Holiday Traffic: Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. But before we stuff our faces with the best holiday foods, many of us will have to endure holiday traffic. Unless you enjoy mind-numbing traffic, you may be seeking alternate routes or times to leave. Whether you are taking a road trip or flying to your destination, it would help to know what time to leave and come back so you aren’t stuck in traffic. This post will discuss ways to plan your route, the best times to hit the road, and tips that will make traffic easier to get through. 

Time To Fly…Or Just Drive

Before the holiday traffic sets in, check out google maps’ Mapping Thanksgiving. The feature allows users to input the city they are nearest and see what times traffic will be heaviest. You can see from as early as the day before Thanksgiving all the way to the Sunday before the work week. For Chicagoans, the best time to leave is around 2 AM on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Understandably, you or your family might not be able to leave that early, but the closer you can get to that time the better. In fact, the best daylight time to leave would be 6 AM, slightly more manageable. As for your return, if you plan on leaving for home on Sunday you should get moving by as early in the morning as possible. 

Before Getting On The Road

Those who will be making their journey through holiday traffic should run a checklist of car necessities. Some things you can check on or in your car before hitting the road include tire pressure of all tires, including the spare. Many people neglect to properly inflate or maintain tire pressure, but it helps your car and fuel economy. Another thing to check is your car’s oil life, meaning are you in need of an oil change or not. Change your oil if it’s been a while since your last change, especially if you plan on putting a decent amount of miles on the trip.

While On The Road

If you plan on making a road trip over Thanksgiving weekend you should consider purchasing roadside assistance. Few things ruin travel plans like a flat tire, running out of gas, or some other car-related mishap. When you get roadside assistance, you have 24-hour services such as emergency towing, supply delivery, battery service, and much more. Additionally, roadside assistance coverage extends to throughout the US and Canada. With roadside assistance, you can guarantee your plans will move forward even if your car can not.

While At Your Destination.

When you finally arrive at your destination, you’ll have to find a good spot to park. Depending on where you are, parking may be free and easy, or shady and expensive. Hopefully, your destination has plenty of close parking, but if it does not there are some precautions you should take. First, try parking close to where you will be and in a well lit or secured area. If you have to park on the street be sure to remove all valuables from the inside so potential thieves do not target your car. Additionally, purchasing a security system or alarm in your car may help keep thieves away, but even putting a decal of a security company on your car might work. 

Points To Walk Away With

  • Use Mapping Thanksgiving by google maps to see what times are best for leaving and coming back
  • Before hitting the road, check your tire pressure, oil, and check on your spare
  • Roadside assistance coverage helps you stay on schedule regardless of what happens on the road
  • When you arrive at your destination, try to park in a well lit and secured area.