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Blog : Traveling tips for the Thanksgiving Holiday

My first experience with Thanksgiving Day traffic was when I would travel from college (Atlanta, Ga) to my hometown where I grew up, Fort Pierce, Florida.   Through my teen years we would stay home in Fort Pierce, Florida and my out of town family members would travel to us.  Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s Fort Pierce was a relatively small town.  So, Traffic was very low.  And for that matter we were always at the beach or in a boat cruising the Indian River.  

So, when I went to college in the big city, I became accustomed to large volume of autos on the road but nothing like I-75 on the first Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Wow.  Bumper to bumper for the whole state of Florida and Georgia.  Doubled the driving time.  Thankfully I was in college and I was under my parent’s car insurance.   My parents carried very high limits on there auto insurance policy.  I do not know if my driving skill had any bearing on that.   

But why did I drive home through all that mess, because its nice to be home with family on Thanksgiving Day.   And, that is probably how most of us think.  

So, what steps can we take to make sure that this wonderful holiday is a safe one on the roads?

First, review your auto insurance policy and make sure your coverages are adequate.  Review the following list:

  1. Make sure your auto insurance is up to date. It is a long weekend and if your premium is due over that weekend pay it early (FYI – We are closing for the Holiday Weekend).
  2. Make sure you have comprehensive and collision coverages. Unfortunately, there are probably a lot of uninsured drivers on the road also. That State of Florida estimates that around 28 percent of Floridians drive with no insurance.
  3. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, think about adding it. It is typically very low-cost health insurance.
  4. Make sure you have some type of roadside coverage. If you cannot buy if from your auto insurance company, then consider purchasing an auto club.
  5. Check your limits of liability. There are a lot of expensive cars on the road these days and the Florida minimum requirement simply is not enough.  Look at the cars on the road and decide what amount you should carry.   Cars are very expensive.  Increasing your car insurance liability limits will cost you very little in comparison.

Secondly, get plenty of rest before you drive.  I know that is hard when you are excited about traveling.

Thirdly, do not mix alcohol and driving.  Period.  Call an uber driver.

Fourthly, take plenty of breaks (usually every 2 hours) and change out drivers often (depending on the driving skill of those travelling with you). If you are traveling alone, think about driving only 8 hour stretches and then staying at a hotel to rest.  

Lastly, make sure you have your phone charged and you have your car insurance proof.  Also, it is a good idea to make sure you have your Health Insurance Card.  Car insurance pays first but if more is needed, then your health insurance will kick in and pay the rest.

This year I think I will stay home and family members will take the journey to Okeechobee, Florida where we will have fried turkey, cornbread stuffing and swamp cabbage.   You may be asking what is swamp cabbage.   Well that is the bulb at the bottom of a palm tree.  When cooked right it tastes just like cabbage.  Well, we think it is better. 

Today I am not going to address the complications and risks of frying a turkey and the problems that may pose to your homeowners insurance.   Nor the problem of liability insurance on your home that will protect all of your guest.  Too be continued.

Remember to give thanks to God and please drive safely. 

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