Traveling by auto for Thanksgiving 2021? You are not alone. Total number of travelers* by auto appear to be nearing pre-pandemic levels at 48.3 million, an increase of 8.4% from 2020 according to AAA. This total is higher than volumes seen as recently as 2018 and the highest year-over-year growth since the Great Recession. Total number of travelers by Auto, Air and Other is within 5% of pre-pandemic 2019 levels. If you’re one of the travelers, there continues to be a lot to be made aware of and take into consideration before you embark on your journey.
If you’re contemplating a long drive to see relatives and you haven’t taken care of important car maintenance, here’s your last chance. Check out some of our helpful tips and recommendations for things to do before you hit the road.
- Check your engine fluids, including engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid. Don’t forget to top off your windshield washer fluid and fill your gas tank!
- Make sure your tires are inflated properly by checking your tire pressure against the manufacturer recommendation PSI levels. You’ll find on the sticker located on the inside panel of your driver’s side door show pressure for Front and Rear tires.
- Inspect all of your car’s exterior lights, including your headlights (both low- and high-beam), brake lights, tail lights, blinkers, and reverse lights. This will be made much easier with the help of another person standing at a safe location behind your car.
- Pack a first aid kit and a flashlight with working batteries (bring along an extra set just in case).
- Do you have a set of jumper cables? If not, pick up a set at your local NAPA Auto Parts store
- Be aware of slippery roads – here are 7 Tips for handing wet leaves & rain
- If you’re running around too busy to perform any of the above checks, Openbay can help you find a qualified mechanic near you who can run a multi-point inspection to ensure your vehicle is road ready.
Before you go…
Because the Coronavirus pandemic remains, local and state travel restrictions are in place across the country. These can and likely will impact your road travel plans, so do your due diligence before sliding behind the wheel and heading out to Grandma’s house.
- Know what route you’re taking so that you can stay updated on developing situations on the way to your destination.
- Follow all public health rules and recommendations to lower your risk of contracting and passing along COVID-19. This includes the consistent use of face masks and keeping a social distance of at least six feet in public, plus frequent hand washing.
- Pack a plentiful supply of masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.
- Bring along a thermometer to monitor your health.
- Pack a sufficient amount of food and water to prevent from having to make too many stops on the way.
- If you’re staying at a hotel or motel, call before you go to make sure they’re open and operating safely. Ask what sanitation and health protocols they have in place to keep you and other guests protected.
Need Auto Service?
Finally, in the event you need to find and book an appointment with a trustworthy automotive service center, give Openbay a try. Openbay is an online marketplace for automotive repair and service.
Refer to the AAA COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map to keep up on travel restrictions and public health requirements (updated Updated 11/18/2021).
* For purposes of this forecast, the Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from Wednesday, Nov. 24 to Sunday, Nov. 28. The Wednesday-to-Sunday period is consistent with previous years.