It is 5:30 in the afternoon and you are ready to set out on the road. As you drive toward the interstate you are slowed by traffic, which causes you to miss several lights. A five minute drive to the on-ramp takes you fifteen minutes but, as you finally make your way to the interstate, you must immediately slam on the breaks, as congestion has caused traffic to advance at a snail's pace. As you look at the seemingly endless line of cars ahead, you can feel yourself start to stress and your road trip begins on a sour note.
In order to keep the frustration to a minimum, it is important that you know the best times to travel. Obviously, traveling during rush hour will not result in an enjoyable trip. But when are the best times to drive? The answer to this questions really depends on where you are, what time of year it is, and what day of the week you plan on hitting the road.
If you are traveling through a city, it is best to avoid morning and evening traffic. Mornings are hectic, as everyone is driving into the city to get to work. Morning drivers are also often preoccupied and not paying complete attention to the road; coffee, last minute make-up application, and even shaving (Yes! Shaving!) distract countless motorists in the morning. Afternoon rush hour can be even worse, as you have tired drivers, stressed from a day at the office, all trying to get home at the same time. As a result, the best time to drive through a city is during the day, while most people are busy with their jobs and less people are using the interstate.
This rule applies during the week, but what about weekends? Interestingly enough, the weekends can be a wonderful time to travel, especially on Sunday. Because it is the last day before the workweek begins, many people like to relax and take it easy on Sunday, resulting in there being less traffic. Saturdays are also a great time to drive. Barring any major events or holidays, Saturdays offer a relatively calm flow of traffic; however, should there be a major event or holiday, weekend travel can be just as stressful as driving through rush hour traffic on a Monday.
Holiday travel is necessary, but frustrating. If you have to travel for the holidays, try and leave before everyone else departs for their destinations and return home after everyone else has. This travel arrangement, although it requires a longer vacation and more time off of work, will allow you to avoid some of the frustrating holiday travel process. In addition to being hectic due to the sheer number of cars on the road, winter holiday travel also offers the dangers of unsuitable weather and icy roads. To avoid traveling down unsafe roads in heavy traffic, schedule your vacation travel around the worst travel days of the year, as opposed to on them.
Next time you are planning a road trip keep in mind when you are leaving and when you plan to return. If you can plan your travel times around traffic, you will be able to arrive safely and stress-free.