Travelers prepare for holiday hustle on the road - KPTV - FOX 12

Travelers prepare for holiday hustle on the road

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Wednesday is of one of the busiest travel days of the season. Hundreds of thousands of travelers will hit the road in the Thanksgiving rush.

Fox 12 spoke with some experts at AAA for tips on how to avoid a headache during the holiday hustle.

“I'm anticipating four hours for what's usually a two and a half hour trip,” said Cathy Pratt, who’s planning a Thanksgiving road trip.

That’s why Pratt shifting her travel plans to avoid the madness as she heads up north.

“I'm driving to Federal Way on Thanksgiving Day. I was trying to avoid the major rush of travel on Wednesday and leave on Thursday,” Pratt told Fox 12.

According to AAA, Pratt is spot on.

Travel forecasters say Wednesday and Sunday are the two busiest days. But there are some things you can do to keep calm even, when you're seeing red on the road.

First up, time your travel - especially if you plan to drive on traffic hot spots like I-5 or if you're headed east on I-84.

“It's going to take you longer to get where you're going. The peak travel times tend to be between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. So if you can avoid that time on Wednesday, you'll save yourself a little bit of time,” said Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon.

Experts also recommend drivers check out their rides before leaving home. With most travelers planning to drive to their destinations - there's a higher chance of trouble.

“Here in Oregon we'll rescue about 5,000 drivers. The top three problems are: dead batteries, flat tires and lock outs,” Dodds explained.

The next tip is a simple one, but experts say often overlooked - prepare and pack, especially if the road conditions are dicey.

“You’ll want to have a shovel, and sand or kitty litter in your car. Bring extra clothing, extra jackets, and tire chains. For your passengers bring water bottles, energy bars, and pet food for your four legged companions,” Dodds said.

Dodds also says - check the forecast, and keep checking.

“Make sure you're aware of road conditions. We're expecting snow at the higher levels down to the mountain pass level. Make sure you have chains, so you are ready for that winter travel,” Dodds explained.

Finally, just breathe.

“Just remember that everybody else is out there too. I have to take a chill pill and calm down, deep breath,” Pratt told Fox 12.

Several law enforcement agencies across the Portland metro area told Fox 12 they plan to beef up patrol on the roads over the holiday weekend to crack down on drunk, impaired or distracted drivers.

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