Planning on leaving Tucson this coming holiday weekend? Chances are if you’re a student you will be making your escape out of Tucson and back home as soon as possible. For the rest of Tucson who plans on finding their holiday meal someplace else, no matter when you plan to leave or how you leave, traffic and delays are bound to be abundant. Here is some advice and a few tips for making your departure and arrival back into Tucson as easy as possible.
If you are planning on driving either to the Phoenix metro area or someplace else, it would be an excellent idea to carpool. The fewer cars there are on the freeways the less traffic there will be. Carpooling and going to similar destinations with neighbors, co-workers and other family members is a great way to save gas, money and promote “green” travel.
If you are planning on making driving trips, I strongly recommend leaving as early as possible. The couple of hours of sleep you might lack can surely be made up napping on the couch once you’re full of turkey. It is also not a bad idea to plan your departure back to Tucson as late as possible. That way, most of the traffic back into Tucson will have subsided and the roads will be less clustered with cars. Traffic should be better after 5 in the evening. If your travel plans allow for a later return home, I would definitely advise waiting a few extra hours to let the majority of the traffic leaving at 12ish to subside.
For those flying back home or to visit family members, lines at both Phoenix Sky Harbor and Tucson Airport will be long. Especially at Phoenix Sky Harbor where they will be test driving their new full body scanners and “generous” pat downs. For this reason and general, holiday air traffic, plan on arriving at the airport (especially Sky Harbor) at least 3 hours early even for domestic flights. It is better to wait and stroll into the same airport stores for an hour than worry at the last minute that you are going to miss your flight. Tucson Airport, with no new body scanners, should experience less traffic delays and shorter lines. Previous experience has shown that Tucson Airport only gets clustered at certain times of the day when multiple flights are taking off at the same time. So one to one and half hours in advance should be sufficient to ensure you make your flight.
For those not venturing all that far from Tucson and staying in Tucson metro area, Sun Tran is also not a bad idea for travel to neighboring Marana, Oro Valley and Green Valley. Sun Tran express routes can take you from various stops and transit centers in Tucson to neighboring cities. Obviously service is not available on Thanksgiving day but the day before and after are available for those who may be spending the night at a family members house. Sun Tran is not only cheap, efficient but “green” and reduces the traffic on the roads during the holiday. Check Sun Tran’s website suntran.com to see various routes, times and destinations.
However you are planning to travel for Thanksgiving please be safe and enjoy your holiday!