The end of the African heat bubble and the heavy rains of the last days cannot stop Italian holidaymakers. A few drops and a bit of wind are not enough to hold the nation of holidays, that has booked months ago their summer holidays starting from today in the most beautiful localities of our Country. Certainly, the crisis has played a role as well, despite the fact that economic indicators show a slight recovery in the tourism industry, we cannot picture the same exodus as during the ’80’s and ’90’s when, on the wave of optimism, thousands of people travelled by car, blocking the main highways. Kilometres-long queues were part of that ritual, with cars stuck one after another for hours, from Autosole to Salerno Reggio Calabria.It was customary to bring pastimes such as crosswords or cards, or food and juices to appease children’s hyperactivity between a nap and the other, so as to make the waiting less frustrating. All those things do not exist anymore, or better, their distribution is more uniform considering that, for a matter of costs, many people avoid moving in August, preferring months in which prices are less stiff, such as June and September.
But, even if it is minor, the risk of traffic jam still exists. The first good news is that the worst is already behind. The critical weekend was the one between the 8th and 9th of August when was recorded a traffic increase of at least 5% compared to the same period last year. There is an overall slowing down on the roads of the entire peninsula, especially in the North and in the direction of Switzerland. For today and tomorrow the forecasts are slightly more optimistic. Less critical than in the morning will be the situation in the afternoon – so, with minor inconvenience – during the afternoons of August 15 and 16. The first thing to do in order to avoid complications is to keep up to date, consulting the Autostrade per l’Italia and Anas websites, that provide real-time useful news about the traffic status.You can also download specific apps for your smartphones and tablets, that, however, we should remember, must not be opened while driving, but only after you have stopped in a service area. Can be useful also the services offered by broadcasters such as Isoradio (managed by Rai), Rtl and Radio Monte Carlo. Particularly successful is also the free application Waze, a sort of navigator/social-network-connected Gps, that automatically recommends the less frequented road to reach your destination. But, generally speaking, all modern satellite systems are constantly updated on the busiest roads.
Besides technology, we have also our grandparents’ golden rules. The first of which is to avoid leaving late in the morning (09.30AM-12.00AM) and in the afternoon (15.00AM – 17.00AM), but to opt for hours that may result more uncomfortable, but functional. If you have children travelling with you and many kilometres ahead, the ideal solution would be to wake up very early (between 5.30AM and 6AM in the morning or even earlier) so as to make the kid sleep in the car, after having met the safety procedures, and cover a long portion of your journey before others begin to move. Of course, do this only if you have slept enough time to rest properly. This is very important. It is better to travel half a day longer than run useless risks for your safety. If you get tired, you can sleep in a rest areas for a few hours.
During the weeks before the trip, you should have already checked the condition of the brake system, so as to focus today and tomorrow only on engine oil and, especially, on tire pressure. Look out not to load the car too much and to use only allowed material to put your baggage on the roof. Take food and cool drinks with you, and try to avoid excessively salty food. A thermos with coffee and tea will allow you to keep your attention keener, but to consume them, it will be better for you to stop somewhere. A few suggestions to have a peaceful, and what is more important, safe trip. Everything else, once you reach your destination, will be only fun and relax.