Biggest holiday travel tip: Plan ahead - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Biggest holiday travel tip: Plan ahead

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - With the kids officially out of school for Christmas break, a lot of you are planning to travel at some point during the holidays, even if it's just a short distance.

And two local experts said the most important thing you can do for yourself is just to have a detailed travel plan.

"According to AAA, there are going to be 84 million people on the road this holiday season, so that's a lot of people. And the main thing is you want to plan ahead," said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central East Texas.

"If you plan on driving anyplace more than maybe two hours away for the Christmas holiday, I'd recommend getting your vehicle checked out by a mechanic in the next week. Take this opportunity to get your tires checked, oil changed, that kind of stuff, do some preventive maintenance on your vehicle so that you don't spend the holiday on the side of the road," said Larry Krantz of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Another big tip -- plan now for those things that will distract you while you drive.

"If you're traveling with kids, give them something to do so that they're not bugging you while you're driving. Stay off your cell phone. Don't text and drive. All of those things that we know you shouldn't be doing, because you are more likely to have an accident if you're distracted," said Agbayani Mills.

And Krantz says you should be thinking about all the people traveling when you are.

"That means leave early, try to leave a safe distance between you and the vehicles not only in front of you, but around you," he said.

"It's worth the time to plan ahead. If you get into an unexpected situation, if you've planned ahead, you're more likely to be able to focus on that matter at hand rather than those other things," Agbayani Mills said.

For statewide travel information, you can call the TX-DOT travel hotline at 1-800-452-9292.

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