AAA: Get your car prepped now if you’re taking a road trip next week

DES MOINES — Iowa’s roads will be crowded next week as it’s projected to be the fourth-busiest travel week since 2005.

If you’ll be heading down the highway to see friends or family for Thanksgiving, AAA-Iowa spokesman Brian Ortner says it could save you plenty of hassles to give your vehicle a preventative check-up now.

“Get your car ready for that road trip,” Ortner says. “You have plenty of time now to get your routine maintenance done, get your tire pressure checked, get your oil changed, get your battery checked.”

Some people like stay organized and on-task by making lists, and Ortner says travel can be overwhelming, so do what you can to plan ahead.

“Leave early and allow yourself extra time,” Ortner says. “Whether you’re flying or driving, that’s going to be a big key into less stressful travel plans.”

You don’t want to be one of “those” relatives at the dinner table, so Ortner suggests you know when to say when to that holiday cheer.

“Keep safety on your mind,” Ortner says. “Never drive impaired and make sure, if you do celebrate a little bit too much, take advantage of the options to get home so you do arrive home safely.”

AAA estimates travel next week around Iowa and the five other states in our region will be up two-percent, or about 85,000 travelers, from last year. Of the estimated 4.3-million people in our region who will be traveling at least 50 miles from home, some 3.8-million will be going by motor vehicle.