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Thanksgiving Driving and Road Advice for Floridians

Thanksgiving Driving + Road Trip Advice for Floridians, Pt. 1

Written By, NowCar Team

According to AAA Auto Club South, 2.29 million Floridians are expected to take to the road during this year’s Thanksgiving weekend. So that means you need to be prepared. You’ll want in-car entertainment, the most recent traffic reports, make sure your car is tuned up, that the dog or cat you are bringing will be comfortable, that you don’t get a speeding ticket, and finally that the dish you are bringing to the table will be delicious even after your long drive.

On the Road: 6 Super Useful Pieces of Driving Advice

  1. Use a smart phone navigation system before you leave and thirty minutes before you get to a big city. Even if you know how to get to your destination, you don’t know if there are any serious traffic delays. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times on the roads, so accidents are more likely, and accidents can result in delays and even road closures, so you might as well check to make sure there aren’t severe delays in your path.
  1. Cruise control is your friend. Cruise control is a great way to maintain a steady, safe and efficient speed on the highway and to avoid getting a ticket.
  1. The left lane is for passing. When on the highway or interstate, remember that the left lane is for passing, not cruising. Yes, the left lane is also the fast lane on expressways and city driving, but on interstates and open highways the left lane is primarily for drivers to pass other drivers that are driving slower. Once you pass the slower driver, you are supposed to move back into the middle or right lane -- if there are not other slow drivers in that lane. Often times, drivers pass another car and coast in the left lane and they don’t realize that another car is behind them waiting to pass.
  1. Do NOT, we repeat do NOT rubberneck. We have all heard it, but a lot of us still do it. However, rubbernecking when there is extreme congestion on the road or highway quickly adds up to substantial delays. Look at the road and only the road.
  1. Look below to avoid or be aware of which cities in Florida have the worst speed traps.
  1. If you get pulled over, be courteous. You never know when something could just turn into a warning.

Before You Go: Car Prep

If you have more than a two hour drive, you should make sure your car is ready for a road trip. It is not expensive, nor does it take a long time, but if you run into a problem on the road because you neglected these things, it will be expensive and take a long time.

  1. Check your car’s tires and air pressure. Having properly inflated tires prevents blow outs and also helps improve fuel efficiency. And while you are down there, check out the tread on your tires, is it healthy? Are they bald? If so, it would be wise to replace the bald ones and avoid troubles on the road.
  1. Invest in a Sunpass. Sunpasses save money on tolls and they also save you time when going through the tolls. If you don’t want a Sunpass, be sure to bring cash with you for tolls because if you are driving through Florida, chances are you'll run into one.
  1. How many miles do you have until your next oil change? If you are close to needing one, might as well get one to make sure everything is all good under the hood.

Road Trip Entertainment

There are tons of games to occupy adults and kids in car trips, but here are a couple of our favorites.

Road Bingo

Road bingo is a great car game for kids. Before going on your trip, print out a couple bingo cards that have objects (rather than numbers) that you might see on the road. Each time someone sees the object they can mark it with a marker. There are various websites where you can make your own or where there are pre-made ones that you can print out. Trust us, this is a hit.

20 Questions

Everyone in the car can play this game. One person thinks of any famous person in their mind -- dead or alive. The other people ask a series of questions to try to figure out who that person is. It’s a really simple game but it can be pretty fun.

Make a Timelapse of your Drive

Going somewhere scenic? Maybe you’ll want to make a timelapse of your drive with a GoPro, it’s really easy. This post has all of the details.

Florida Radio Stations

It’s always a bummer to lose signal to a radio station and not know what station to go to next. Here are five major radio stations by genre in all of the major Florida metros.


Country:  K92.3
NPR: 90.7 WFME
Pop: 106.7 FM -WXXL
Rap / Hip Hop: Power 95.3
Rock: 101.1 FM

Miami / Fort Lauderdale

Country: 99.9 KISS
NPR: 91.3 WLRN
Pop: 93.9 WMIA
Rap/ Hip Hop: 99.1 Jamz
Rock: Big 105.9

Tampa / St. Petersburg

Country: 99.5 WQYK
NPR: 89.7 WUSF
Pop: 93.3 FLZ
Rap / Hip Hop: 94.1 WiLD
Rock: 97.9 98Rock


Country: 99.1 WQIK
NPR: 89.9 WJCT
Pop : WAPE 95.1
Rap / Hip Hop: 106.1 Power
Rock: 106.9 Planet Radio

Do Your Part and Bring Some Food

If you are driving more than a few hours for Thanksgiving, there are two problems you face if you want to bring a dessert or side dish -- transporting it and/or getting in the way of the host if you need to prepare it there. So if you are facing that dilemma, here are two lists of delicious Thanksgiving recipes and how you can prepare them so they will travel well and so you have to do very little in the kitchen once you arrive to your host’s home.

Thanksgiving Recipes, Part One
Thanksgiving Recipes, Part Two

Traveling with Pets

Traveling with pets is fun, but it can be a little stressful if you have never done it before. Here are a couple things to keep in mind before you leave and on your journey. Here are a couple things to remember, but here is a link to a more detailed post about driving with pets in your car.

  1. Cats and dogs prone to car sickness.
    • Symptoms of a cat experiencing car sickness include, panting, drooling, loud crying and vomiting. Symptoms can start immediately or may not start until after some time spent on the road.
    • Symptoms of a dog experiencing car sickness are fairly similar. Dogs may begin yawning or panting, whining, excessive drooling and vomiting.
    • If you know your animal gets car sickness, you may want to check out some of the products out there that can help your animal. There are natural medicines and prescription medicines, but check with your vet before administering anything. Also, if your animal does get car sick, remember not to get angry at them, it is not their fault.
  1. Avoid putting animals in a car that has not been significantly cooled off. Even though it is November, Florida is still sunny and warm and cars can still get very hot. Before you put your animal in the car, make sure the A/C is on and the car is cooled off.
  1. Do not leave your animal in a car.
  1. If you are traveling with a dog, be sure to make stops for the bathroom and offer them water. They can’t speak up when they need to stop so be sure to have it scheduled into your drive. If you are traveling with a cat, have a litter box setup for them to use. Trust us, you do not want your car to smell like cat urine for the rest of its life.

Worst Florida Cities for Speed Traps

This article has the top ten most notorious cities for speed traps in Florida.

Ultimate Road Trip + Entertainment Vehicle: Chrysler Pacifica

If you are dreading the Thanksgiving road trip, we recommend you check out the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica because it is the BEST road trip for a big group of friends or family. The Pacifica is available with 7 or 8 passenger seating and it has 140.5 cubic feet of cargo space, so no one will be crushed by luggage. The Pacifica’s Stow ‘n Go seating system makes it easy for seating configurations to be moved around to maximize comfort and or storage.

And forget needing to make a lot of stops for gas because the Chrysler Pacifica is one of the most fuel efficient minivans on the market. The Pacifica has an average fuel economy of 18 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway, but that’s nothing compared to the Pacifica Hybrid, a plug-in electric hybrid which Chrysler will release in the next few months. The Pacifica Hybrid will have a combined city fuel economy of 80 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent.)

Finally, the Chrysler Pacifica is available with the Uconnect Theater Package, which turns the minivan into a technologically advanced entertainment hub. The package includes Blu Ray dvd players, hi-def 10-inch digital screens, games and hookups to entertainment devices. The system also includes two sets of wireless headphones so not everyone has to listen to the same thing.

Happy Thanksgiving!