‘Pack your patience’: What to know before driving on I-90 for Thanksgiving holiday

SPOKANE, Wash. — A lot of people will be hitting the road to spend time with family and friends for Thanksgiving and one of the busiest travel days is Wednesday on I-90. You’ll want to wake up early or leave after the rush as you drive to your Thanksgiving destination.

Before you load the family car and head out on the road, you’ll want to check on what road conditions will look like. The Washington State Department of Transportation says the biggest thing you can do is pack your patience.

Keep chains handy, which may be required if you’re traveling through mountain passes. It’s currently required on the Snoqualmie Pass.

RELATED: Chains now required on Snoqualmie Pass

While driving to the west side of the state, WSDOT recommends you leave earlier rather than later, especially on Wednesday. There will start to be a lot more people on the roads during the afternoon.

“The better likelihood that you’re going to have smooth sailing as far as the number of vehicles on the roadway, the volumes will be a little bit lower, but it’s kind of unavoidable at this point,” said WSDOT’s Eastern Region communications manager Ryan Overton.

Whitney Thorgmorton, who was filling up at the Petro Travel gas station Wednesday afternoon, is headed more than 300 miles across the state to be with her family.

“First I’m headed to Wenatchee to pick up my grandma, and then my mom and my dad, and then we’re all headed over to Birch Bay to my brother’s house where the rest of our family is,” she said.

Thorgmorton has all the necessities needed for a long drive.

“I’ve got granola bars, trail mix, and some drinks, and water, and I just filled up with gas so I’m ready that way,” she said.

Thorgmorton is one of many who will be taking I-90 to make it to the Thanksgiving dinner table.

“We see a lot more people traveling this time of year. The holidays bring people together. So there’s going to be a lot of people out on the roads in the air, likely going trains, other forms of transportation. So, pack your patience. That’s a big one,” Overton said.

As you head back home after the holiday, the best time to leave will be early or late Sunday morning.

Some items you should carry in your car are blankets, warm clothes, extra food, water, a flashlight and phone charger.