Traveling for the Fourth of July? Here Are the Worst Times to Leave Your House

iStock/Marcos Assis
iStock/Marcos Assis

Millions of people will be attending parades, barbecues, and fireworks shows in the U.S. on the Fourth of July. If you're one of them, traveling to your festivities will likely be a hassle. Lifehacker reports that AAA expects 48.9 million people to be in transit on July 4, 2019—a 4.1 percent increase from last year and a new Independence Day record. Traffic may be unavoidable in some cases, but with a bit of planning, you can make your holiday travel as painless as possible.

In a recent report, AAA broke down the worst times to leave the house for people traveling by car from 10 major cities this week. Wednesday July 3—the day before Independence Day—will be the worst travel day for people leaving from New York, San Francisco, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Early- to mid-afternoon is projected to be the worst times to hit the road that day in all four cities. Travelers starting their journeys in New York between 1:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. that day should expect especially brutal traffic conditions, with AAA predicting delays lasting up to 3.8 times as long as they normally would.

The day of the Fourth itself will also see delays in many parts of the country. Thursday is predicted to be the worst travel day of the week in Seattle and Detroit. In Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago, the day after will see the longest delays, and in Washington, D.C., travelers should avoid heading home in the late morning and early afternoon on Sunday. You can see the rest of AAA's projections of the worst dates and times to travel from 10 major U.S. cities below.

1. Atlanta // Friday, July 5, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
2. Boston // Friday, July 5, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
2. Chicago // Friday, July 5, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
3. Detroit // Wednesday, July 3, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
4. Houston, Texas // Thursday, July 4, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
5. Los Angeles // Wednesday, July 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
6. New York // Wednesday, July 3, 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
7. San Francisco // Wednesday, July 3, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
8. Seattle // Thursday, July 4, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
9. Washington, D.C. // Sunday, July 7, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

These times only apply to car travel, which means people taking a flight the week of the Fourth of July have a different list of factors to worry about. Here are some tips for making it through the airport that can be used on July 4 or any other busy travel day.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Here's Which Thanksgiving Foods You Can Carry on a Plane (And Which You Have to Check)

2GreenEyes/iStock via Getty Images
2GreenEyes/iStock via Getty Images

Boarding an airplane with food can be tricky business—especially during the holiday season. Wondering which Thanksgiving dishes pass muster with airport officials? Here’s a rundown of feast items that can be packed inside your carry-on or checked bags. (To see the full list of permitted edible goods, visit the Transportation Security Administration's website.)

  1. Pumpkin Pie

You can check pies in your luggage, or take them on the plane as a carry-on. If you do check a pie or other dessert, Condé Nast Traveler recommends wrapping it in plastic, placing it inside a sturdy cardboard box, and swaddling the box in a blanket or bubble wrap. If you’re toting it by hand, make sure the packaging is sturdy enough to survive security checkpoints, overhead bins, and additional TSA screenings.

  1. Cranberry Sauce and Gravy

The TSA’s typical rule for liquids also applies to Thanksgiving sauces and spreads. You’ll have to check cranberry sauce, gravy, jams, and jellies if they’re stored inside a receptacle that’s larger than 3.4 ounces. You can bring them on the plane in your carry-on if they’re transported in a 3.4-ounce container and placed inside a sealed, clear, quart-sized zip-top bag (just like your shampoo).

  1. Turkeys and Turduckens

Turkeys, turduckens, and other poultry, whether fresh or frozen, are OK for both carry-on and checked bags, so long as they are packed in a maximum of five pounds dry ice and the cooler or shipping box doesn't exceed your airline's carry-on size allowance. If the meat is packed in regular ice, it must be completely frozen as it goes through security.

  1. Wine

As with other liquors, check all wine bottles exceeding 3.4 ounces. According to Vine Pair, you can prevent potential disasters by storing bottles in a hard suitcase, lining the interior with soft clothing, and wrapping the bottles in even more clothing before tucking them inside the suitcase's middle. You can also make things easier by buying a special valise designed to transport wine.

Unsure about additional food items? Ask the TSA by tweeting a picture to @AskTSA, contacting the agency via Facebook Messenger, or visiting TSA.gov and using the “What can I bring?” search function.

Meet LiLou: The World's First Airport Therapy Pig

Kseniia Derzhavina/iStock via Getty Images
Kseniia Derzhavina/iStock via Getty Images

There's a new reason to get to the airport early—you might run into a therapy pig who's there to make your trip a little easier. As Reuters reports, LiLou the Juliana pig is a member of San Francisco International Airport's "Wag Brigade," a therapy animal program designed to ease stress and anxiety in travelers.

Aside from her snout and potbelly, LiLou can be recognized by her captain's hat and red "hoof" polish. She spends the day with guests who are happy to take a break from the pressures of traveling. She might comfort them by posing for a selfie, playing a song on her toy keyboard, or offering them a head to pet.

After bringing joy to people's day, LiLou goes home to her San Francisco apartment where she lives with her owner, Tatyana Danilova. In her free time, she goes on daily walks and snacks on organic vegetables. She even has her own Instagram account.

Airports around the world are embracing the benefits therapy animals can bring to customers. The Wag Brigade program at San Francisco includes a number of dogs, and earlier this year, the Aberdeen Airport in Scotland debuted its own "canine crew" of dogs trained to make travelers feel safe and happy. Therapy miniature horses have even been used at an airport in Kentucky. According to the San Francisco Airport, LiLiou is the world's first airport therapy pig.

To see LiLou turn on the charm, check out the video below.

[h/t Reuters]

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