AAA anticipates record-breaking travel volume for the year-end holidays and as such is offering travel and safety tips to keep holiday travelers safe.
“This is the time of year for family and friends from near and far to come together to celebrate the holidays,” said Tracy E. Noble, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “We advise all holiday travelers to plan ahead and pack their patience no matter how they chose to get where they’re going.”
The majority of Americans traveling for the holidays will go by car. New Jersey gas prices have been holding steady over the last week at $2.55 but are expected to decline through the new year, motivating holiday travelers to drive, as vehicle travel is typically the least expensive and most convenient mode of travel. Motorists should plan ahead, as traffic is likely to be heavier in typically congested areas.
AAA offers these tips for motorists to avoid holiday traffic and potential breakdowns:
- Going by car – travel during off-peak times – early morning, after rush hour
- Avoid traveling through major cities during peak travel times
- Best times for travel are early mornings because roads are less crowded
- Traveling on the actual holiday often results is less traffic
- Check the car – tires, battery, lights, fluids, and pack an emergency kit.
Though air travel will be busy, volume will be spread out over three weekends. The heaviest air travel days will likely be over the weekend before Christmas. The lightest air travel days will be Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
AAA offers these tips for holiday air travelers:
- Check-in 24 hours in advance; print boarding passes; check flight status before leaving for the airport.
- Airports will be busy and security lines may be longer than usual.
- Arrive at the airport at least two hours before their scheduled departure time in order to make a flights.
- All carry-on liquids should be 3 ounces or less and fit into a quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag.
- This time of year, travelers need to be aware of potential weather delays.
- To expedite travel, AAA recommends enrolling in programs such as TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.
- Traveling with holiday presents; what you need to know:
- If your present raises a red flag, TSA will unwrap it.
- Consider wrapping gifts when you reach your destination.
- Don’t ignore TSA regulations regarding prohibited items; check www.TSA.gov for a list of prohibited items (NOTE: there are things allowed in checked luggage, but not in carry-on bags).
- Be careful with liquids and foods.
- If you must wrap, use gift bags for ease at security screening.
Distracted Driving – “Don’t Drive Intexticated”
As near-record numbers of holiday travelers hit the road in the coming days, AAA Mid-Atlantic urges motorists – “Don’t Drive Intexticated.” Launched in April of this year, AAA’s ‘Don’t Drive Intoxicated – Don’t Drive Intexticated’ campaign is even more important during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. With more motorists on the roadways and maneuvering crowded parking lots, it is critical to remove all distractions from behind the wheel, especially mobile phones. The campaign targets drivers who would never consider getting behind the wheel after drinking an alcoholic beverage and, yet, will use a mobile device while driving, dangerously taking their eyes and minds off the road. Motorists can pledge to not drive distracted at aaa.com/dontdrivedistracted.