It is no secret that the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest holiday travel time of the year. In fact, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in New York is notorious for frustratingly long delays as millions of travelers start their journeys on the roads, in the skies, or on trains. This year, make travel safety the first thing you check off your packing list.
Flexibility Reduces Stress
Choose the days that you travel wisely. For example, the two days to avoid driving in New York are the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving. In fact, Wednesday is known as Gridlock Alert Day. We suggest that you take mass transit whenever possible since streets will be at or over capacity.
Stick to Your Departure Plan
Plan your departure early, especially if you are traveling on Wednesday. Traffic tends to become more congested as the day progresses. Packing your car the night before and planning to be on the road by morning rush hour will enable you to be well on your way before the majority of holiday traffic hits the road. If you are returning home on Friday, be sure to avoid shopping areas.
Keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Slow down and let someone else in the vehicle navigate for you. With lower gas prices, more drivers than usual will be on the roadways. Take your time and pay attention to weather alerts. Above all, we recommend that you keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. It should contain useful items, such as water, snacks, first aid kit, a flashlight, and blankets.
Travel Safety and Your Health
The holidays also mark the beginning of cold and flu season. Exposure to someone who is sick and not catching the illness does not always mean you are in the clear. In fact, you are contagious up to a week prior to symptoms appearing. Keep in mind that others have touched everything you touch. Make sure you cleanse your hands regularly with soap and hot water, and carry hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes to clean surfaces such as doorknobs, armrests, and toilet seats.
Unlike the most recent years when the economy kept people closer to home for Thanksgiving, the attractive prices at the pump and a steady economy have more people making plans to travel on the road this year. The rush hour in New York is anticipated to start about two hours earlier than normal, meaning it could take up to 25 percent longer to get to your final destination this year. The two most useful pieces of advice are to buckle up and remain patient.