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How to Deal with Holiday Traffic

December 10th, 2012 - 1:00 PM

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year to be with friends, family, and loved ones; and because school is out, it’s also a popular time to move. However, getting to your destination during the holiday can be a challenge. Whether you’re driving or flying, you’re bound to run into some sort of holiday traffic. So buckle up and let’s look at some great ways to deal with traffic during the holiday season.

Plan ahead. Sometimes this one goes without saying, but you’d be surprised at just how many people find themselves stuck in holiday traffic with no place to go for hours on end when they could have planned ahead and been on their way without a hitch. Got a 2 p.m. flight the day before Christmas? Give yourself enough time (two-three hours) to check your luggage, get through security, and find your gate. If you’re driving, consider leaving a day before the day before Christmas. The roads won’t nearly be as bad then. Remember, it’s better to be early rather than late!

Check construction schedules. If you’re driving, check with your state’s highway and transportation department to see if construction is scheduled along your route. You can avoid this traffic ahead of time and get to your destination on time.

Pick a different route. If you know that you can’t avoid those high traffic areas or busy airports, consider planning another route to get to your destination. This could mean taking the back roads with your GPS or connecting at smaller airports along the way.

De-stress. It’s not just a normal traffic jam; it’s a holiday traffic jam. That means people are going to be even more anxious to get to where they’re going. If you find yourself getting stressed out to the max while you’re dealing with traffic congestion, listen to soothing music and avoid the fast-paced songs. Audio books and e-books are great for de-stressing, too!

Keep it comfy. Be sure to keep the vehicle at a comfy temp. You don’t want to get overheated or too cold while you’re waiting. Being too cold or too hot could make you feel even more anxious and stressed out.

Wear the right clothing and shoes. Holiday traffic usually means long wait times, like at the airport security line or in a big traffic jam on the interstate. Be sure to wear some comfy shoes and clothing that is not too tight. You could even wear shoes for driving through traffic and ones to wear when the traffic has died down.

Have snacks and water nearby. If you’re flying, be sure to purchase a package of peanuts (for protein) and a bottle of water after you pass through security. If you’re driving, keep healthy snacks and water in reach during traffic jams. You’ll want to say as hydrated and energized as possible while traveling.

Be kind and patient. If you’re stuck in traffic and feeling stressed out, just remember that everyone else probably is, too. Being a Grinch during the holidays won’t make you get to your destination any faster.

Avoid road rage. The holidays sometimes bring out the worst in people, especially in those on the road. If someone cuts you off, let it go and keep driving. If someone is tailgating you, do not brake check them. The last thing you want is to be delayed even more with damages to the back of your car. There will always be holiday travelers with road rage, but you don’t have to be one of them. If you see someone being reckless on the road (speeding, drunk, aggressive), call 9-1-1.

Be thankful. Some holiday traffic jams are caused by a vehicle accident. Sometimes the accidents are minor and sometimes they’re much more serious. Be thankful you were delayed and not in the accident yourself.

Keep the kids entertained. Movies, games, and car/airplane safe toys will help you keep your sanity if you’re stuck in a traffic jam or waiting on the plane with some energetic kids.

Obey the law. While the holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, they can also be the most dangerous. As more cars take to the roads, more accidents are more likely to occur.

  • Always wear your seat belt and make sure your children are properly restrained.
  • Don’t text while driving. Let other passengers do the talking/texting while you do the driving.
  • Drunk driving and even buzzed driving is against the law, so be sure to designate a driver before you have your first drink.
  • Go the speed limit. You’ll save yourself a potential speeding ticket and you and your family will travel safer.
  • Don’t drive drowsy. If you take something to help with your car sickness, let someone else drive while you rest.

What other tips do you have to add to the list to deal with holiday traffic? Let us know by commenting below! Have a safe and happy holiday from U-Pack!