travel tips


Tips & Tricks to Beat Thanksgiving Traffic

It may be impossible to completely avoid Thanksgiving traffic, but there are a few ways to minimize the frustration.

1. Avoid driving at the worst traffic times– According to Waze, the heaviest traffic will be today (Tuesday) from 4–8 p.m. Unfortunately, Wednesday doesn’t look any better. In fact it could be worst especially in other parts of the country with traffic starting at 11 a.m. and continuing throughout the whole day.

2. Use alternative routes– Waze and Google maps provide real time traffic and often offer multiple routes you can take. Your usual route may not be the fastest so be sure to check the app before you hit the road! Also, if an accident or traffic jam occurs, Waze and Google maps can sometimes re-route you to a faster route.

3. Consider the longer route– While two hours driving may seem better than two and half, it’s worth considering taking the longer route that’s moving along than the shorter route stuck in traffic. Psychologically speaking, it tends to feel less frustrating for you and your passengers when you’re actually driving, rather than going bumper to bumper at a snail’s pace.

4. Avoid driving Sunday, or give yourself PLENTY of time– There is no good time to drive Sunday. Traffic will be crazy all day. Yes, you read that right- All day.  If you are luckily enough to wait til Monday, avoid driving 10am to noon when the worst traffic will hit.

5. Fill up on gas before you hit the road-  You do not want to have to make unnecessary stops while you travel.  If you’re lucky, one tank of gas will be more than enough for your trip.  If you’re traveling far, be sure to fill up your tank when gas is easily available. The last think you want is to be frantically watching your tank drain while you’re stuck in traffic and no where close to a gas station.

6. Play car games to keep the kids entertained- Instead of playing the oh so annoying “Are we there yet?” game, keep these car games ready for when your kids start to get antsy.

Safe travels from you friends at MassDrive! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

 

Tips For Taking A Road Trip With The Kids

road trip

Taking a road trip with the kids can really test your patience and planning skills.  Fending off constant questions like “Are we there yet?” and “When’s the next bathroom break?” can get old pretty quick, so you’ll want to make sure your kids have plenty of things to occupy their time while in the car.  To help you out, we’ve listed some tips that will definitely come in handy if you plan on road tripping with the kids this summer.

  • Make sure kids are comfy.  What your kids are wearing on their road trip can make a big difference to how the trip goes.  If kids are uncomfortable you’ll hear about it, probably over and over again.  Put them in something that they like to wear such as pajamas or shorts and a t-shirt, and save the dressy clothes for your arrival, odds are something will end up spilling on them anyways during the trip, so at least you won’t dirty up one of their nicer outfits.
  • Be strategic about your departure time.  It may be easier to travel with kids during certain hours of the day, for example, if your kids can sleep through the night in the car, you might want to wait until after dinner and drive through the night so you reach your destination by morning.  You’ll probably avoid tons of traffic too, which is always a plus.  Working with their schedules, nap times, and meal times will make the trip easier for you and them.
  • Keep them occupied.  This will help you keep your sanity and theirs, make sure you have plenty of coloring books, toys, games, movies, and snacks.  You’ll also want to charge any electronics they may use, such as tablets or portable DVD players before you leave.
  • Be prepared for anything, and we mean ANYTHING.  You want to make sure you have a first aid kit, wet wipes, paper towels, extra clothes, diapers, batteries, car chargers, trash bags, a flashlight, and extra drinks and snacks in case the ones you already packed spill.
  • Take a break.  It’s inevitable that little ones and even older ones will want to stretch their legs and take a break from the car.  Find a local park and have a picnic so you can have something to eat and they can run around and burn off some energy.
  • Get kids involved in the trip.  If your kids are old enough to suggest landmarks they want to see or places they want to visit, let them!  It will make the trip much more enjoyable for them and you may even visit a place that you wouldn’t have chosen on your own, and end up loving it!
  • Make sure your driver’s license, registration, and insurance are all up to date and haven’t expired.  These are all extremely important to have any day, but especially if you’re going to be driving a long distance.  If you don’t have a membership to AAA, you may also want to consider that.

With these tips, your next family road trip should go smoothly and be a blast for everyone!

Photo By: Deb

Thanksgiving Travel Tips

traffic jam

As Thanksgiving approaches, friends and families are finalizing their travel plans for the big day.  Driving during the holidays is hectic, crowded, and also dangerous because there are so many additional cars on the road.  To help combat the craziness, we’ve come up with some tips to make your journey as safe, and stress-free as possible.

Avoid Peak Travel Times – The busiest travel days for the Thanksgiving holiday are Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday.  If you want to avoid traffic, we suggest you leave as early as possible.  If you have to work or have other obligations that will keep you from hitting the road early, we suggest waiting until at least 8 PM.  Traveling on Thanksgiving day will not be as hectic traffic wise, and if you’re driving on Thanksgiving night you’re in luck!  State service plazas will be giving out FREE coffee from 10 PM that night until 5 AM on Friday morning.

Factor The Weather Into Your Trip – Weather can have a major impact on the traffic patterns and may require you to take extra precautions on your journey.  As New Englanders we’re used to crazy weather, but we may have a huge storm headed our way just in time to make holiday travel even more hectic than it usually is.  High speed winds and precipitation are expected so we can’t stress enough how important it is to leave as early as possible.  It’s also important to remember basic safety tips for driving in inclement weather, if you need a reminder check out our blog on Winter Driving Safety Tips.

Avoid Major Highways – While this might be the most direct route to your destination, major highways in Massachusetts are going to be jam packed with traffic over the holiday weekend.  Not only will there be the typical holiday traffic, but it will be made that much worse due to the inclement weather that is heading our way.  Map our alternative routes that follow back roads, not only will you avoid the traffic on the highway, you’ll also get to take in some scenic views!  If you can’t avoid highway travel and happen to be passing through Exit 19 at the Allston/Brighton interchange from 3 – 4 PM on Wednesday, your toll will be free thanks to our friends at Plymouth Rock Assurance!

Be Prepared – On long journeys, it’s important to be prepared for anything.  That means checking out all aspects of you car before you hit the road, including tire pressure, fluid levels, and making sure you have a full tank of gas.  It’s also a good idea to carry an emergency kit in your car at all times.  This should include a flashlight, batteries, blanket, jumper cables, a first aid kit, warning devices (such as flares or reflective triangles) and extra food and water.  You may also want to break out that ice scraper since there may be some snow and ice heading our way!  If you have young children, you may also want to be prepared with entertainment for a long car ride so you can avoid constant questions like “Are we there yet?”.

Keep these tips in mind and your holiday travel plans should go off without a hitch!  As always, we want to remind all drivers to behave responsible, do not drink and drive, and if you’re feeling drowsy, pull over and take a nap.  We want everyone to have a fun, and SAFE holiday!

Photo By: Kristin Nador

 

 

 

Travel Tips For Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel days of the year, friends and family driving across towns, cities, even states to spend the day with their loved ones.  There are a lot of things to keep in mind when traveling, whether you’re taking public transit or driving yourself.   Be sure that you are minmizing stress and maximizing on family time this year with these tips!

  • If you’re driving to visit relatives this year and know you will be going through a toll, consider getting an E-ZPass.  The transponder attaches to the front window of your car and is linked to one of your credit/debit cards or a checking account.  Once you go through the E-ZPass lane when paying a toll, your transponder is scanned and the money is taken right out of your account!  That’s definitely much easier and less time consuming than waiting in line to pay with cash.  If you do plan on paying with cash, try and find out exactly which tolls you will be going through and how much they cost, that way you can have your money ready and waiting when it is your turn to pass through.
  • Plan your route in advance and plan an alternative route should your original option be a traffic nightmare.  Be sure that you have any necessary directions at your disposal either via GPS or designate the front passenger as your navigator.
  • Stressing about traffic?  Not anymore!  Check out our blog on Traffic Apps that will help you save time and avoid the rush when traveling to your intended destination.  No one likes sitting in traffic, but especially not when there’s a huge delicious meal waiting for you!  These apps all have unique qualities so check them out and decide which one is right for you!
  • If you are traveling via the MBTA, the majority of commuter rail and T lines will be operating on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving day itself.  However, the Fairmount, Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, and Needham commuter rail lines will not be operating at all on Thanksgiving.  To accomodate riders going to and from Logan Airport, the Silver Line will be adding additional service during peak travel times before the holiday, and continuing until Tuesday, November 27, 2012.   For more detailed information on each specific line,buses, and the ferry click here.
  • If you will be flying during the holiday weekend, allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at the airport and get through security, as there will likely be a large volume of passengers all weekend and lines will be longer.  Also, be sure to check the status of your flight at least 24 hours in advance to be sure that it is scheduled to depart/arrive on time.  You can visit www.massport.com  for a list of arrival/departure info.
  • The most important tip we can offer is don’t drink and drive!  If you plan on having a few drinks designate a driver!  Driving during the holidays is always dangerous because of the extra heavy volume of cars, you don’t want to risk adding alcohol into the mix!
  • Before you head out on your holiday excursion, be sure you are properly insured!  If you have any questions regarding coverages or would like a quote, give us a call at MassDrive!  Any one of our agents would be happy to help you this holiday season!

We want everyone to have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving so follow these tips to be sure you’re staying safe and beating the traffic this holiday!

Photo By: epSos.de

 

 

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