Summer travel can be challenging. There is always lots to think about. What to pack, tidying up lose ends at work, shutting off everything of at the house, and knowing the right roads to take. There is also an aspect of road trips that often gets overlooked and can have a lasting impact on the positive or negative mentality of travelers before they arrive at their destination. Traffic.
Some strategic planning can go a long way to ensuring a smooth road trip. For example, when traveling on long weekends it is wise depart at a time such as early Thursday morning or post rush hour Thursday evening. Although this may mean taking an extra day off work, the benefits of a peaceful road trip will endure into the scheduled leisure time. Most people are able to leave work early on Friday afternoons which mean that the roads to popular cottage areas tend to experience high volume at these times.
Know Which Roads to Avoid
Rush hour in big cities needs to be avoided. Areas such as the 401 in Toronto are death traps that can eat up precious time that would be more beneficially spent with friends at the lake. The best way to avoid this in Toronto is by taking the 407. Keep in mind that driving on less congested roads comes with a high ticket price. The 407 costs as much as $30 for taking it the entire duration in one direction. A a cost of $60 for a round trip it is important to check traffic alerts on radio stations such as 680 news, a station that reports traffic every ten minutes on the 1’s, to see if the opportunity cost of saving time will outweigh the price of the toll.
Plan for the Inevitable
Sometimes it is impossible to avoid leaving work until late Friday for a weekend road trip. This most likely means being stuck in traffic and spending extra time on the road to get to the destination. In a situation like this, loading up the iPod with a few new playlists or packing a few really good classic CD’s can make the difference between arriving at the destination in a good or bad state of mind. Even games like ‘Eye Spy’ and ‘The Movie Game’ are great ways to kill some time and not think about traffic.
The goal is to get to the destination as safe as possible in as little time as possible. Some strategic planning can save hours off a road trip and ensure a peaceful state of mind upon arrival.