I probably say it every year, but this year holiday travel is actually set to break some records!
Numbers released last week by AAA show that 112.5 million people are expected to be traveling in the air and on the roads; that’ s a 4.4 percent increase over last year’s number. Broken down by transport, 102.1 million people are expected to travel by car, 6.7 million people will travel by air and 3.7 million will travel by trains, buses and cruise ships.
So what’s the best way to beat the madness?
1 Timing is everything; the earlier you leave the better. That goes for every kind of transport. If your flying be sure to get to the airport at least two hours ahead of time. Drivers should note that data released by AAA shows that Thursday, Dec. 20 from 9:30 – 10:30 p.m. will be the worst time for travel in New York City.
2 Get some handy apps stocked up on your phone, like WAZE, that use real time traffic data and also show alternate routes for you to consider based on traffic and time.
3 Consider traveling on the actual holiday itself when there is usually the least amount of traffic and (for the risk takers who haven’t booked already) flights, trains and such can have price drops. Re flights in particular, be sure to download tracking apps like Hopper which will let you know when those deals strike.
4 Drivers, never hit the road with less than a full tank of gas, especially if you’re driving an extended distance. Its also smart to pack a driving kit with blankets and gloves, drinking water and flashlight with extra batteries, and healthy snacks for the journey.
5 Keep update on weather reports, as this time of year weather can cause mayhem to travel plans. If you are driving, make sure you check weather conditions, have a working radio and your vehicle is prepared for any circumstances that may arise. If flying, be sure to keep an eye out for ‘winter storm warnings’ or severe delays,. This is particularly important if you have a connection somewhere that may be subject to temperamental weather you would not otherwise be.
6 Stay calm, as he holidays can be stressful enough. Try and make the best of journey ahead, no matter what it may bring (and know that a little extra preparation goes a long way.)