What Relocated Talents Should Know About Road Trips in US During Holiday Season

The last carol might have been sung, and the exchange of gifts is already done. But the year-end holidays are not over yet. Shopping might have slowed down or totally stopped, but travel is still intense and increasing up to Jan. 1, 2019. That’s one good reason why you might want to reverse your own road trip plans and just stay home for the holidays with your loved ones.

According to a report by the Conde Naste Traveler, at least 102 million Americans would have been hitting the roads since December 20. And all those cars rushing for their holiday cheers down the expressways will continue up to the first day of the New Year.

That record is an all-time high, since the first time in 2002 that AAA has been tracking the traffic during this time of the year. It might not even have peaked yet, considering that this number shows a 4.4 percent rise compared to 2017.

A similar report by Record Herald says that a significant drop in gas prices is one major reason for the increase of car-driven holiday travel. The cost of fuel at $2.46 is the lowest to date, and Americans are taking full advantage of the situation before it goes back up.

Augmenting this development is the decrease in unemployment in certain U.S. states, which can imply a significant rise in disposable income. Another motivation for the year-end getaway is the desire to spend the holidays in much warmer places; Atlanta, Boston, California, Florida, and Miami are among the states that can expect a significant number of guests to drive to their doorway, park, and fill their hotels.

While Northern California is known for its temperate climate and its inhabitants’ penchant for work-life balance, expect a lot of the residents from that region to spend their free time in other places. It is estimated that about 12 million of them will pack their bags, fill their cars with groceries and clothes, and hit the road.

Overall, the AAA expects that 960,000 to close than a million Americans will be stirring the wheels, bunking temporarily in inns and motels, or munching on snacks in roadside cafes after the holiday season. That only means they haven’t reached their destinations yet but are just biding their time in a more pleasant way. The slowness of their trips can’t be avoided because of the unavoidable traffic congestion that’s bound to happen.

As a global mobility manager, you might find it worthwhile to advise the following to any of your assignees who wants to cruise down the highways of America as part of celebrating the holidays with their new friends:

Rethink their plans. There will always be another time to do a road trip. They might even enjoy doing it during the so-called non-peak seasons. But joining the flood of motor vehicles just because they want to bond with their newfound American buddies may not be worth it.

There are other ways to celebrate the season and to strengthen those ties. Concerts, clubbing, and dance festivals capped with a sumptuous dinner might prove to be more entertaining and stress-free.

On the other hand, if your assignees cannot be deterred from fulfilling their plans, then better help them ensure their safety and comfort. Extra tires, a full gas tank, working fluid, functional window wipers, a strong car battery, flashlights, and thermos filled with hot water or warm chocolate can serve them well during the trip.

A last word to the wise: leave very, very early or hours before the commute time. No need to get stuck just because they decided to join in the fray — but go ahead of everybody else and lead the way.