Holiday travel is fast approaching

The Fourth of July holiday weekend is fast approaching and that means an influx of people will be on the roads, traveling to see family and friends.

Phyllis McClellan, senior adviser with Thunderbird Travel in Murphysboro, said there is more driving to destinations during the summer holiday than other forms of travel.

She said the amount of people driving could be a result of not wanting to be surrounded by crowds of people at an airport.

“A lot of traveling during this time is to a beach or a lake for the weekend,” McClellan said. “Flying over the weekend is much more expensive and more frustrating because there are so many people doing the same thing.”

McClellan said while families are on a road trip, there are tips to remember especially when traveling with children.

“Make sure you have something for the young children to do, especially if going long distances,” she said. “A DVD player, coloring book or even a notebook and pencil could go a long way in keeping them occupied.”

She also said to make sure to update the GPS before leaving to be sure travelers have the most up-to-date information.

McClellan offered other tips, such as planning stops before leaving, not to over pack and to make sure to wash hands often when stopping at a rest area or restaurant.

She said she recommends travelers to use roadtrippers.com, a website that will tell a family what attractions, restaurants, hotels and more are ahead of them via application downloaded to a smartphone.

“It tells you where you are going and what is in the area,” McClellan said.

She said the best advice she can give to travelers is not to let something small ruin the whole trip.

“Above all, be flexible,” she said.

Gas prices over the holiday weekend are not likely to increase, which is good news to families making a trip, said Patrick Dehann, senior petroleum analyst with gasbuddy.com.

He said it is a common myth among travelers that gas prices will always increase during the holidays.

“Last year at the Fourth of July, gas prices in Illinois were actually below the national average,” Dehann said. “It is just like any other day of the year, meaning prices could go up or down.”

“There is no guarantee of what gas prices will do around the holidays.”

He said gas prices this year will likely remain steady or may even decrease by a couple of cents this week and into the holiday weekend.

“It doesn’t appear there is an upward trend of the area,” Dehann said.

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