How to Avoid Traffic Jams in the School Holidays
So it’s the school holidays and the weather is good so you plan a day trip somewhere that the kids have always wanted to visit. However there is a problem, so has everyone else and the traffic will likely be a nightmare. Bank Holidays or a sunny day when the schools are off can see thousands of parents set out to popular tourist attractions to spend a day with the kids. So what can you do to avoid the traffic jams? And, how to do you keep the kids occupied if you do hit traffic?
The first step is to plan ahead – sit down the night before and check the route you are going to take. The Highways Agency is a good site to check for information on road works on major roads and there are various other traffic sites for different parts of the country that are regularly updated.
Another aspect of planning is to check the weather forecast. Yes, you want to know if the weather is suitable for the trip you have planned but also will the weather have an effect on the traffic? If you are going to an indoor venue, there will be more congestion on the roads if the weather is poor. Alternatively, if you are going somewhere outdoors and it is going to be particularly hot, areas such as the coast will be busier than normal.
Look at avoiding rush hour, as there are far more vehicles on the road at this time of day and prepare an alternative route to the one you intend to take in case something occurs while you are travelling. Some satellite navigation systems have alternative routes programmed into them or they can even suggest a different route when requested.
During the trip
When you are on the road, tune into the local radio to keep track of any incidents. The BBC operate radio stations in every area that give traffic information and most modern car radios have the facility to seek out traffic updated (may show as TA, TI, TP or Traffic on the radio).
A smart phone can also serve a similar function if you have someone in the car that can monitor it, which many of the kids are more than able to do nowadays! Motoring organisations such as the AA are a good place to see what is happening and the Highways Agency do update their site with incidents as well.