JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly 6.3 million Floridians are expected to hit the road this holiday season. Drivers could see travel times increase by 25 percent around major cities.
The most congested day before Christmas will be next Friday, Dec. 23. The single busiest travel day of the season — which includes New Year’s Eve — will be Tuesday, Dec. 27.
The good news? Gas prices continue to fall.
The state average has declined 41 cents per gallon since last month and should get even cheaper as we approach the holidays. Right now the state average is $3.16. That’s compared to the national average of $3.27.
In Georgia, prices are well below $3 — at $2.88.
To make sure you can get to your destination on time, AAA recommends you leave early so you’re not in a rush.
Also, keep an eye on the weather and adjust your departure time so you won’t have to worry about driving in a storm.
Never drive distracted. Put in the address on your GPS before leaving and put the cell phone down while driving.
Make sure you wear your seatbelt d never drive impaired.
AAA expects to rescue almost 899,000 stranded drivers over the next few weeks. The most common reasons are dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts.
Before you hit the road, make sure your tires, brakes, lights, and batteries are in good shape. Build an emergency kit for your car in case you get stranded. This includes jumper cables, a first aid kit, portable phone chargers, bottled water and snacks.
AAA Advice for Air Travelers
Strong demand will create long lines at airports, yet winter weather is the wild card. Snow and other winter conditions can not only cause delays and cancellations, but combine with strong demand during this season, and you can have a hard time getting re-booked in a hurry.
“If you plan on flying this time of year, travel insurance can be extremely valuable for air travelers,” Haas said. “There are policies that can provide compensation for flight delays for as little as three hours. And if your flight is canceled, passengers can receive compensation for covered out-of-pocket expenses.”
Other Air Travel Tips
- Check-in early online.
- Monitor your flight status using your air carrier’s mobile app.
- Arrive 2-3 hours before scheduled departure.
- Pack medications and an extra set of clothes in your carry-on bag, just in case your flight is delayed or canceled.
If you Have Not Booked your Flight:
- Book a flight that leaves early in the day. Flights in the afternoon and evening are more susceptible to delays and cancellations.
- Book a direct flight. Otherwise, build in extra time between connections, in case your first flight is delayed.
- Consider traveling on Christmas Day. This could offer the best combination of availability and price.