AAA Offers Mid-Summer Travel Tips

trafficBARNSTABLE – More people were traveling during the big high season holiday periods of Memorial Day and the Fourth of July in this region than in past years, according to information from the American Automobile Association.

AAA Northeast Director of Public and Legislative Affairs and Spokesperson Mary Maguire said her agency is seeing “increased numbers of people traveling, a significant number of people traveling in Massachusetts.”

As for Memorial Day weekend and July Fourth weekend, she said, there were “more than a million people traveling in Massachusetts over those holiday weekends.”

In another trend, Maguire said more people are traveling to the Cape on Thursdays or early Friday morning to have a three-day weekend.

“Clearly people are taking advantage of good forecasts and much lower gasoline prices to do some day tripping, which is terrific. We’re actually about a dollar lower than we were at this time last year,” she said.

When gas prices are lower, Maguire said people feel “empowered” to do some “drive travel,” as she called it, and the Cape is primarily a drive destination.

Maguire said the typical tourist arriving by car may have saved some money on gas but is still looking for good deals on hotels and, she said, hotel prices are up slightly this year.

To save money, one of the things AAA advises people is to get their gas before they arrive on Cape Cod because gas prices are typically higher on Cape.

But Maguire said what her agency advises people mostly has to do with timing. “I hit about a mile backup on the bridge this morning. I was surprised but we all know, anybody that’s spent time on Cape Cod, that a mile backup on the bridge is nothing. That’s just a hiccup. It’s those five or seven or even fourteen mile backups.” She advised to check with various media or a traffic app before coming to the Cape.

As for preparation, AAA advises travelers to make sure the car is tuned up, check the brakes, tires, top off the fluids, to prevent mechanical problems. Make sure there is an emergency kit in the car with jumper cables, Maguire said. She also recommends people have cell phones and chargers with them in case an emergency call needs to be made.

Set out for the journey when the traffic is lightest, Maguire said, and she recommends leaving in the morning for those traveling to Cape Cod in the summer.

As for the return trip, Maguire suggested that travelers ask the hotel manager about whether it is possible to stay a couple of hours so as not to drive off Cape during the busiest hours.

Listen below for more travel tips from Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Legislative Affairs.

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