The Best Way to Drive this Holiday Season

The holiday season is fast approaching. Meaning the time for giving and visiting family members is just around the corner. Unfortunately for some, this is also the season for grueling commutes to and from holiday parties, family members’ homes, etc. Because of this increased travel, and the fact that most people travel during this time, traffic during the holiday season can be unbearable. Many people traveling long distances choose to avoid the roads altogether by flying or traveling by train. But for others that are not traveling such long distances it feels like the eventual holiday traffic is unavoidable. Luckily there are ways to avoid holiday traffic and to ensure that your commute will be a smooth one, instead of a stop and go nightmare. Read on to see the best way to drive this holiday season, while avoiding the typical holiday traffic in the meantime:

Arrive Early and Leave Late
Last minute travel plans will land you in the middle of the worst traffic during the holidays. This is because lots of other people are waiting until the last minute to travel as well. By pushing your plans until the last minute, you will almost certainly ensure that your commute will be mired in traffic.

If it is possible to plan your holiday traveling around peak travel dates, you should do so. By taking an extra day to leave for your destination, you will be able to avoid the majority of the traffic that occurs during the holidays. The same traffic that plagues you if you wait until the last minute to start your travels will plague you if you leave immediately after a holiday as well. In order to avoid post-holiday traffic, wait an extra to travel, if that is possible. By planning on arriving at your destination early and leaving late, you can avoid the lion’s share of holiday traffic.

Monitor Traffic
If you can’t avoid peak traffic days during the holidays, then it is best to monitor traffic to ensure that your commute won’t be bogged down by traffic. By monitoring traffic in real-time, you can optimize your route by going around roads that are slow due to stop and go traffic or traffic accidents, avoiding densely populated roads. Sometimes side roads or smaller highways may have slower speed limits, and they may create a farther distance to travel, but if they are not overrun with traffic then ultimately your drive this holiday season will be much more pleasant.

If it is possible, you should also monitor traffic while in your car. Some AM, talk, or news radio stations will monitor traffic intermittently throughout their broadcasts, meaning you will be able to adjust your commute while driving in order to avoid traffic. By monitoring traffic before and during your holiday commute, you can ensure that your travels will go as smoothly as possible.

Monitor the Weather
One of the biggest factors affecting your holiday travel plans is the weather. During November and December, the weather can become unruly and unpredictable. A winter storm can easily derail any travel plans that you may have.

That is why it is so important to monitor the weather before you travel anywhere during the holidays. A severe storm can not only affect your mode of travel, especially for those who are flying, but it can also affect driving conditions as well. Planning your trip around the weather during the holidays is a good way to avoid traffic backups that will hamper your commute. When planning a trip look ahead at the weather to make sure that the day you want to leave will be fine. It is also smart to have a backup plan in case bad weather reaches you unexpectedly, potentially altering your driving plans.

Planning for the holidays can be a big task. But by planning your holiday, driving and traveling ahead of time, you can avoid all of the pratfalls that can occur during the holiday season commute.