This year, Labor Day travel is set to outpace last year’s, with an estimated 35.5 million U.S. residents heading at least 50 miles from home. If you’re traveling somewhere during the long weekend, you can expect to deal with crowds of both people and cars. Here are some tips from our Philadelphia Airport parking members on how to deal with them:
Avoid the Rush
By far, the most popular travel day and time for driving will be Friday between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Most people will leave for their destination right after work (and some get out of work early), so your best bet is to travel early in the day (before 10 a.m.) or wait and leave early Saturday morning.
Make Sure Your Car Is Ready
If your plan is to drive to your Labor Day getaway, make sure your car is ready for the trip. Check your tire pressure, oil, anti-freeze, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Also make sure that all of your lights work and keep a set of jumper cables on hand, just in case.
Get There Early
If you’re flying somewhere for the long weekend, expect long lines at airport security. Your best bet is to arrive at the airport early (at least two hours for domestic flights and three hours for international flights), that way you’ll have plenty of time to get to your gate and won’t have to worry about missing your flight. Also, remember to have all of your carry-on liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes in a one-quart plastic bag separate from your other belongings.
Whether you and your fellow travelers are flying or driving, you’ll likely need some entertainment to keep you occupied (as long as you’re at the wheel, of course). This especially goes for kids in the car. Bring along coloring books, mp3 players, tablets, toys, and small games to your/their mind off of the trip.
Above all this Labor Day, just be patient. We know you want to get to wherever you’re going, but so does everyone else. If you (and the people you’re traveling with) stay calm and prepare yourselves for the rush of people you’re going to encounter, you’ll enjoy your trip much more.