Holiday travelers beware, traffic jams a given this holiday season

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I don’t have very many extended family members that live nearby. If I want to visit with my relatives, I have to travel to the other side of the country.
My grandparents were in California visiting from the Philippines this Thanksgiving, and my mom wanted to take a trip out to see them. The stay in California was great, but the traffic was ridiculous.
Our flight was early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day, so traffic getting to the airport from Macon wasn’t so bad.
Even once we landed, traffic getting from the airport to where we were going to stay was tolerable.
Black Friday was a different story. You either love Black Friday or you hate it.
The Macon area can be pretty busy, but I was not prepared for what I was getting myself into in Sacramento and San Francisco.
The traffic and the masses of people on the sidewalks was enough to deter me from wanting to step foot out of the car.
I should probably tell you that I have a thing with crowds. I don’t mind looking at them, but I don’t like to be in the middle.
I get claustrophobic and while a funny image, having to physically claw my way out to get some air, is quite primal.
My family was going to walk the streets of Fisherman’s Wharf to do some sightseeing and maybe buy some famous San Francisco sourdough bread.
The streets are rather crowded on a normal basis. But because of Black Friday, it seemed like the entire state of California was walking that three mile or so stretch. Just getting through the toll roads took about 15 minutes. I’m definitely not a big city kind of person.
Fast forwarding to Sunday, the day we flew back to Georgia, my family planned on taking a Groome Shuttle back to Macon.
Despite our plan, we weren’t prepared for how busy it was going to be. We landed at 7:00 p.m. and we finally got on a shuttle at 8:30 p.m.
According to our driver, there was about three charter buses worth of UGA students trying to get back to their campus. Groome had to divert some of their Macon shuttles to accommodate the flood of students.
Not only did it take an hour and a half for us to get on a shuttle, there was so much holiday traffic trying to get back to Macon.
It normally takes about an hour and a half to get to Macon. Unfortunately, it took us about three hours. Ridiculous, right?
Our driver was rather talkative and she apologized for the delay, but that we should be forewarned for the future.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are the busiest days of the year for holiday travel. She wasn’t kidding.
On that Sunday, Groome had dispatched every single one of their drivers to accommodate the holiday travelers.
I’m sure with Christmas coming around the corner, holiday traffic is sure to be a hassle.
So I pass onto you the wisdom of my Groome Shuttle driver. Plan accordingly.
Make some phone calls. See what days are normally the busiest days for travel and try to avoid them.
I think this will make notw only your stress level go down, but also make your trip more enjoyable.

Comments, questions and critcisms of this opinion can be sent to cecilia.villagomez@live.mercer.edu.

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