There are few things in the world more stressful than traffic congestion, and Labor Day traffic congestion is just about as bad as it gets. Thoughts of Labor Day traffic are stressful enough to raise your blood pressure, but still, year after millions of motorists take to the highways and byways of the United States in an attempt to get to anywhere but here.
We completely understand the need to get out of town, especially for a three-day weekend, and the good news is that there are ways to avoid the worst of the traffic and get to your vacation destination not only sooner, but with your sanity in tow.
Leave Leaving in the Morning to the Amateurs
The old adage of hitting the road early to beat the traffic has become everyone’s go-to methodology for Labor Day travel, so, if that’s when everyone else is on the road… then avoiding the crushing traffic could be as simple as leaving later in the day.
Leaving around 2 pm might seem late, but it also might help you avoid the biggest traffic jams in your area. Just leave yourself enough time to drive so that you can drive calmly and get where you are going safely.
Choose Alternate Routes
There are tons of ways to avoid traffic, but choosing an alternative route or two to get to your destination is definitely a way to sidestep the crammed roads that everyone else will take.
If you are wondering how to find alternate routes to your destination, Metropia can help. Our app is designed to do just that—keep you out of high-traffic areas an ease congestion in major cities all across the country.
The Metropia app can help you find the best ways around traffic, keep you aware of accidents and road closures, and give you a leg-up on getting where you’re going faster. Want one better? You can get some great rewards for using the app too, and that’s a win-win.
Agree on Music Before You Get in the Car
We all love music, but for some reason, we really don’t like other people’s taste in music. 18-34 year olds are the most likely age group to argue about music. If you or anyone in your car is in that age range, you may want to consider hatching out a plan to keep everyone happy in the car.
If you can’t figure out a fair way to divide up the music in the car, you might want to consider listening to a podcast or an audiobook that can keep everyone engaged. These are especially helpful for those trips that last several hours, and can be a terrific way to share some of your favorite stories with your kids.
Make Your Stops Work for You
Driving breaks are a necessity, and the more breaks you take, the more likely you are to relax, loosen up, and dump some of that traffic stress. Not only will it give you frequent opportunities to decompress and stretch your legs, it will also give your copilots a chance to use the bathroom, grab snacks, or take some pictures to share with their friends. Happy passengers are less likely to complain, and the less complaining there is, the happier your car ride will feel.
Instead of stopping at the same three chain restaurants at every rest stop, make it a part of your trip to do and see new things every time you stop. One of the best things to look forward to on a road trip is discovering something wonderful, and chances are you’re not going to do that at an IHOP. Whenever possible, skip the familiar and venture into the unknown, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes.
Make Your Car Road Trip Ready
Staying safe on the road doesn’t just mean keeping safe distances from the cars around you and being alert at the wheel. It also means ensuring that your car is in working order to handle the trip, and that you have the tools necessary to repair what you can should the worst happen on the road.
When planning your trip, it is smart to pack a car road trip kit. A road trip kit should include paper maps (in the event you lose your signal), extra water, an air pressure gauge, wiper fluid, jumper cables, a flashlight, a basic tool kit, duct tape, and an emergency road sign to prevent a crash while pulled over.
Double check that you have a serviceable spare tire on board, that you are up to date on your car’s maintenance, and that you have roadside support should you need to contact someone if your car breaks down.
All that’s left to do now is enjoy your Labor Day weekend, and we sincerely hope that you do.