well-deserved break from driving.

Thanksgiving travel tips –
#7: Pack smart

Suitcases and bags in trunk of car ready to depart for holidays

Traveling families often take along a lot of extra baggage. Make sure you don’t weigh your vehicle down too much. For any excess items that won’t fit in the trunk, a rooftop carrier is a good option, but be sure everything is tied down securely.

Thanksgiving travel tips –
#8: Amuse the kiddos

Thanksgiving travel tips kids in car

Nothing can distract a parent driver more than a carload of cranky, bored children. iPods, coloring books and crayons, picture books, magnetic board games can all help pass the time.

Make sure everything is within easy reach. Don’t forget to load up pillows and blankets. Sleeping children are quiet children.

Follow our Thanksgiving travel tips for a safe road trip. Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving!

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