Holiday travelers changing up plans ahead of winter storm

NOW: Holiday travelers changing up plans ahead of winter storm

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind., --- Although gas prices are down and looking very ideal for holiday travelers, unfortunately the weather won’t be. With a major winter storm expected to hit Michiana Thursday, ABC57 talked to travelers getting on the road ahead of it.

“We took this trip a little bit early. You know I started out early so I could get home before anything happens,” said driver Therese Schneider.

Schneider and her friend were heading to Illinois for the holidays.

She decided it was safest to hit the road before the winter storm comes that’s expected to slam Michiana just days before Christmas.

“There were a lot of people on the road today I think early, and you know that's kind of unusual,” she said

“I think trying to travel on the 23rd or the 24th would have been really tough so I'm glad we’re getting it in a couple days early,” added Alex Lash another holiday traveler hitting the road early.

He was one of dozens of travelers ABC57 talked to at a St. Joseph County gas station right off the Indiana toll road — stopping to get fuel before him and his family leave for Minnesota.

Although drivers said they were happy gas prices were below $3.00/gallon, much lower than they were a few months ago and even last Christmas, the extreme winter weather on the way could still throw a wrench in some of their holiday plans.

“My son is traveling from Chicago, and it looks like he probably won't make it until Saturday for Christmas, and you know that's kind of a bummer,” said Schneider.

“It (the weather) could cancel it (the trip) possibly we’re going to try and weather the storm and get there to see them because you only get to see them once a year,” added Ashlee Garcia, another holiday traveler.

Now if you are still planning on traveling these next few days before you head out or even stop to get gas, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. By having things like an ice scraper, a shovel, or an emergency kit especially when traveling in inclement weather.

“Plenty of blankets and coats for the kids. We’ve got a snow shovel in the back in case we get stuck but we’re ready to pull off and take an exit, if need be,” said Lash.

“I just filled up with gas. I don’t need a full tank, but I don’t like driving ever without enough gas just I think that's really important,” added Schneider.

AAA estimates around 113 million Americans are expected to travel including 2.5 million Hoosiers, 90% of all travelers doing so by car.

Officials Friday will be the worst and most dangerous day to travel.

For more safety travel tips click here.

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