Experts share tips for holiday travel

JACKSON, Tenn. — Christmas is a week away, and with many people expected to travel for the holiday, it’s time to start planning ahead.

This weekend marks one of the biggest travel days of the year, right ahead of Christmas.

AAA expects there to be a record breaking 115 million people set to travel, most of that on the road, from Saturday, December 21 through Wednesday, January 1. 

“It’s just a good time of year for us to kind of slow down and make sure motorists have the most capacity of highway lanes that they are able to have,” Nichole Lawrence, community relations officer with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, said.

TDOT says they are halting any lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state.

If you’re traveling on the road, don’t wait to prepare until it’s too late.

“Some issues you can’t fix the last minute. You know, you’ve got to order parts for that type of thing, so it’s better to always plan a little bit ahead so it can be prepared,” Ragan said.

And also check any of those basic vehicle maintenance needs.

“Make sure your coolant level is full, make sure heat is working before you leave. Washer fluid that’s got methanol in it to keep it from freezing up, and make sure you got good antifreeze, good freeze protection,” Ragan said.

If you’re traveling with your four-legged friends, make sure that they are accommodated for as well. 

The ASPCA does suggest that you get your pets used to these rides little by little to make sure that they don’t get too antsy on the long rides ahead. This also means making sure your pets are safe and secure in a proper crate or carrier if needed.

TDOT says keeping traffic moving and getting all motorists to their destinations safely is a top priority.

In Tennessee, AAA predicts 2.59 million motorists will travel by automobile between Christmas and New Year’s holidays, an increase of 4.4 percent since 2018.

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