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AAA: Thanksgiving travel is up this year. Here are the worst times to drive

Posted at 4:55 PM, Nov 18, 2022

Thanksgiving travel is predicted to be busy this year.

If you are driving to get to your destination, here are some times you should avoid, per a release by AAA.

  • The day before Thanksgiving - 11 am to 8 pm
  • Thanksgiving - 11 am to 3 pm
  • The day after Thanksgiving - 4pm to 8 pm

An estimated 54.6 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this year, an increase from last year. Approximately 49 million will travel by car, according to AAA.

If you’re bringing the kids along, experts have some tips on how to make your trip as smooth as possible.

“Drinks, snacks, make sure you put the ice packs in there. Be ready. You never know when you might get stuck in an unexpected traffic jam, so pack more than you think you need to pack,” said Jeff McAdam, the creative services and public relations director at TOOTRiS Child Care On-Demand.

Games can also keep them occupied.

“Car bingo, I Spy, road signs ABC where you’re looking through different letters on different signs and you have to get A through Z,” said McAdam. “We’re always taking surveys and I Spy is a very popular one, this car bingo one too. It’s been around for 40, 50 years and it still continues to be a fan favorite.”

TOOTRiS has a listof road trip games and how to play them. For example, one game is car colors. Kids choose a color, then the first person to count a certain number of cars of that color wins the game.

It’s also helpful to let kids know what to expect ahead of time, and give them some choices.

“Tell them, ‘What do you want to bring with you?’ something that is something that they enjoy. And it's their choice. So it's in their control a little bit, which makes this experience also a lot easier,” said Ana Arbel, senior program manager at Southwest Human Development.

She also recommends talking about the trip to kids in a positive way, and making the journey part of the experience. It can also be helpful to give them a new toy they look forward to playing with before the trip begins.