There are some times of year when traveling simply cannot be avoided and for many of us that is Thanksgiving. While staying home, kicking back and watching football in the ol’ Lazy Boy sounds appealing, we all know that’s just not going to happen.
Alleviate some of the traditional Thanksgiving stress by trying something new this year:
- Choose alternative travel days. It will come as no surprise, I’m sure, that AAA reports Wednesday and Sunday are the most heavily traveled days of the Thanksgiving holiday. Spend some extra time with family and friends by leaving on Tuesday and returning on Monday.
- Go off the beaten path. Using less-traveled roads (sometimes referred to as the “back” roads) to reach your destination can help you navigate around traffic woes. You may find some interesting places and people along the way that you would have otherwise missed.
- Pack a cooler and fill your travel mug. Hit up the grocery store and make your own travel food versus stopping on the road for food and drinks. You’ll save money, eat healthier and avoid long lines. (Leftover turkey sandwiches might make for a tasty trip home.)
- Plan travel when others are asleep. Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, hitting the road while everyone else is sawing logs can make for a peaceful drive. And it gives you a great excuse for a quick nap once you reach your destination. (According to AAA, the worst delays are on Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. so do your best to avoid those hours.)
- Stay connected on the road. A well-connected navigator can access apps that help steer you around jams, determine best places to stop and keep things on the move while you keep your eyes on the road.
- Allow extra time. No matter how much you try to plan ahead, unexpected situations still occur. An additional hour or so of travel time allows you to deal with such things without adding stress.
Give one or two of these a try and when you arrive at your destination, I’m guessing you’ll be thankful you did.