Holiday Travel Driving Tips

Holiday Travel Driving Tips

The holiday season (from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day) is typically the busiest travel time of the year. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, during the Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (50 miles or more) increases by about 54 percent. During the Christmas/ New Year’s travel period, the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number during the rest of the year. While airports, bus stations, and trains get major traffic during the holidays, most long-distance holiday travel is done by personal vehicle.

Traveling with more cars on the road can make your travel experience stressful. If you plan on driving somewhere during the holidays, take a look at our holiday travel driving tips to make your trip a little easier:

  • Get your car examined – Before driving a long distance, it is a good idea to get your car looked at, especially if you will be driving in winter conditions. Getting a quick tune-up can give you peace of mind and help you to avoid unfortunate car troubles.
  • Plan Ahead – Before hitting the road, map out your route and check for any potential road closures, construction zones, or traffic delays. Consider using GPS navigation apps or websites to find the fastest and most efficient route.
  • Leave Early or Late – To avoid peak travel times and heavy traffic, consider leaving for your destination early in the morning or later in the evening. This can help reduce stress and minimize the time spent sitting in traffic jams.
  • Pack Essentials – Make sure to pack essential items such as snacks, water, a first-aid kit and any medications you may need. Also, do not forget to bring a fully charged phone and a car charger in case of emergencies.
  • Stay Alert – Driving long distances can be tiring, so make sure to take regular breaks to rest and stretch your legs. If possible, share the driving responsibilities with someone else to help stay alert and focused on the road.
  • Be Patient – Traffic congestion and delays are common during the holidays, so try to remain patient and courteous to other drivers. Avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating or weaving in and out of traffic.
  • Stay Informed – Stay updated on weather conditions and traffic alerts along your route. Listen to traffic reports on the radio or use traffic apps to get real-time updates on road conditions and potential hazards.
  • Buckle Up – Always remember to wear your seatbelt and ensure that all passengers are properly restrained, including children in car seats or booster seats. Seatbelts save lives and can help protect you in the event of a collision.
  • Drive Safely – Follow all traffic laws, including obeying speed limits, using turn signals and yielding to pedestrians and other vehicles. Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions such as texting or talking on the phone while driving.

By following these holiday travel driving tips, you can help make your journey safer and more enjoyable for you and your passengers. Safe travels!