Tips to Decrease Stress in Black Friday Traffic
As if the heaving crowds and out-of-stock goods weren’t enough of a stress when you head out on Black Friday, the seemingly endless traffic just adds to the levels of anxiety that Black Friday can cause. If you’re planning on going out into the black hole that is Black Friday traffic to get some of the best deals of the season, it’s important to be prepared. Here are five tips to decrease your stress levels in Black Friday traffic this year:
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Plan Your Route Before You Shop
If you’re an obsessive planner like I am, it’s likely you already have your Black Friday route mapped out. This is a good thing (at least, I think so)! Yes, it’s a bit obsessive, but planning your route before you go is the easiest way to reduce Black Friday driving stress. Not only will you know what deals to hit at each store, but it also makes it easier to avoid being stuck in traffic all day. Planning your route beforehand keeps you from jumping from one side of town to another repeatedly, which gives you plenty of time to shop.
Use Technology to Map the Right Route
Before you even get into the car, use your map apps like Google Maps, Waze, and Inrix Traffic to predict delays you might experience. This way, you aren’t hit with any sudden delays due to construction, heavy traffic, or accidents. You can choose the best uninterrupted route for your shopping needs.
Park Smart When You Arrive
Dings and dents occur a lot in a Black Friday parking lot, so try to avoid the hubbub of a busy parking lot by parking smart. Rather than fighting for the closest spot possible, you should park as far away as possible. Parking at a distance means you won’t have the additional stress of dealing with idiots who cut you off for a spot. Another plus? You get to work off those extra helpings of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie you had on Thanksgiving!
Shop Later to Avoid Crowds
On Black Friday, the crowds can be ruthless, especially if you’re shopping early in the morning. When the stores first open, everyone is rushing to get the big deal of the season. This means people are more worried about getting their new 52-inch television than driving safely, increasing the chances of encountering a reckless driver. Try to hold off on going to stores right when they first open; instead, go slightly later in the day around 7am-9am. By going later, you won’t have to fight the crowds as much, but you will still get the great deals the stores have to offer.
In the madhouse of Black Friday, it’s easy to forget that shopping is fun. Don’t venture out alone—bring along friends and family you get along with to make Black Friday driving less terrifying and stressful. If your stress level starts to get high, a partner-in-crime can make never-ending traffic and hellacious drivers seem that much more bearable. Catch up with each other during traffic jams and play some awesome adult-oriented car games when you find yourself at a standstill. It will make the Black Friday driving experience that much better.
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- Caitlin MoranEditor
A born-and-raised Jersey girl, Caitlin Moran has somehow found herself settled in Edinburgh, Scotland. When she’s not spending her days trying to remember which side of the road to drive on, Caitlin enjoys getting down and nerdy with English. She continues to combine her love of writing with her love of cars for The News Wheel, while also learning more about the European car market—including the fact that the Seat brand is pronounced “se-at” not “seat” as you might think. See more articles by Caitlin.