As Thanksgiving approaches, millions of Americans gear up for one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. In 2022, over 54.6 million people traveled 50 miles or more from home, marking a 1.5% increase from the previous year. With expectations of even higher numbers this year, it’s crucial to plan your Thanksgiving road trip wisely. 

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According to Google Maps’ insights, strategic timing can make all the difference. The ideal time to kick off your Thanksgiving travel is on Monday after 8 p.m., while traffic is expected to peak on Tuesday and Wednesday after 4 p.m. For those returning home on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, try to hit the road between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. 

Whitney Yates-Woods is Dealer Principal of family-owned Yates Buick GMC in Goodyear.

Now, let’s delve into Yates Buick GMC’s essential travel tips for both gas cars and electric vehicles to ensure a safe and hassle-free journey.

Travel Tips for Gas Cars

Perform Vehicle Maintenance: Before embarking on your Thanksgiving road trip, conduct a thorough vehicle check-up. This includes checking oil levels, tire pressure, brakes, and ensuring that your vehicle is in good working order. Neglecting maintenance can lead to unforeseen complications on the road.

Don’t Ignore Headlights and Wipers: Often overlooked, functional headlights and wipers are vital for safe driving, especially during adverse weather conditions. Ensure they are working properly before setting off to avoid any inconvenience during your journey. 

Have Service Techs Inspect the Battery: A well-functioning battery is essential for a smooth road trip. Have a professional inspect your battery to ensure it’s in optimal condition.

Check Fluid Levels: Maintaining proper fluid levels in your vehicle is crucial for its performance. Make sure all fluids, including coolant and windshield washer fluid, are at the recommended levels.

Pack an Emergency Kit: Be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances by packing an emergency kit. Include essentials like a first aid kit, flashlight, blankets, water, and snacks. These items can be lifesavers in case of an unexpected breakdown or emergency situation.

Refuel Before You’re Low: Don’t wait until your fuel gauge is near empty before refueling. Plan your refueling stops strategically to avoid the stress of searching for a gas station in a potentially unfamiliar area.

Plan Your Route: Before hitting the road, check for potential road closures, traffic, or construction along your planned route. Being aware of potential obstacles will help you navigate effectively and save time.

Travel Tips for Electric Vehicles (EVs)

Know Your Range: Understanding your EV’s range capabilities is crucial for planning your journey. Take into account factors like driving conditions, temperature, and terrain when estimating your range.

Plan Charging Stops: Identify charging stations along your route and plan your stops accordingly. Be mindful of available charging speeds and plan breaks that align with your charging needs.

Avoid Rapid Charging in Extreme Temperatures: Extreme hot or cold temperatures can affect the performance of an EV’s battery. Avoid rapid charging in such conditions, as it can lead to overheating or decreased efficiency.

Bring Charging Adapters and Cables: Different charging stations may require different adapters and cables. Make sure you have the necessary equipment to connect your EV to various charging networks.

Stay Updated on Charging Networks: Utilize apps that provide real-time information on charger availability. This will help you locate reliable charging stations and reduce the risk of encountering charging delays.

Thanksgiving travel can be a memorable experience with proper planning and preparation. Whether you’re hitting the road in a gas-powered car or an electric vehicle, following these travel tips will help ensure a safe and smooth journey for you and your loved ones. Remember to perform vehicle maintenance, pack an emergency kit, and stay informed about weather conditions. For EV owners, understanding your vehicle’s range and planning charging stops are paramount. By incorporating these tips into your travel plans, you can make the most of your Thanksgiving holiday and create lasting memories with family and friends. Safe travels!

Author: Whitney Yates-Woods is Dealer Principal of family-owned Yates Buick GMC in Goodyear. Yates Buick GMC has been serving the Phoenix metropolitan area for more than 37 years. To see the current inventory or to schedule a maintenance appointment, visit