Green Tip #184: Choose Your Travel Time

Any time you are travelling on a long weekend roads will be crazy.  Sustainable PF and I try to strategically time our travel time so that we are not travelling when everyone else is because idling in traffic is just not our idea of fun and tends to suck the fun out of the wonderful weekend you have just had. Of course idling in traffic is not good for the environment either or for your lungs if you have the windows rolled down. It won’t help you save gas or improve gas mileage either. Leaving later at night or first thing in the morning on either end of the holiday weekend is usually a good idea if you want to avoid the crowds and use the cruise. Of course if everyone starts doing this, this tip will have to be revised.

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4 comments to Green Tip #184: Choose Your Travel Time

  • brad

    Another worthwhile tip is to use a GPS with a traffic radio. We were facing a 2.5 hour journey just to get out of our city last Friday due to tie-ups on all the major highways, but our GPS detected the jams and rerouted us so efficiently that we got out of the city in 30 minutes and only hit one slow spot. Our GPS cost $150 including lifetime traffic, and I have to say it’s been the best $150 I’ve ever spent.

    • Which product brad? Our GPS cost the same but it didn’t come with squat …

      • brad

        I bought a little Garmin Nuvi 1250T. I bought it a couple of years ago, and looking at the receipt it was actually $140 including taxes. I love it — it’s small enough that you can take it with you when walking in the city, and it has a pedestrian mode. The traffic feature has saved us countless times; sometimes I feel silly using the GPS when we know exactly how to get from point A to point B, but because it has the traffic reports it can alert and reroute you. The one thing I’ve noticed is that it doesn’t sense traffic backups at the border, which we’ve discovered on a few recent trips to the US. And the GPS’s backcountry skills at navigation are dicey: in Vermont this past weekend it kept trying to send us down Class IV roads, which are basically two ruts in the forest, really meant for high-clearance 4WD vehicles. And half the time those roads ended in gates marked “private, no tresspassing.”

  • Traffic is a big consideration in any trip we do here in SoCal. If we have to go through LA, our departure time is based on before morning rush or after morning rush.

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