How to Keep Your Cool on the Road this Labor Day Weekend

AAA is forecasting that 34.7 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles from home over the Labor Day holiday, continuing the slow, steady increase in holiday travel we’ve seen since the 2009 recession.

labor day travel forcast

Like 85.7% of Labor Day travelers - that’s 29.7 million people - I’m making my journey by car. As I get ready to set out this weekend, here’s how I’m hoping to minimize the hassle of driving on a big holiday weekend:

  • Avoid traffic by leaving early and planning around scheduled events. I’ll be planning my route around a scheduled baseball game, two airports, and extra traffic generated by Labor Day sales at several major shopping malls on the way. In addition, the usual traffic caused by ongoing road work in my area will probably be even worse with all the additional cars on the road.
  • Don’t panic when traffic hits. Feeling like I’m wasting time stuck in traffic can really put me on edge, especially if I didn’t get out the door as early as I’d hoped. To help me stay calm and enjoy the drive, I’m bringing along some music, a couple of good podcasts, and some snacks to tide me over until I reach my destination.
  • Relying on GPS to get to an unfamiliar location? Bring a backup set of directions. This might already be a no-brainer for some. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for me when I left on my last trip. My GPS died about halfway to my destination, and I got myself good and lost before admitting defeat and calling for directions. This time, I’ve got directions written down, too - just in case.

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