NORTH CAROLINA — The Thanksgiving holiday can be one of the most stressful times to travel in the entire year.
According to AAA, 54.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 4.8 percent increase over last year and the highest travel volume expected since 2005.
According to the company, those planning on hitting the road this week should follow these tips:
- Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
- Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
- Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area.
- If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated.
- Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road.
- In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. AAA and many other companies offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without making a phone call.
Also bring along an emergency kit just in case you get stranded. Tiffany Wright of AAA said “You want to make sure you have all of your medications, you want to make sure you have some non-perishable snacks. Water, you want to make sure you have water. Also have maybe a blanket, anything that can keep yourself warm.”
For those traveling by air, Charlotte International Airport is expecting the busiest travel days to be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Be sure to visit their website for travel tips and flight information.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport also released their own Holiday Travel Guide, with tips such as booking parking 24 hours in advance and arriving two hours early. For flight information, click here.
Those traveling out of Wilmington or Piedmont-Triad International Airports can visit their websites for flight information.