After most Americans stayed home last Thanksgiving due to COVID-19, that won’t be the case in 2021.

An estimated 53.4 million people are expected to travel by air or road this Thanksgiving, a 13% increase from 2020, according to AAA.

Of the millions expected to travel, AAA estimates 48.3 million people will take to the roads over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Chances are, you will probably be one of these drivers this year so it’s time to plan for your adventure. Traveling during the holiday week can make anyone anxious, so we put together a few quick tips to help ease the stress and get you and yours safely to your destination.

  • Get a tune up:
    Before you leave, make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape for a long-haul drive. This means things like getting an oil change, checking the battery, checking your tire pressure and topping off your windshield washer fluid.
  • Plan your trip ahead of time:
    Check traffic reports and try to leave on the least popular travel days of the week. In case you were wondering, that would be any other day but Wednesday. But if you can’t escape traveling on Wednesday, try to leave after 8 p.m. The worst time to travel on Wednesday is between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to AAA.
  • Have an emergency kit ready:
    When you hit the road, you should be prepared for anything and packing an emergency kit helps you stay that way. While you can buy a premade kit, we recommend creating your own – so that you’ll know exactly what is inside. Include items like cotton pads, antiseptic wash and bandages to take care of any bumps and bruises, along with jumper cables, tire gauges and patches, and fluorescent road markers to take care of your vehicle.
  • Bring entertainment:
    This should be a no brainer, especially if you’re traveling with kids or teens. Make sure all tablets, mp3 players and portable gaming devices are charged. Bring spare sets of headphones and chargers (you don’t want a fight to break out over who gets to use it next). Trying to unplug? Bring some magazines and easy games to play. Anyone up for a rousing game of I spy or road trip bingo? Most importantly, don’t forget the snacks!
  • Preparing for the worst:
    Put a bag of kitty litter in the trunk in case you get stuck in the snow and keep extra washer fluid in the trunk as well as an ice scraper and blankets. You never know when you may encounter bad weather, a swarm of bugs or hordes of cats (we’re just kitten!). In reality, all these items may come in handy for getting out of a travel bind when the roads are slick.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at MAPFRE Insurance! We hope that your travels are safe, and you get to eat a ton of pie at the destination of choice. And remember, if you are not a MAPFRE customer yet, you can always get a fast, free car insurance quote online today to get outstanding coverage at a great price.

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