Holiday Travel Survival Guide: How to Safely Reach Your Destination During Busy Travel Season

December 19, 2023 | Article by Chain | Cohn | Clark staff | News & Media , Tips & Information

Holiday Travel Survival Guide: How to Safely Reach Your Destination During Busy Travel Season

The holiday season is a time of joy, family gatherings, and festive celebrations, but it’s also one of the busiest times for travel.

An estimated 104 million people are expected to hit the road over the holidays, according to AAA, which is a 1.8% increase from last year and the second highest amount on record after 2019. Here, Chain | Cohn | Clark provides valuable travel and safety tips to ensure a secure arrival.

TRAVEL TIMES

The busiest days for traveling are forecast to be Saturday, Dec. 23; Thursday, Dec. 28; and Saturday, Dec. 30, according to transportation analytics company INRIX. If you’re leaving for the holidays on Dec. 23, the best time to head out the door is before 10 a.m. And if you’re heading home the day after Christmas, the roads will be emptiest before noon, INRIX said.

For travelers who can wait to hit the road, minimal traffic is expected on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; likewise for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Traveling before noon or after 7 p.m. is the best bet on busier days over the holiday period, according to INRIX.

SEASON FOR SAFETY

The Christmas travel season can be a magical time filled with reunions and cherished memories. To ensure a safe and secure arrival at your destination, take the time to plan meticulously, stay informed, and prioritize safety every step of the way. Here are a few safety tips to help you enjoy the holiday season with peace of mind.

  • Plan Ahead: Plan your travel dates strategically, aiming for less congested days if possible. Being organized will help reduce stress and ensure a smoother journey.
  • Check the Weather: Winter weather can be unpredictable, so stay informed about the conditions along your route and at your destination. Check for weather advisories, road closures, and flight delays before you depart. Consider flexible travel plans in case of severe weather, and always have a backup plan.
  • Travel During Off-Peak Hours: To avoid the bulk of the holiday travel rush, consider traveling during off-peak hours. This can mean booking early morning or late-night flights, taking midweek departures, or driving during non-peak traffic times. Less crowded transportation options can reduce stress and the risk of accidents.
  • Pack Wisely: Pack essentials like warm clothing, medications, and chargers for your devices. Don’t forget to pack a safety kit for your car, which should include blankets, flashlights, and emergency supplies.
  • Check Your Vehicle: Ensure your vehicle is in good condition, with well-maintained brakes, tires, and fluids. The top three calls received by tow truck companies are for lockouts, dead batteries, and flat tires, according to AAA. The top three calls received by tow truck companies are for lockouts, dead batteries, and flat tires, according to AAA.
  • Practice Safe Driving: Keep a safe following distance, drive at a reasonable speed, and avoid distractions like texting or using a smartphone while driving. Be prepared for wet or icy roads and reduced visibility.
  • Stay Informed: Stay informed about any travel-related developments through travel apps, social media, and official sources.

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