The Dreaded S.A.T (Sunday After Thanksgiving)

How to deal post-turkey day traffic jam.

It’s SAT, as in the Sunday After Thanksgiving, and it’s definitely not the most wonderful time of the year.

You’ve bid adieu to friends and family and with visions of stuffing dancing in your head you climb into a car packed with leftovers, luggage.

Obviously The Hub isn’t offering Thanksgiving travel tips. That turkey has flown. Rather, The Hub wants to help travelers retain some semblance of sanity when their three-hour trip slowly turns into a five-hour crawl.

Know you’re not alone.

If you hit the road Sunday you’ll be joining about 42.5 million other Americans who also decided to travel 50 miles or more away from their home, according to the American Automobile Association. That’s a 4 percent increase from 2010 when 40.9 million road warriors ventured beyond their comfort zone. 

It’s the most traveled day of the holiday period. And AAA projects an increase in the number of Thanksgiving travelers this year. Why? Mostly because those who didn’t travel during the last three years were tired of sitting home and wanted to share the holiday with friends and family. According to the automobile association 2008 was a decade-low year for Thanksgiving travel with only 37.8 million Americans taking a trip.

Math. It’s everywhere.

Okay, so you’re stuck on the New Jersey Turnpike, the Massachusetts Turnpike, I-95 South, or maybe just Route 7. But you’re stuck. So try these following equations.

Calculate the absolute furthest place you could have traveled in the time you have spent sitting in your car.  Or add how many times you could have traveled back and forth to say New York City, divide that by the number of times you could have traveled to Boston and back.

Or, count how many times your windshield wipers go back and forth on the lowest setting. Now count how many times they go back and forth on the highest setting. Now add the two numbers together and divide by the number of calories in that second helping of chestnut stuffing.  [Note to self: download ‘Flash of Genius’ starring Greg Kinnear about the guy who invented the automatic windshield wiper.]

The bicker bunch.

So right, there you are stuck. Honking doesn’t help. What to do?

Take a cue from your bickering kids and argue - with the talk radio host. Even if you don’t have the guts to call in, there’s nothing like playing Archie Bunker and yelling at the radio.

American Car Idol

You can of course turn up the music and sing loudly, and in my case badly, to whatever song comes on.

Driving to the Test

Bring a CD audio book and quiz your kids on the plot and test their reading comprehension.

Or, play the license plate game. Each person guesses how many different states they will find by the time the destination is reached. Simple but supposedly it passes the time. If that doesn’t interest you try ‘I Spy’ or  ‘ Guess what animal I am describing?’

Fantasy Island

Dead stop traffic? Here’s where hypotheticals come in handy. If you could live anywhere, if you could vacation anywhere, if you could chair the Super Committee, if you could pick one different career, if you could do one thing over...

...maybe that one thing over would be to not travel on SAT next year!


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