According to AAA, an estimated 55.4 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, a 2.3% increase from 2022.
Of those expected to travel, AAA estimates 49 million Americans will take to the roads over the holiday weekend, an increase of 1.7% from last year. Another 4.7 million people are expected to fly, while those traveling by cruise, bus, or train will be up nearly 11%.
“Thanksgiving and travel go hand in hand, and this holiday, we expect more people on the roads, skies, and seas compared to 2022,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. “Travel demand has been strong all year, and AAA’s Thanksgiving forecast reflects that continued desire to get away and spend time with loved ones.”
Traveling during the holiday week can make anyone anxious, especially if you’re driving. MAPFRE Insurance put together a few quick tips to help ease stress and safely get you and your family to your destination.
Get a tune up:
Before you leave, make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape for a long-haul drive. This means things like getting an oil change, checking the battery, checking your tire pressure and topping off your windshield washer fluid.
Plan your trip ahead of time:
Check traffic reports and try to leave on the least popular travel days of the week. In case you were wondering, that would be any other day but Wednesday. But if you can’t escape traveling on Wednesday, try to leave after 8 p.m. The worst time to travel on Wednesday is between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to AAA.
Have an emergency kit ready:
When you hit the road, you should be prepared for anything and packing an emergency kit helps you stay that way. While you can buy a premade kit, we recommend creating your own – so that you’ll know exactly what is inside. Include items like cotton pads, antiseptic wash and bandages to take care of any bumps and bruises, along with jumper cables, tire gauges and patches, and fluorescent road markers to take care of your vehicle.
This should be a no brainer, especially if you’re traveling with kids or teens. Make sure all tablets, mp3 players and portable gaming devices are charged. Bring spare sets of headphones and chargers (you don’t want a fight to break out over who gets to use it next). Trying to unplug? Bring some magazines and easy games to play. Anyone up for a rousing game of I spy or road trip bingo? Most importantly, don’t forget the snacks!
Preparing for the worst:
Put a bag of kitty litter in the trunk in case you get stuck in the snow and keep extra washer fluid in the trunk as well as an ice scraper and blankets. You never know when you may encounter bad weather, a swarm of bugs or hordes of cats (we’re just kitten!). In reality, all these items may come in handy for getting out of a travel bind when the roads are slick.
According to transportation analytics company INRIX, the two busiest days on the roads are expected to be the day before Thanksgiving, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and the Sunday after between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. On those days, drivers should head out on the road before noon to avoid the heaviest traffic.
We hope you found these tips helpful in keeping your loved ones safe while you head out on the busy roadways. And remember, if you are not a MAPFRE customer yet, talk to an independent agent in your state or get a fast, free car insurance quote in Massachusetts today to see how much you could save!