Is it even a thing?
If you’re like me and get depressed when you count the number of hours you get stuck in traffic for daily…here’s a pro tip: stop counting. I’m sure you’ve already felt it in the air—and it’s not the Christmas magic I’m talking about. And here’s some good and bad news. It’s going to get worse (*distant sobs*)
As everyone is out doing their last-minute shopping, rushing to Christmas parties, and going about their errands. Navigation app, Waze tells us to anticipate a a more grueling gridlock this season as more people are out on the streets at this time of the year. Their data shows that people tend to drive longer during the Christmas season to go to shopping centers, restaurants, hotels, banks, and supermarkets/groceries, and similar trends have been observed during seasonal holidays. In fact, just for shopping alone, around 2 million navigations were made monthly. During weekdays, drives start to increase at 7am and peak from 5pm to 6pm. While for weekends, drives start later at 10am and peak from 2pm to 5pm. Highest navigations are during Valentine’s Day, Back-to-School season, and of course, Christmas. Additionally, it shows everyone crawling at a snail pace of 5 mins/km during the holiday season.
But, fret not, as we’re all in this together. Here are some driving hacks to beat the stress from the traffic this holiday season:
1. Planned Drives
Honestly, on some days, you can go to Japan quicker than it takes to get to a place 20km away (QC to Makati, anyone?). But it wouldn’t hurt to plan ahead! Make sure you reserve ahead of time or travel early as much as possible. Plan your route and prevent being stuck—or worse, celebrating Christmas on the road. The planned drives feature on Waze can help you know exactly when to leave your place in order to be at your desired destination on time.
2. Use the right vehicle type
You can choose between Private for cars with no special restrictions, Taxi to get routes great for taxis and Motorcycle to get fast routes with roads that are too narrow for cars. Using the correct category of vehicle type will help you navigate through your destination while avoiding possible traffic violations.
3. Be Prepared for Anything
If you plan to drive somewhere for the holidays, be sure to gas up and check your gears before your trip. Do not leave anything up to fate, except maybe the traffic. Leave early, use the washroom before you leave (trust me on this one, you do not want to be stuck in line with 50 other people about to burst your pants), and stock up on snacks and beverages so that no gets hangry during the trip.
You can also grab last minute promotions and sales from partner establishments such as gas stations, restaurants, and retail brands on Waze. If anything goes wrong, you can use its roadside assistant feature for help. You can also report real-time accidents, police traps, blocked roads, weather conditions, and more that will help fellow Wazers get the most optimal route to their destinations without hassle.
4. Select Your Route Carefully
Even though Waze is set to automatically pick the fastest route, it is best to check all available route options possible. This way you could personally pick the route that avoids roads you don’t want to take or add a stopover that you’ll be navigated to for any last-minute errands without cancelling your current trip.
5. Share your ETA
In case you didn’t already know, it’s not polite to keep people waiting on you—especially if you don’t even offer an explanation for it. So if you have a Christmas party that you’re running late to, send them your ETA to let them know you’re on your way. Tap ‘Send ETA’ at the bottom of the Waze map to let them follow your drive in real-time via text or any messaging app so they will know when to expect you.
6. Prep your playlists
Pick out your feel-good beats and blast them on the radio so that it doesn’t feel all that dreary to be stuck in hour n of traffic for the nth day of the week/month/year(?). If you have children riding with you, always keep your car stocked up on books, toys, or movies to keep them busy. It helps to be entertained on the road! Plus, make your drive less boring with witty directions from Mimiyuuuh on Waze! Made possible by Lazada, navigate with Mimiyuuuh until March 2020. To make Mimiyuuuh your new Waze voice, simply go to Settings > Voice Directions > Mimiyuuuh for Lazada