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Traveling by car this holiday? Read this first

AAA Miami Valley projects 94.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the holiday season. More than 85 million Americans will gas up the car, pack up the family and travel near and far. Lower gas prices could help spread the holiday cheer. Your Better Business Bureau offers some tips to keep you safe when hitting the road.

AAA Miami Valley says gas prices are 16 cents lower than the national average at $3.06 a gallon. Locally, this time last year, gas prices hovered around $3.08 a gallon. Gas prices are five cents less than one week ago and 11 cents less than one month ago, while the national average has declined for several weeks.

With gas prices on the decline, it may be why more Americans are traveling by car than by air. AAA says they’ve seen a decrease in Americans traveling by air, but Cindy Antrican, AAA Miami Valley says, “This is the fifth consecutive year of increases and the highest travel volume ever recorded for the season since data has been collected by AAA”. The holiday traveling period is defined as December 21 to January 1.

Your Better Business Bureau offers these holiday travel tips:

• Make travel plans early and avoid driving at peak travel times. Avoid traveling two days before or after Christmas.

• Take your car in for a checkup.

• Pack an emergency kit. It should include a flashlight, batteries, first-aid kit, food and water.

• Always pay with a credit card because you can dispute the charges. Never pay with cash.

• Verify your reservations with the companies directly before your trip.

• Buckle up and don’t text and drive. Pull over to a safe place if you need to text or make a call.

• Make sure you have your insurance card. In case of an accident, you’ll have your insurance information immediately.

• Check the local weather at your destination.

• Get plenty of rest if you plan to drive, so you’re not a hazard to yourself or others.

• Watch your speed and remember the rules of the road. Don’t tailgate and don’t rely primarily on your mirrors when changing lanes; turn around and check your blind spot.

Your BBB can provide lists of BBB Accredited Businesses, such as mechanics, hotels or rental car services. It can also provide Business Reviews on ones you’re considering. If you have any questions regarding holiday travel, you can always get help from your Better Business Bureau, visit or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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