By now, you've already heard a ton of information about who is traveling this holiday season. You've probably thought of the millions of extra drivers on the roads and shrugged it off, thinking that it's not much of a problem in your neck of the woods. But that's where you could be wrong. New Jersey and the surrounding states could be right in the middle of some heavy holiday travel.
New Jersey residents get moving
AAA Mid-Atlantic projected that a lot of travelers will be coming from New Jersey. According to the organization's data, about 2.4 million residents are expected to get behind the wheel and drive 50 miles or more for the holidays. If that estimation is accurate, it would be a 4.4 percent increase over 2013.
The holiday travel season runs from Tuesday, Dec. 23, to Sunday, Jan. 4, encompassing the nearly two-week span around Christmas and New Year's. That's good news for travelers, as it means they have plenty of chances to find off-peak or less congested times to drive.
"It's going to be crowded," Tracy Noble, the spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, told NJ.com. "But we need to keep in mind that this year's holiday travel season lasts 13 days, so it's going to be spread out."
Mapping routes through NJ
Not only are a lot of NJ locals getting ready for road trips, but the state is also prepping for many motorists to come through. Because of its location and low gas prices, it's an attractive stop for many out-of-towners. This will add to congestion on the roads, but it shouldn't be a negative unless you wind up stuck behind a slow-moving stranger who doesn't know where they're going.
"We will see more people coming through our state because New Jersey is a corridor state," Nobel told NJ.com. "And they will be filing up at our gas stations."
Be smart about road trips
No matter where you're going, you can protect yourself by being smart about your choices. Start by getting a tune-up to make sure every part of the car is capable of working smoothly throughout a trip.
If you think even that maintenance won't help your existing vehicle get up to snuff, consider shopping for used cars and speeding up the buying process with a trip to NJ State Auto Auction. This lot has hundreds of Carfax-certified used cars – many of which are available to buy the same day. An in-house financing team is on hand to help sort out credit and loan issues, allowing you to get in a car and on the road quickly.