A Guide to Surviving Holiday Travel
21 Nov 2016

It’s no secret that the holidays make for some of the most stressful travel days of the year. With unpredictable weather, droves of people, and technical complications, it’s important to be well prepared for holiday travel, by developing a plan and leaving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

Leaving for the Airport
Because the holidays are such a busy time for traveling, you can expect the roadways to the airport to be congested. This means that not only should you arrive to the airport early, you should also allot yourself more time to get to the airport.

“Travelers should plan on commute times to airports to be about double longer than normal,” said Bob Pishue, a travel analyst for INRIX traffic service.

Worst Times to Drive
Remember to plan accordingly for rush hour. In the cities deemed the worst for rush hour traffic, like Washington D.C. and New York City, holiday travel overall is expected to take 20 percent longer. Around 4 p.m. in particular, those travel times could take up to 38 percent longer than normal.

Often, you can avoid the most traffic by traveling on the actual day of a holiday, but even then, you can’t count on avoiding traffic altogether. If stopping for a meal or taking the scenic route means you can avoid rush hour, your trip might be made longer, but in the end, much less stressful.

Travelers report WAZE and Google Maps as their preferred navigation apps. With audible direction alerts and real-time advisories, these apps can help drivers stay safe and take the fastest routes to their destinations.

The majority of East Coast states, with the exception of Delaware, utilize the 511 information system so that drivers can get up-to-date information on travel conditions while they are on the road. While Delaware doesn’t use the 511 system, they do broadcast updates to WTMC (1380 AM) and post to Twitter (@DelewareDOT). For those traveling in the New York area, live traffic updates are available on the radio through WCBS (880 AM) and WINS (1010 AM).

Air and Train Travel
For most major airports, travel experts warn travelers to expect full flights, full overhead luggage bins on board, and gridlock near the airports. For travelers planning to park at the airport around the holidays, it is wise to book parking in advance, to both save time and ensure an available spot. Time is really of the essence for holiday air travelers.

“Build enough time into your journey to navigate through check-in and security, and to stop for a bite to eat or buy a gift,” suggested MWAA spokesman Rob Yingling.

Amtrak is working to accommodate holiday passengers by adding trains and seats on several of its busiest routes. The company also upgraded WiFi services on several of its trains to make holiday travel less stressful. Amtrak reminds travelers to have photo identification on them at all times and to leave plenty of time to get to the stations. For more information to surviving Holiday travel, [Click Here].

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