Travel easier during the busiest holiday weekend in a decade

Travel easier during the busiest...

SPOKANE, Wash. - The 2017 Thanksgiving weekend will be the busiest travel weekend in over a decade, with AAA estimating 51 million Americans traveling. Eighty-nine percent will go by car.

Washington State Trooper Jeff Sevigney says the biggest problem they see on the roads is drivers not giving themselves enough time to get to where they're going.

Trooper Sevigny says, “that can create a multitude of different problems. Whether its just speeding because you are late or if we have in-climate weather which is always a possibility in late November here in the Pacific Northwest..”

He recommends before leave, check your route. In Washington the Department of Transportation updates conditions along the road, here. There is also a smartphone app available to download for free. Search “WSDOT” in the application store on your phone.

“Also be prepared for those conditions to change rapidly,” adds Sevigny.

Investing in good snow tires, windshield wipers and a car emergency kit with items like jumper cables, a flashlight, ice scraper and a First Aid kit can help you be prepared for the worst.

If you're taking to the sky, know some things have changed.

Now, any electronic devices bigger than a cell phone, as well as your one quart bag of liquids, must be taken out for your TSA screening. When packing your carry-on bag, make sure to put them at the top for easy access.

Laurie dankers, tsa

TSA spokeswoman Laurie Dankers says, “if you have to dig in your bag for your electronic items that can slow the process down for you and everybody behind you.”

If you have questions about what you can and can't bring on your flight, TSA has a smart phone app called “My TSA.” There you can type in any item, to find out if you can carry it on, check it, or leave it at home. Keep it handy when you are packing for your holiday.

Airlines recommend downloading their app to keep an eye on your flight status. Downloading your electronic boarding pass to the app is a great way to have back-up documentation, should you lose your paper ticket.

Other helpful smart phone applications and websites:

- To keep an eye on travel conditions, use WAZE. Plug in your destination and it will keep you updated as to the routes that will get you there the quickest, thanks to alerts from real drivers.

- If you're traveling through Idaho, the Idaho 511 application keeps you updated, like the Washington Department of Transportation, to pass closures, weather updates and traffic alerts. You can also find this information on their website.